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Two-fifths of B2B marketers failing to deliver customer-centric approach

by on April 12, 2016 in Latest News, Lead Article, Lead story, News you can use, Nuggets, Rock 'n Roll

A study commissioned by digital transformation business, Squiz, suggests that many B2B brands still have a way to go to become more customer-centric, with over two-fifths (41%) of marketers thinking more work is required.

Although 83% of B2B marketers recognise that customer centricity is “very important”, Squiz found that a lack of c-level buy-in prevents many B2B marketers from delivering a more customer-centric approach within their organisation.

The study shows that almost half (47%) of B2B marketers struggle to acquire budget for initiatives to improve the customer experience, while a further 14% have difficulty gaining c-level support, with many marketers blaming this on an inability to prove the ROI of such investments to the board.

A lack of planning and measurement may also be at the root of this problem. Shockingly, only 35% of B2B marketers invest in marketing technology in advance of requirement, and 73% do not have clear goals and KPIs in place for measuring customer experience.

Confusion over who owns the customer experience also appears to be having a negative impact. Although 74% of marketers think they are responsible for the customer experience, just 46% of marketers surveyed think other people within their organisation would agree.

Stephen Morgan, Co-Founder of Squiz, commented: “Our research suggests that most B2B marketers understand the importance of adopting a customer-centric approach, but are struggling to put this into practice due to a lack of budget and c-level buy-in, and confusion over who is responsible for the customer experience within B2B brands. To rectify this, a growing number of businesses have appointed a Chief Customer Officer to lead initiative to improve the customer experience. However, these organisations are few and far between, with research showing that only 1% of FTSE companies have appointed a Chief Customer Officer.”

“Put simply, businesses do not need to hire a Chief Customer Officer in order to have a good customer experience. Instead, senior marketers must step-up to the plate and take ownership of the customer experience. There is no better placed person than the CMO to take responsibility for managing and improving the experience of customers offered by B2B brands. With investments in marketing technologies growing, senior marketers have access to more data and insights than anyone else, with the best view of the sales cycle funnel and ongoing customer lifecycles.

The CMO must become the go-to person for every customer-facing team and a hub to break down silos in order to provide a great customer experience.”

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