“For me, this is the best time to be a B2B marketer. It’s not only B2B marketing’s opportunity, but it’s B2B marketing’s responsibility to take back control of the buying cycle.” Forceful words from Nick Heys, CEO of Jabmo, a global ABM platform serving industrial and manufacturing businesses, bio-sciences and healthcare.
The opportunity described by Heys has been created against the backdrop of a pandemic — and an associated economic crisis — which has forced businesses across the full spectrum of digital maturity, to double down on digital marketing and sales strategies. To gauge the extent and significance of this transformation, we spoke not only to Heys, but to Stacy Greiner, an IBM and Cisco veteran who joined Dun & Bradstreet, the global business intelligence vendor, as CMO in March 2020, just as the pandemic tightened its grip.
Sales and marketing in alignment
Budgetary pressures, and the continuing trend towards ABM, is making upfront alignment with sales a necessity for B2B marketers. “We’ve seen that partnership become critical, and in 2021 is only going to continue to be even more critical: one go-to-market motion,” said Greiner.
“Before the pandemic,” Heys told us, “there were two big trends in our customers’ space. One was that the buying groups were getting bigger. We’ve had customers telling us that, ten years ago, they were selling million dollar deals to two or three people after playing golf; now they’re talking twenty, thirty, forty people involved in a buying decision. That was already a big trend, leading to a demand for account-based marketing. The other trend was buyers doing their own research anonymously, without filling in the web forms.” These trends have been apparent in technology purchasing space for several years; it’s significant that they’re now being seen in traditionally less digitally mature industries like manufacturing.
Source: MarTech Today