May 26, 2020 Andrea Bartman
The overarching goal of today’s B2B marketer is to create great customer experiences. To make those experiences happen, marketers turn to a variety of digital tools and strategies, like content hubs and account-based marketing. In fact, the tools made available to help marketers make these experiences possible number more than 8,000.
But merely using these tools doesn’t equate to better results. We want to know why. So, we teamed up with Heinz Marketing and Market2Marketers to learn what top-performing marketers are doing differently to create better experiences everywhere.
The result is the Experiences Everywhere Report. This report surveyed more than 130 B2B marketing professionals across a variety of roles in various industries and organizational sizes. In it, it examines what separates top-performing marketers from the rest.
We identified top-performing marketers on a seven-point scale where one is low and seven is high. Those who rated the success of their marketing program as a six or seven were labeled as “top performing.” Those who rated their performance as a five or below were referred to as the “mainstream.” You can read more about the research method here.
Key Findings for Experiences Everywhere
There are a few key habits that separate top-performing marketers from mainstream marketers.
To begin with, top performers consistently demonstrate confidence in their actions, behaviors, practices and capabilities that lead to greater success. When asked to rate their performance in the areas of customer experience, driving engagement, interactivity of content, personalization and account-based content, top performers categorized their business efforts as “excellent” whereas mainstream marketers did not.
For customer experience, 58% of top-performers responded with “excellent’ compared to 27% of mainstream marketers. We saw similar responses when asked about driving engagement (45% of top-performers vs. 21% of mainstream performers).
It’s important to focus your marketing efforts where your customers are going to see them. A vast majority of top-performing marketers (74%) say their marketing targets the areas their customers visit, and 89% say they create dedicated materials that support the customer journey from start to finish, not just the acquisition phase.
Compared to just 22% of mainstream marketers, 68% of top performers say they are “very confident” their marketing is personalized, timely and relevant. Top-performing marketers also demonstrate more content usage for seven out of nine tools represented in the survey. Specifically, 65% of top performers regularly use interactive tools like polls, quizzes and surveys, which is far greater than the usage responses of mainstream marketers.
Top performers are also 17% more likely to use a wider range of rich webinar formats that support the savvy customer’s desire to access content at their convenience. Half of top-performing marketers use simulive webinars whereas just one-third of mainstream marketers employ simulive tools.
We also want to call attention to three areas of interest where top-performers set themselves apart from the rest of the marketing field: communication with customers, customer engagement and their relationship with sales.
Communications with customers
With a vast abundance of marketing channels, it’s important to know where your customers are so you can reach them in places where they’re spending time and have the opportunity to engage with your marketing. Between physical locations, social media presence and other online interactions, customers can be many different places as they navigate their professional and personal lives and you want to market strategically so you reach them.
Top-performing marketers understand this and plan their marketing strategy accordingly with specific intentions to broaden their reach to engage as many customers as possible. Evidence shows 74% of markets “agree” or “strongly agree” their marketing is everywhere their customers are compared to only 40% of mainstream marketers.
Top-performing marketers are also more likely to rave about their company’s performance in customer experience and driving engagement. Roughly 58% of these top-tier marketers rate their customer experience as “excellent” compared to only 27% of mainstream marketers. As for how they do driving customer engagement, twice as many top marketers say their performance is “excellent” versus only 21% of mainstream marketers.
In a similar fashion, top-performers consistently outrank mainstream marketers in the areas of personalization (47% vs. 16%), account-based content (55% vs. 19%) and interactivity of content (43% vs. 17%).
Relationship with Sales
Though marketing is involved in more parts of the customer journey than ever before, the sales team still has to close deals. Across the board, top-performing marketers have a better relationship with their sales teams and provide them with more content which translates to better leads.
Specifically, 92% of top performers say the sales and marketing teams agree on the definition of a qualified lead. Ninety-two percent also confirm that “sales agrees that marketing is aligned with revenue goals and objectives.” Comparatively for both areas, only 63% of mainstream marketers feel this is true for their organizations.
The Experiences Everywhere Report is filled with useful information about how top-performing marketers are setting themselves apart from the pack. They focus their marketing efforts where they know their customers are going to be. Top marketers plan to market throughout the entire customer journey, and don’t solely focus on the acquisition stage. They report relevant information to their sales teams like engagement statistics and they track long-term wins. As a result of these efforts, top marketers have a stronger relationship with sales and are significantly more likely to have an easily scalable marketing strategy.