Have you heard anything like this recently? Maybe you’ve even said it, or it just sounds familiar:

  • “I know I need to do branding, but how will it help me fill the funnel?”
  • “I can measure my conversion rates to three places to the right of the decimal point. How am I supposed to measure the impact of branding on that?”
  • “Of course we have a brand promise. We’re the world’s leading innovator of XYZ solutions.”

Yes, I know, building and promoting world-changing products is one of the coolest aspects of working in B2B marketing. Before I joined Forrester 18 months ago, that rush was a big part of why I went to work each day. But it’s just not enough to guarantee success anymore.

That’s because today’s digital-first B2B buyers act more like consumers than their old-school analog forbears could ever imagine. They start the research process for a six-figure purchase with a Google search. They don’t want to talk to your sales reps while they learn about your markets. And they expect their experience with your brand to be as slick and sophisticated as anything that Apple offers. Fall short on that last dimension, and you may never make the shortlist — even if your products or services crush the competition.

To help B2B marketers better understand why branding is more important than ever to their success, my colleagues Shanta Samlal-Fadelle and Matt Camuso and I interviewed more than 20 branding experts and practitioners — the results of which are captured in my new report, “It’s Not About You: B2B Marketers Need To Change How They Think About Branding.” In addition to analyzing the macro mandate for change and painting a picture of the benefits you can expect for taking a customer-obsessed approach to branding, we provide detailed guidance on how best to approach the practical matters of measurement, messaging, and process management.

Take a read and let us know what you think.