Posted on January 20, 2017
Talk to a few marketing industry veterans and you’ll quickly get to this consensus: Marketing is harder today than it has ever been.
Why? Because today’s buyers have instant access to unlimited information. This information helps them better understand their business needs, identify a range of potential solutions for those needs, develop preferences for the features they want in those solutions, and create a select list of vendor options. Buyers now have the power to self-navigate most of their way through a purchase decision.
And they’re doing so through an uncountable number of sources. Not only does this make it exponentially harder to reach them directly, it has opened the floodgates — especially in the B-to-B world — for more participants (decision-makers and influencers), with their own individual perspectives, to be involved in each purchase decision.
- The typical B2B customer is 57 percent of the way through the purchase process before they engage directly with any supplier.*
- On average, 5.4 people are involved in today’s B2B purchase decisions. **
* 2015 survey of 1,900 corporate decision makers by the Consumer Executive Board (CEB)
**CEB Global, Harvard Business Review, March 2015
This monumental change to the way customers enter and advance through their buying process has put marketers at the gates of a brave new world. Now, skills in data analytics; behavioral science; technology deployment, utilization and integration; and storytelling are as important to success as the creativity, communication and salesmanship skills that marketing has always needed.
Is this good news or bad?
That depends. Clearly, companies that resist this shift and continue to rely on company-focused, one-size fits all promotional marketing may be wondering why their sales pipeline is underperforming. But for those companies that recognize and respond effectively to today’s buying landscape, there is profound opportunity to drive meaningful and measurable engagement with prospects and customers.
And driving engagement is now the key to driving sales.
At Communica, we’ve been studying and acting upon this shift for a decade. By building the multi-discipline team, investing in the technology tools and honing specialized skillsets, we’ve created a Funnel Management expertise that can truly impact our clients’ success in attracting prospects, converting prospects into customers and growing customers into bigger and more valuable customers.
Marketing may indeed have been easier in the past, but it has never been more important.