B2B Wannabes: Most Brands Have A Customer-Centricity Gap, Study Finds
A full 71% of B2B brands admit they have a “customer-centricity gap,” according to B2B Digital Experience Report: A Customer-Centric Pivot In Pivotal Times, a global study by Episerver.
In the healthcare field, that rises to 93% and in the financial services sector it is 85%. The high-tech industry is least likely to have a gap.
A gap occurs when the digital experience offered by a company does not meet the needs and expectations of customers.
Yet 82% of B2B organizations have undergone a digital transformation project. And 37% say their digital experience is what differentiates them as a brand.
Overall, 12% say email is the one marketing channel that helps them reach customers most effectively.
Email is tied for third with paid search. Paid social media is first, cited by 18%, and websites are second, with 14%.
Among marketers, 30% list paid social as an effective channel, while 16% say the same of paid search, 15% of email and 7% of websites.
In contrast, email is seen as productive by 11% in the IT field and 9% in ecommerce.
Meanwhile, 60% plan to invest in personalization by 2022 at the latest, to be followed by a web content management system and an ecommerce platform. And 93% say they “know” personalized web content is
“It is now assumed that any digital engagement will be personalized and often the term is used in a different way,” state Episerver’s Nate Barad.
Barad explains: “Some teams described it as, ‘A follow-up email with suggested research’, many discussed ‘recommended content in emails’ or ‘recommended product based on previous purchases.’.
With things being what they are, 41% now feel their best option is to sell directly to their customer. In general, 47% have a steadfast relationship with their customers, 9% say it’s strained and 3% non-existent.
Among all the departments, marketing is least likely to have a relationship with clients, with 37% calling them steadfast and with 6% saying they are non-existent. Ecommerce is the most engaged area, with 49% saying they have steadfast relationships and no non-existents.
The study also determined that:
- 61% of B2B leaders fear they will be replaced by AI within the next five years. Meanwhile, 82% feel AI will make them better at their jobs in the interim.
- 52% see Amazon as an opportunity.
- 48% have experienced a data breach despite the fact that 91% have taken what they say is every reasonable step to maintain security and compliance.
Episerver surveyed 600 decision makers from the U.S., the UK, Germany, Sweden and Australia in March.