In December, B2C marketing analysts Joe Stanhope and Rusty Warner and B2B marketing analyst Lori Wizdo hosted the second annual martech roundtable to help marketers make informed decisions against the backdrop of these exciting and disruptive trends in marketing technology. In part two of our martech roundtable webinar recap, we’ll delve into high-level marketing trends and marketing technology strategy.

B2B And B2C Convergence: Two Sides Of The Same Coin

For the past few years, there’s been a lot of talk about how the behavior of business buyers is impacted by our experiences as consumers. We heard more about this topic from clients in 2019 than in previous years. The central idea typically originates from a B2B perspective that B2B marketers need to borrow from the arsenal of the B2C marketer. What’s become clear is that the exchange goes both ways. In the last year or so, we’ve seen B2C marketers looking at the B2B marketer toolkit and implementing more of a managed engagement process across the lifecycle. They’re looking to get less transactional by leveraging technologies traditionally used in the B2B realm. For consumer marketers whose product or services move through a direct sales channel, or involves an extended or high-consideration purchase cycle, the concept of a managed lead-to-revenue process is really taking hold. And vendors are quickly following these trends by rebalancing roadmaps and making investments that ensure their relevance to both B2B and B2C buyers.

How Big A Deal Is B2B2C?

The concept of B2B2C marketing is gaining rapid acceptance, which isn’t surprising considering the huge proportion of the world’s products that reach the end customer through a channel of some type such as reseller, distributor, or dealer. B2B2C is a real route to the customer that shouldn’t be discounted, nor should its legitimacy be confused with the fact that most marketers tend to focus on just one aspect of the market such as the business, channel, or consumer buyer. Business marketers in particular need to start thinking about the customer experience more holistically because that customer experience is going to be impacted by every touchpoint across the customer’s journey. Consumer packaged goods and the direct-to-consumer phenomenon are an example of where we see the disruptive push and pull of B2B and B2C, and we’re seeing requirements for through-channel marketing automation to address customer data management, leads, campaigns, and marketing automation where local partners need support.

Martech Strategy: Evolving To Support Moments-Based Marketing Is Critical

The concept of engaging in customers’ moments is a major driver of technology evolution. Marketing in moments requires more data, more touchpoints, more granularity, and incredible velocity. Realistically, marketers will transition their capabilities to support moments gradually. Nobody will throw out cross-channel campaign management environments overnight, nor would we recommend it. Firms need a marketing technology roadmap that builds out an ecosystem to complement campaign environments with capabilities to address moments-based marketing and customer experience requirements. Updated technical requirements will span data management, identity resolution, advanced analytics, and content management. But above all, moments-based marketing is a strategy, regardless of the technologies involved. It’s critical to understand the buyer’s journey and engineer an engagement strategy to help move the buyer through that journey with contextual insight to offer up the right experience.

We expect 2020 to be an interesting and consequential year for marketing technology. And we’d love to hear how your marketing technology strategy is shaping up for 2020. Please contact us to request an inquiry to discuss the topic further.

This is the second blog post in a three-piece series recapping the December 2019 martech roundtable. Be sure to read part 1 on Joe Stanhope’s Forrester blog and part 3 on Rusty Warner’s Forrester blog.