How digitally mature are Northern B2B companies?
The below report, from Stein IAS, accompanies the Prolific North Top B2B Brands 2015
Conducted by Stein IAS and Oracle Marketing Cloud, the Digital Marketing Maturity Index (DMMI) gives B2B marketing leaders an empirical benchmark to compare their digital marketing capabilities with fellow businesses.
Based on responses from mid-size to large B2B brands spanning 40 countries, the DMMI suggests that the landscape is still fairly slow to embrace the latest marketing technologies and processes. Indeed, only six per cent of the global sample could be considered ‘highly mature’ modern marketers.
But how do companies across the North measure up? With the help of Prolific North, we’ve gathered responses from brands across the North West to investigate exactly that.
DMMI Data and Definitions
The questionnaire was based around the four tenets of modern marketing:
- Reach & Attract: How firms segment and target campaigns
- Engage & Inspire: How firms collect data and interact with leads
- Nurture & Convert: How firms qualify prospects and integrate with sales
- Analyse & Optimise: How firms deploy campaigns and quantify success
From the results of the survey, participants were clustered into three categories:
- Digital Master: customer-centric, early adopter of best of breed technologies and marketing practices
- Digital Pragmatist: customer-orientated, mass adopter of mature technology channel and tactics
- Digital Explorer: brand-centric, relatively slow adopter of digital tools and techniques
Top Level Findings
Reach and Attract
8% of Northern B2B brands can claim Digital Master Status in terms of qualifying prospects and integrating with sales (2% above the global benchmark). While nearly a third (69%) are still at the Explorer stage – taking a relatively basic digital marketing approach.
This is because the majority of organisations surveyed (38%) are limiting their reach and ability to perform robust campaign tracking by relying on basic data segmentation techniques to target prospects.
This basic approach to digital marketing is also reflected by the fact that nearly two thirds (61%) of respondents are still very much tied to static, desktop-friendly content vehicles such as PDFs reports, blogs and webinars.
To reach Digital Master status, brands would need to implement technologies to track online and offline behaviours, including the tailoring of content formats and multi-channel activities.
Engage and Inspire
Not one Northern company can claim Digital Master status in their approach to collecting data and interacting with leads. Indeed, just under two thirds (62%) are still at the Explorer stage.
This is reflected by the fact that just under half (46%) structure web platforms according to an old-world, product or solution-focused architecture, providing a limited digital experience for users.
It’s pleasing however to see that over two fifths (46%) use dedicated landing pages for campaigns and assets with lead forms. With that in mind, respondents need to think about the user journey more carefully and become more customer centric. This demands that web platforms and campaign content are both aligned to the buyer journey and not disjointed.
Nurture and Convert
When it comes to how companies qualify prospects and integrate with sales, over half (54%) can claim Explorer status while only 8% can are Digital Masters.
Looking at the results, 38% (2% above the global benchmark) merely operate with a system of open / no click emails, while an equal number only communicate when they have a campaign running. In short, no automation of the buyer journey.
In terms of qualifying leads, just under a third (30%) use lead scoring models based on the web behavior of prospects, with 15% at the pinnacle of digital excellence already exploiting predictive analytics to truly understand prospects’ intent to purchase.
Analyse and Optimise
Over half (54%) of our sample are Explorers in their approach to deploying campaigns and quantifying success. While just 8% can claim Digital Master status – a significant shortfall against the global benchmark of 40%.
Just under a third (33%) have adopted basic campaign automation platforms, while the same number rely on manual processes to distribute campaigns. Only 7% have their own marketing cloud or use cloud based apps to connect data and systems together. That’s despite the fact that these tools have rapidly matured over a number of years and are now more commercially accessible to most brands.
30% of North-based B2B brands can claim Explorer status – just a 6% shortfall against the global benchmark of 36%. However, 0% of brands can claim Digital Master status, compared to the 6% of the global benchmark.
This is because the reality is that no brands within our sample are set up to harness the benefits of The Marketing Cloud which provides a comprehensive view of the customer across all touch points.
To reach Digital Master status, B2B brands need to take heed. Automation is the engine room of The Marketing Cloud; the web site remains the engine room of your brand and demand experience. It's time we took charge of the great digital divide that could otherwise be the downfall of the modern marketing machine.
Rob Morrice, CEO of Stein IAS, said: “In the B2B sphere, brand strength and spend do not necessarily correlate to marketing maturity. B2B buyer journeys are long, our audiences complex, our messages technical and our channels almost all digital. With that in mind, its pleasing to see that the digital marketing maturity of B2B brands across the North isn’t too dissimilar to the DMMI’s global benchmark.
“The reality is that there is room for improvement. Few, if any brands in the North from our sample are set up to harness the benefits of The Marketing Cloud which provides a comprehensive view of the customer across all touch points.
“To reach Digital Master status, B2B brands need to apply themselves single minded. Automation is the engine room of The Marketing Cloud; the website remains the engine room of a brand and demand experience. The research tells us that there’s currently a huge disconnect between the two and it’s time we took charge of the great digital divide that could otherwise be the downfall of the modern marketing machine.”
To evaluate your digital marketing maturity against a global benchmark, visit DMMI.steinias.com