B2B marketing report: brands and customers are out of sync

For B2B marketing, one in five brands rated boring or unengaging content as a top pain point when researching a purchase. But only 5% of customers agree.

B2B marketing report: brands and customers are out of sync

A majority of marketers in North America think they’re good at personalizing content for target audiences. However, new research uncovers a major disconnect between the personalization buyers want and what marketers are actually delivering.

Cloud-based content experience platform Uberflip recently conducted a study called The Experience Disconnect: 2021 B2B Marketing Report. The company surveyed 500 North American B2B buyers and marketers about their expectations for the buyer journey to see how responses differed. The findings show a real disparity between the experiences marketers deliver and what buyers expect, ultimately resulting in wasted marketing resources and frustrated buyers.

“While marketers work to slash budgets and meet ambitious targets, they need to be thinking critically about what will drive results and engage buyers in a meaningful way,” said Uberflip CMO Randy Frisch. “Amid reduced spending from buyers, it’s our responsibility as marketers to bridge the gap between their expectations and our brand’s value proposition as seamlessly as possible. Our findings show that marketers must start making personalized content assets a priority and start meeting buyers where they are at in terms of their expectations if they want to start cultivating long-lasting customer relationships.”

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The study reveals that, in an effort to personalize the buyer experience, many marketers are missing otherwise easy opportunities. The findings show one in five marketers rated “boring” or “unengaging” content as a top pain point when researching a purchasing decision, yet only 5% of buyers agree. 

The report suggests that marketers are over-prioritizing long-form written content like whitepapers (42%) and e-books (30%), despite customers’ overwhelming interest in user reviews (64%), product tours (43%), and videos (33%).

Additional findings highlighted a considerable discord between marketers and buyers when it came to the importance of content relevancy. Relevant content was buyers’ top driver (61%) for taking action or engaging with a vendor’s website or other digital property. Sadly, however, the relevance of content didn’t even make it into the marketers’ top three.

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See: US retailers must revamp branded content strategy this holiday season

Other key findings

Despite a majority of marketers saying their budgets were cut by 20%, less than a quarter (23%) stated that reducing costs and streamlining operations was a top strategic priority.

A majority of marketers (52%) rate their companies’ ability to personalize content at least a four out of five.

Over half (54%) of the marketers surveyed picked personalized calls-to-action as their top method for getting buyers to take action or engage. Less than one-third of buyers stated it as a driver for taking action.

One in three buyers stated irrelevant content as one of the most frustrating parts of researching for a purchasing decision. This was in contrast to less than a quarter of marketers who said the same.

See: Trends and data: 65+ powerful marketing statistics for 2021

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