Study: Just 12% Of B2B Marketers Prepared For Digitally Empowered Customers

If they don’t tightly align, marketing and sales leaders could see their positions consolidated under that of a chief commercial officer, according to

Bain & Company.

Study: Just 12% Of B2B Marketers Prepared For Digitally Empowered Customers

The digitally empowered customer has pushed traditional B2B marketing models past their expiration date, according to new research published by Bain & Company.

Bain’s “Bought Not Sold: Marketing And Selling To Digitally Empowered Business Customers” study warns marketing and sales against operating in silos. Although that isn’t a new piece of advice to organizations, Bain’s reasoning is unique.

“Marketing and sales need to be tightly aligned, or they will ultimately perish,” said Bain & Co. partner Mark Kovac. “Otherwise, the CMO and the head of sales will be replaced by a chief commercial officer that, through organizational structure integrates, those two functions.”

Bain surveyed more than 370 marketing and sales executives, nearly half of whom reported that digital has significantly changed the behavior of B2B buyers. Here’s the troubling news: Only 12% said they feel well-prepared for the new realities.

According to the study, some B2B companies have already responded to the shifts in customer behavior. They share three traits: They create and deliver relevant, insightful content; they have a single view of the customer; and they provide customers with a tailored, dynamic experience throughout the buying process.

The report details companies that are leading the pack.

“My advice to CMOs and heads of marketing is up the game on premium content and thought leadership content,” Kovac said. “Shift spending away from the brand. And triple down on aligning your organization with the sales organization.”

Click here for the full report.