The 2017 Digital Trends in B2B report demonstrates the priorities and progress being made in B2B marketing as digital experiences in the consumer world continue to bleed into B2B journeys. The results show a sector that, though marred by the familiar ‘B2B lags behind B2C’ adage, is showing maturity in terms of prioritisation of digital strategy.
A lack of capabilities in key areas holds back progress, but there’s increasing evidence that customer experience and digital transformation have taken on a more prominent role.
The research, conducted by Econsultancy in partnership with Adobe, is based on a sample of almost 2,400 B2B respondents who were among more than 14,000 digital professionals taking part in the seventh annual Digital Trends survey, carried out in November and December 2016.
The following sections are featured in the report:
- Fostering a digital culture
- Lack of confidence in mobile continues
- The next wave of B2B marketing
- The CX of the future
- Actionable tips to help future-proof your B2B business
- B2B marketers are just as likely to state that their company is digital-first as their B2C counterparts. However, progress at the other end of the scale appears to be stagnating; the proportion of those with digital marketing activities ‘very much separate’ to the rest of their marketing has increased this year to more than a fifth of respondents.
- B2B’s lag behind B2C is most evident in mobile capabilities. B2B companies are 29% less likely than their B2C counterparts to rank mobile as a top-three strategic priority in 2017, and only 12% are making mobile optimisation a tactical priority, with mobile marketing investment also low.
- Data is a key strength and priority of B2B; almost three-quarters of organisations have made it a strategic priority, and this is reflected in their confidence over handling data. Compared to last year, they are less likely to say that data is difficult to master, and slightly more likely to use online data to optimise the offline experience and vice versa.
- The continued dominance of CX in terms of the focus of marketers is reflected in the report, with 91% of B2B brands making the discipline a strategic priority in 2017. However, they are less likely than B2C companies to use CX as their key differentiator, with product innovation and quality almost as likely to be used.