How do you make sure your marketing teams are acquiring the right skills to face the challenges in the B2B world? Customers are now more empowered than ever due to constant access to information online. Brands must be transparent and adaptable, keeping the customer at the core of their strategy.
HERE ARE 7 KEY CHALLENGES THAT B2B MARKETERS ARE CURRENTLY FACING (AND WHAT YOU SHOULD BE FOCUSING ON IN YOUR L&D PROGRAMS):
1. CUSTOMER INSIGHTS DISCOVERY
Knowing the customer has always been one of the fundamentals of marketing, and in this day and age it is absolutely essential for the B2B marketer. Discovery is about learning what your customer needs, their strategic initiatives, their goals, and their outcomes. Discovery work is what allows you to neatly tie anything you propose to what your client needs and to tailor it to those specific needs (1).
2. VALUE CREATION
Long gone are the days where marketers’ created value solely for shareholders. B2B marketers must now focus on value creation in the context of creating better value for customers purchasing products and services as well.
B2B marketers must also think about creating value in helping the customer discover what they really need. For example, you can create value through the sales process by helping them discover new possibilities, new ways to get bigger and better outcomes, and new opportunities. You can help them do things in a new way (1).
So how can you build a culture in which value creation becomes the mantra on everyone's lips? You must effect sweeping changes in four areas of your company: R&D, marketing, sales, and customer service.
3. DIGITAL MARKETING
It’s no secret that successful B2B marketers must now adopt a digital approach in the ways they are reaching out to their customers. Learning how to effectively utilize the different online channels such as social media and content marketing among a multitude of others is key in this day and age.
Consumer behavior has changed so much that digital must be at the heart of every element in the marketing strategy and the customer experience. Websites must function flawlessly with impeccable usability, emailing campaigns must be personalized and relevant with a message that adds value for the customer. Social media inquiries must be responded to rapidly, and so on, as the customer now equates these digital elements with the integrity of the brand itself.
4. SHIFTING FROM PRODUCT TO SMART SERVICE DELIVERY
Now more than ever, customers are not only looking to purchase a product, but are also looking for products that include a service that will accompany them throughout the use of their product. Smart services go beyond the kinds of upkeep and upgrades you may be bundling with your products, both in their value to customers and in their cost efficiency to you. To provide them, you must build intelligence—that is, awareness and connectivity—into the products themselves. And you must be prepared to act on what the products then reveal about their use. For customers, smart services create an entirely new kind of value—the value of removing unpleasant surprises from their lives. (2) This type of added value is becoming the norm and can no longer be ignored.
5. DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION
Companies creating new market and value networks have exponentially increased over this past decade and are changing the global marketspace. Brands such as Apple and Uber epitomize the concept of disruptive innovation, and these types of innovations are also redefining the B2B industry and how companies must market themselves in order to stay competitive.
6. STAKEHOLDER MANAGEMENT
Of course, monitoring and maintaining constructive relationships with investors is a challenge that B2B marketers are encountering these days. Stakeholder management helps a business move towards its goals by keeping existing investors satisfied and recruiting new investors as necessary. There are specific insights to take into account in order for this to be done effectively.
7. KEY ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT
Key Account Management’s core demand has always been to drive never ending value, but the way that value is measured has changed dramatically as it has shifted its focus from short-term cost-optimization to long term overall value (3). How to manage this with success in today’s B2B environment takes some mastering of balancing these demands, effective communication among other skills.
Do you want your management teams to acquire the necessary skills to face these challenges in the B2B world?
Our experiential learning programs address all of these elements, to help your teams acquire the necessary skills they need and ultimately generate profitable growth in your organization.
Watch our latest webinar to learn more about the challenges B2B marketers are currently facing.