Green Hat's 2021 B2B marketing research report

Slow progress is not good enough

Now into its second decade, the survey by leading Australian B2B marketing agency Green Hat shows that marketers are achieving only slow progress in digitising and driving commercial outcomes.

Unfortunately, just 28% of respondents reported having achieved their objectives in the current survey. That’s not good enough. The case for incremental improvement has never been weaker than it is today with the pandemic disrupting our business world forever. Those that not only survive but thrive will be orchestrating leaps forward in the coming months and years, with marketing in the lead.

Thanks to the pandemic we are all moving rapidly to a digital world, where business, especially business-to-business activity, happens wherever people are.

Businesses who did not have their digital platform acts together were especially vulnerable during the pandemic-stricken 2020. They struggled to facilitate online commerce efficiently and with the ease. Their vision,  leadership, data, people, process and system silos and deficiencies were exposed by the transparent front door that is their web presence.

Critically, today’s B2B customers know what good looks like thanks to their own personal commerce experiences with the leading B2C brands. In 2021 all B2B players, must fast forward their digitisation ambitions with their marketers playing decisive roles. 

Today, no matter what industry you are in, it’s not enough to simply promote your brand and make, market and sell a product or service. You need a digital community marketplace. An integrated, self-service, collaboration environment (web + commerce + marketing automation + CRM + analytics and ERP) where you customers interact, buy (ideally, subscribe), share, engage and learn from one another. 

In this transformational climate, now, more than ever, we marketers must step up and lead. Marketers have to exercise genuine customer-focused influence and advocacy both horizontally and vertically across their organisations.

It means, for example, embracing service, supply chain and transaction management as the new marketing. There is little value in assembling and advertising blue sky brand promises if your supply chain is not close to best in class, if your customer service team is an island and your ERP landscape is a patchwork of dinosaur legacy systems with 20th century DNA. 

The Green Hat report highlights, the despite progress on many fronts, marketing must speed up.

4 hours ago