Buyers working together to purchase products and services (i.e., buying groups) are a reality for B2B marketing and sales teams; however, B2B marketers struggle to assemble multiple buying group members involved in each B2B deal into a buying group within their systems. Adobe last week at its annual Summit event announced the new Adobe Journey Optimizer – B2B Edition, which allows B2B marketers to create buying groups and intelligently orchestrate journeys for buying groups at scale.

For years, sales force automation (SFA) and marketing automation platform (MAP) technologies focused on individual leads and forced organizations to create lead-based processes. Enter account-based marketing platforms, and the focus then switched to accounts. Unfortunately, lead-based and account-based processes are both insufficient and do not address the B2B buying reality that revenue recognition happens at the opportunity level and must include the performance of all associated buying group members. It’s exciting to see technology platform providers move toward buying group-based processes to best support B2B organizations.

In case you missed it, Adobe announced last week the following new buying group features in the Adobe Journey Optimizer – B2B Edition:

  • Buying groups & accounts. The application allows clients to build and manage buying group templates and auto-assign contacts to buying groups, as well as measure buying group completeness and engagement. This means that Adobe clients can build buying groups at scale within the platform and pass complete buying group information to sales. Adobe clients can also track buying group engagement to determine additional marketing program needs.
  • Buying group journey orchestration. The application allows clients to create and orchestrate journeys for buying groups leveraging multiple channels. This is a game changer for Adobe clients. Adobe clients can build personalized journeys for different buyer roles within the buying group and customize content for those roles — at scale.
  • GenAI & content. The application allows clients to scale the creation of content using generative AI across messaging, conversational experiences via chat, and Adobe Experience Manager asset integration. This means that Adobe clients can quickly build content to accelerate the delivery of marketing campaigns and programs.
  • Insights & attribution. The application allows clients to leverage journey and engagement insights for marketing programs, alert sales with full buying group insights, and support every touch attribution. This means that Adobe clients have visibility to all marketing and sales engagement with all buying group members in a single place and can leverage these engagement insights to measure marketing and sales value to the business.

At Last, B2B Marketers Can Build Buying Groups At Scale In MAPs

Adobe’s new features allow B2B marketers to build buying groups within their platform. Adobe invested in buying group functionality:

  • To assist their customer base of B2B marketers in proving the value that marketing provides to the organization and showcasing marketing’s influence on revenue, rather than limiting marketing’s value to marketing-qualified leads or -sourced leads.
  • To encourage B2B marketers to pass along the insights from all buying group members to ensure that contacts are receiving relevant content through the right channel and prevent marketing and sales from acting on a single lead from a single engagement.
  • To empower B2B marketers to more narrowly target all buyer roles (e.g., decision-makers, influencers, ratifiers, users, etc.) by addressing active buying group members involved in a potential deal, rather than blasting all contacts within an account.

In discussions with Adobe’s executives at the Adobe Summit, we asked what challenges they faced with the introduction of buying groups into their platform and the benefits that clients are expecting:

  • Adobe met the challenge of adding buying groups by focusing the last few development cycles on the Adobe Experience Cloud platform and data. Addressing buying groups via the Adobe Experience Cloud allows clients to leverage the power of the existing applications, such as Adobe’s Real-Time Customer Data Platform with inputs from Marketo Engage, and harness new offerings available, like Adobe GenStudio.
  • Adobe anticipates that marketing clients will experience better alignment with sales, improved engagement with buying group members, stronger go-to-market motions, and increased visibility to marketing’s impact on revenue when adopting buying groups and moving away from leads.

The Reality Of Buying Groups Now Matches The Reality In Your Systems

B2B marketing executives, marketing operations teams, and frontline marketers should investigate how Adobe Journey Optimizer – B2B Edition technology makes adopting buying groups easier. Companies that leverage buying groups in technology platforms gain a competitive advantage by engaging and moving opportunities faster to revenue. Now that the technology is caught up to reality, the challenge is ensuring that the buying groups collected and engaged within MAPs are passed as an opportunity with associated buying group members to SFA platforms. The Adobe Journey Optimizer – B2B Edition addresses this challenge by passing buying groups to sales via an opportunity.

Adoption Of Buying Groups Requires Your Focus On Process And Change Management

We predict B2B marketers will flock to Adobe to build buying groups and the adoption of buying groups will accelerate. The big challenge for organizations making this move from leads to buying groups is that they will need to focus on updating revenue management processes and navigating change management within the organization. This requires effective implementation processes, and that’s where Forrester can help!

Let’s Connect

If you’re a Forrester client and would like to discuss buying groups, you can set up a conversation with Vicki to discuss the operationalization of buying groups in processes and systems, or set up a conversation with Kelvin to discuss the evaluation of buying group technologies. If your company has expertise to share on these topics, feel free to submit a briefing request.