Marketing has become a strategic function in driving revenue growth for B2B companies, but to continue improving, marketing leaders must challenge long-held beliefs and retool their mindsets to embrace the evolving customer lifecycle and complex buying journeys. Let’s explore the ingrained mindsets that B2B marketing leaders must abandon to evolve and thrive.
- The mythical B2B buyer is actually a group. Traditionally, marketers have operated under the assumption that B2B buyers make decisions individually, but research suggests that B2B buying decisions involve multiple participants within organizations. For successful marketing strategies, it is crucial for marketing leaders to shift their perspective and understand the dynamics of buying groups. This understanding allows for better alignment of processes, systems, and sales collaboration to cater to the collective needs of the buying group throughout the customer lifecycle.
- The “handoff and then hands off” mandate is dead. Historically, marketing would hand off potential customers to sales and then disengage, but this approach no longer aligns with evolving customer expectations and complex buying journeys. To foster lasting customer relationships, marketing must extend its focus beyond the initial sale. Marketing and sales need to collaborate throughout the customer journey, supporting renewal, upsell, and cross-sell activities. By recognizing the value that marketing can bring to the sales process beyond the handoff, organizations can optimize customer relationships for long-term success.
- It’s not a purchase you’re after — it’s a lasting customer relationship. Customers now prefer long-term relationships with vendors. Marketing leaders must anticipate evolving customer needs and align campaign efforts accordingly. By focusing on building and maintaining relationships with customers throughout their journey, marketing can support renewal, upsell, and cross-sell activities beyond the initial sale. The partnership between marketing and sales becomes crucial in delivering a seamless customer experience and driving customer loyalty.
- It’s time to redefine what good looks like. While marketing has traditionally focused on new business pipeline, bookings, and revenue contribution, there is a need to redefine performance metrics to reflect the changing landscape. Metrics such as buyer engagement, customer retention, and revenue lift are emerging as performance objectives. Organizations must shift their perspective to measure marketing accountability beyond sourcing to encompass the broader impact of marketing efforts throughout the customer lifecycle.
To succeed in this new era of marketing, B2B marketing leaders must challenge ingrained mindsets and embrace the full customer lifecycle. By recognizing the dynamics of buying groups, fostering collaboration between marketing and sales, nurturing lasting customer relationships, and redefining performance metrics, organizations can drive revenue growth and excel. It’s time to free your mindsets and adapt to the changing demands of B2B marketing to achieve long-term success.