Marketers recognize there is a clear delineation between their target audience, they are either marketing to another business or to a consumer. And each of those comes with extraordinarily different needs and approaches.
And you’ve certainly have a well-educated buying community in B2B. And it’s one that relies on peers more than brand promises. Referrals were again ranked the top source for quality leads with nearly two-thirds of B2B companies (65%), according to a report by 99Firms. Email, SEO, and social media are also in the mix for surging B2B marketing tactics.
CMSWire’s CX Decoded co-hosts Rich Hein and Dom Nicastro caught up with Tim Greulich, managing director at Deloitte Digital, to discuss the latest trends in B2B marketing.
Note: This transcript has been edited for space and clarity.
Rich Hein: Tim, welcome to the CX Decoded podcast.
Tim Greulich: Thank you, Rich. Thanks, Dom. Nice to meet you all.
Rich: Tim, why don’t you start with some background on yourself? What does the managing editor and team do at Deloitte? And what are you focused on most recently?
Tim: So thank you for that introduction. I’m a leader in the Deloitte Digital experience management practice, and what does that mean? I mean, we in Deloitte Digital report to Deloitte Consulting, an experienced consultancy that focuses on helping our clients drive growth, and we do that through kind of bringing together the key aspects of creative strategy of technology and data to create really integrated engagement solutions that are different for your B2C or B2B customers.
And so I wake up every day trying to figure out how do we take customer feedback, primary customer information, and what we know about the changing behaviors of our customers? And how do we put that into a place that we leverage technology to really make and create differentiated experiences with human scale, and do them in a way that can meet every customer on their terms and their needs. And that’s not easy to do in today’s complex world.
Rich: I mean, I don’t want to get into the weeds here, but can offer an example?
Tim: One example of things that we do as a firm, is think about a financial insurance company. And think about how they have customers that are consumers that buy their product. But you also have agents that are customers of theirs that end up selling their products. And so how do you create programs that engage those agents, both from understanding what they need, from an enablement perspective, but also creating campaigns about how to share information so that they be considered successful? But also creating ways that they can feel connected to a company so that you keep them, you keep your talent. How you do all of that, based upon customer feedback, and do it in real time requires not only organization but a lot of governance and processes and a lot of tech to do it in a very personalized manner. So those are those are things that we address as one example.
Dom: Tim, we like to think our audiences as well-advanced in the trenches with many, many years of marketing experience, but we always have to remember there might be some folks listening that might be at the beginner level, maybe they switched over to marketing recently. So can you give us a clear definition of B2B marketing versus B2C marketing? I know when I was a reporter, starting at CMSWire in 2014, I really had to dig in, say, alright, wait, so this is what they mean by B2B? OK, so a business takes it, and they sell to another business. Oh, I got it now. But lay out that foundation, some of those key concepts of B2B marketing versus B2C.
Tim: You kind of gave us a good overview, right? B2B is about accounts. It’s about selling a product or a set of services from one company to another, and engaging kind of all the multiple stakeholders that are involved from an account perspective and educating them on your product and service and your value. But if you think about it, when you compare the two you can adjust B2C at its core. B2B marketing is always and will always be about the people that are buying your services. It’s about kind of meeting their rational needs on a one-to-one basis and creating trust with them, and then building emotional connections with them.
If you think about it from a B2C side, this is maybe the easy analogy to use. If you’ve got a friend, it’s one-to-one, you can be an acquaintance. And as you get to know each other, you move all the way up to loyal friends. If you think about that, from a B2B perspective, that’s not a one-to-one relationship. It’s more like navigating and managing a family dynamic, right? You’ve got multiple people that you’ve got to take care of, you’ve got long lifecycles that you’ve got to keep people engaged. And so it just makes it a very, very unique category to deal with.
Dom: Yeah, just like a family reunion, B2B marketing, if you can imagine that, like, everybody’s there, as opposed to just hanging out with one buddy at a bar, that’s B2C.
Rich: I will be somewhere else if my whole family is there.
Dom: You’ll be at the bar with your one buddy.
Tim: Another problem with B2B marketing, right? Somebody isn’t there, and they show up at the last minute, you’ve still got to engage them?
Rich: And it’s a whole other layer of complexity you’re dealing with, because you know, you have obviously have the person who you deal with. And then you have all the stakeholders that are attached to whatever the purchase or whatever the services that you’re selling to them.
Dom: Exactly, Rich. One key executive was on vacation for two weeks in our company. And if anyone tried to sell to us, in a B2B sense, we would be like, no, see us in two weeks? Because no one’s pressing buttons while that person was gone.
Rich: Very true. Tim, what would you say have been the biggest changes to B2B marketing strategies over the last two years? For example, you know, we’re seeing some surprising numbers out there. One HubSpot survey said that more B2B marketers are using Facebook over LinkedIn, for example, which surprised me. What are some of the big shifts for B2B marketing strategies that you’ve been seeing?
Tim: Here’s a couple of off top of my head that I think are probably being felt by most B2B marketing practitioners and leaders. And some of them that I’ll reference here are kind of driven by the fact that expectations are changing over time. The world’s changed with more global, more on-demand.
But I think the pandemic has also probably accelerated some of these. One trend is the shift to digital engagement. You guys mentioned Facebook. LinkedIn is a delivery channel, but it’s also just a shift to digital and how people access content, how that content needs to be more readily available, and content and marketers used to make for salespeople to use in meetings now has to be in a different consumption manner, and has to be available on video, and they’re just different media that has to be used.
If we think about that family dynamic that we talked about, the number of people involved in these purchases just keeps growing and keeps increasing and interaction time does. And so what that’s doing is it’s creating the need for two things: one for more educated buyers, and therefore, more content that is tailored to different types of people along the way.
And also, you need to engage people in a longer setting. Now marketing could have just been initially to create value, create interest, and then go on for the close. Now they’re taking longer. You have to create interest for a long time and also build the case. So we’re seeing trends, and not only how you engage with people, but who you need to engage with and how long? And that’s creating a shift in how you need to understand people and how you interact with them from a marketing perspective.
Rich: We’re content creators here at CMSWire. So something you said that interested me is that you kind of have to create content for people at each level of whatever organization you’re trying to approach. How do you do that?
Tim: Well, it’s not only each level, it’s each stage of the engagement cycle to or the journey. Because people come in and out. So there’s really a need, and we talk about it as marketing leaders. We talk about personalization, but then there’s really a need to truthfully understand customer journey and in depth that’s just beyond who you think your buyers are and extending that to kind of the broader set of buyers and users. And then it’s really about the data that you can access around them in order to figure out the timing of where you engage.
And then, you know, from a content perspective, a lot of the content gets reusable, but it has to be flavored to the person that’s going to use it at the time. So there’s a lot of different dynamics that have to be mixed to get out one specific personalized one content.
Dom: Tim, Deloitte Digital recently uncovered that for B2B marketing relationships, those that involve outdated approaches are sure to fail. And those that prioritize human-centric strategies and capabilities are proven to be successful. So what are some examples of those outdated approaches, and then on the flip side, the human-centric strategies that actually do work?
Tim: The research that you reference clearly said that the organizations that engage in these two-way relationships and design these interactions that were potentially not more human; think about downloading a product spec, or something like that. They engage them to feel more human and they created active listening programs, actual feedback loops. People engaged customers on their terms, and they perform better in terms of revenue and overall experience scores than those organizations that that didn’t.
And so, you know, the organizations that succeed are gonna be the ones that think as much about the way in interaction is perceived everything from who’s reading it, to what level of information, they need to get out of it from the data that they need to tailor that interaction so it can be personalized, to actually protecting that data that drives personal experience.
And that’s one thing that we don’t talk about from a marketing perspective. And if we’re gonna get deep on understanding people and allow them to create more human relationships, we have to be very protective of that data, as well, because a breach of that data is a breach of trust. And if we lose trust, we’re going to ultimately not be able to engage with the organization. So thinking about it in that way, and then putting that human lens on it, it may take time to build that into your process, but it ends up being worth it in the end.
Rich: So are you basically baking in security right from the beginning? Like, do you have security stakeholders at the very beginning of the projects?
Tim: Yeah, I mean, at the beginning of the projects, and just kind of in general, when you think about your organization, there’s somebody that probably needs to be in charge of data governance from a security perspective, and how you’re sourcing data. We did another similar study, and kind of asked customers what data they would be interested in sourcing. If you think about going cookieless now and that type of stuff going away, the better engagement you have with somebody, the more apt they are to provide you information, which can be a huge competitive differentiator. But you’ve got to protect it, too. So it’s a double-edged sword, right? You have to have a role for security; they actually have to be involved early in the conversation.
Dom: It’s such an incredible inflection point for marketers, isn’t it, Tim? Because you were told that you should collect, collect, collect data, right? And now you’re told don’t do that. Or if you do it, you’ve got to follow this law; you’ve got to follow GDPR, CCPA. This is such a dilemma for marketers who have been told to personalize the heck out of everything. And now they’re told to well, you know, yeah, you can personalize but you might get fined a couple million dollars for it if you don’t be careful with the data.
Tim: It’s struggle, but I think it also presents an opportunity because we’ve collected so much data. And when you think about it, how much of it, are we actually using? There’s a time when you kind of have to be self-reflective and say, which is the valuable information that we have and which stuff is just creepy?
Dom: Exactly. Our own research, the CMSWire 2021 State of Digital Customer Experience Report, found that marketers are having trouble understanding customers digital behaviors; 56% said the tools that are in place to gain understanding, but limited actions have yet to be taken. So they have these tools, they collected data, but they’re just not getting good actions out of them. Another 27% said some tools are in place, but they’re not yielding a good understanding of behavior. These findings sort of jibe with yours and B2B marketing other tools for the B2B marketers effective in this?
Tim: They do jibe on the B2B side. What’s kind of scary on the B2B side, too, is if you ask organizations kind of where their data sits, I think it’s more than 40% of marketers couldn’t tell you that where their data resided in the organization. They know they have it, but they don’t know where it sits or where they got it from. So it’s absolutely kind of the same from a B2B perspective in that technology and tools are there. I think in the B2B side, they’re just a lot more fragmented on where that data is collected and they have a more difficult time piecing it together into a cohesive view of a customer? So that then, in theory, makes it harder to act on that information.
Rich: When you go into a lot of these organizations, what are the major things that you typically see? And then how do you work to align the sales and marketing and project management and all that together?
Tim: Think about three general problems that somebody is looking to solve, whether it be acquisition or retention. One is they know they’ve got a problem, a business problem somewhere, somehow I need to drive growth. I need to retain more customers, but they don’t even know where to start. And the question is, can you help me figure out where to start, where my biggest pain points are, and how to go engage from there.
The second one is, I can tell you where my problem is, but what I can’t tell you is what I need to do with it. And so we’ll engage with those organizations to kind of do an assessment of kind of the specific problem areas that they have. And then we’ll help come up with recommendations on how to address those those recommendations are usually both organizational process and technology.
And the third thing is we know we’ve got a problem. I know what my recommendations are, but I don’t know how to scale it. And those problems are generally more about how do you take the technology that you have, understand what is there, what data needs to be connected, what information systems can be used for delivery, what decisioning automation tools need to be put in place, and how do you tie that back to a broader customer journey and outcome? And so we kind of work through those scenarios.
But in general, we help organizations really organize around what outcome are they looking to solve for in order to solve for that outcome. What capabilities do you need to enhance and build? And then once you know what those are, we help them build those capabilities, and oftentimes run it for them at the end.
Dom: Sounds easy. Piece of cake, crank it out in a day.
Rich: So what are these organizations typically looking for? Are they looking to shorten the sales funnel cycle? Or are they just looking to address specific problems within their organization or touch points in the customer journey?
Tim: The consulting answer: it depends. And there’s a wide variety of things that we fix, but most of the customers and clients that I work with are looking at moving to kind of a more channels, engagement strategy. So they have an engagement marketing strategy set up from an email base, they’ve got digital in play, they’ve got potentially still print in play and they’re engaging their customers based upon acquisition goals, or retention goals that are dictated by a specific business or a specific business function within them. And they’re realizing that their customer base is interacting with them across multiple channels. They’re probably over-serving them with information, and they’re saying how do I get more engaged with my customers? And so where they are, how do I look at marketing now from a siloed organization and channel-based to this kind of omnichannel view of the world and what does it take to get there?
So that’s, that’s where I focus most of my time, is helping organizations move from their siloed channels to this more kind of ubiquitous omnichannel ever-present engagement, where they’re engaging across multiple channels, and we’re providing content to meet you where you are.
Dom: Do you see any potential shifts? As we return to in-person interactions, business-building, are there any unique opportunities to maybe connect in different ways for B2B marketers with potential clients?
Tim: I think the pandemic just accelerated and almost took a paradigm that I think we all knew was true from a marketing perspective, and just kind of smacked it in the face and said, you know what? B2B, you don’t have to be in-person all the time. It’s great to be in-person. And there is a lot of benefits to being in-person.
But we need to do it in the right way. And we need to do it at the right time. In the research that we did, we asked about these hybrid work environments, and how do you engage? And we asked sellers, when do when do you need to engage buyers, and there was a huge disconnect, as in the timing. Buyers want to be engaged in a personal manner. They want in-person meetings, they want in-person communications that they prefer to be post sale for the most part, while sellers had a completely different perspective on that priority. They thought they had to be in front of them to drive a sale and post-sale wasn’t important. And that gap was like almost 20% of a difference.
And I think that’s kind of huge. And it has a real impact from a marketing perspective, because I think we’re going to have to think about how we’re engaging our prospects in various digital different forms. And we don’t want to have more webinars, but how do we make webinars kind of more interesting and more personal to those points? You talked about different forms of content creation. That has got to be a number one priority and making it accessible digitally to customers kind of pre-purchase.
And if you flip the dynamic, and we talk about post-sale, and now we’ve got people that are not necessarily sales people always going onsite who are used to delivering kind of brand messaging. Now you’ve got your customer success teams that are probably going to be onsite and more often, because those are the ones that are driving the value of the product. How does marketing leverage those groups to deliver a message, and how does the message morph to be around the value of the solution and the value of the solution within your industry? And how do you take that and repurpose that for other uses?
So I think there’s lessons to be learned in that we can engage in ways that were not as traditional before, and we should probably accelerate the use of those. I think there’s also challenges that we have to address and that the people that were potentially delivering our message before are different individuals with different skill sets and we have to tweak from a marketing perspective how they leverage our content to engage with customers.
Rich: When COVID happened how did that impact a B2B setting? And the reason I asked this is because what we’re seeing in our data from the State of Digital Customer Experience report is that we’re about to do this other shift where the pendulum us swinging back the other way, and people are coming out of their homes and whatnot. And there’s going to be another shift in customer behavior. So I was just curious to know how COVID impacted the B2B side? And if you’re seeing the same thing that we’re seeing.
Tim: I mean, I think is an interesting impact on B2B. Those that embraced the different forms of communication were more successful, those that were empathetic and we talked about empathy, I can talk about it as, you know, restructuring contracts to be able to suit business needs of everybody kind of feeling the same pain. But I also think about empathy as being able to listen to your customers. So those that had mechanisms in place to listen were pretty successful.
I also think those that spent time promoting their brand and really thinking about driving solutions with current customers, incumbency became important. I think those that were incumbent at places tended to see more opportunities, and so as a result of them being there, and actually their value being communicated, I think was was beneficial.
So I think with things opening up, I do think you’ll see that value of incumbency maybe diminish a little bit as things will open back up to more conversations, they’ll be more competition. But at the same time, I think if you’ve learned from your customers, and you put that into your marketing practices and sales practices, you’ll see success there.
Rich: I definitely wanted to get into best practices of a B2B marketing playbook. Your teams have uncovered what you’ve identified as four key approaches successful leaders are taking to humanize interactions. Win customers and of course retain the ones they already have, systemizing trust, prioritizing empathy, calibrating timing and content and personalizing every action. So if you wouldn’t mind, let’s break all this down and learn why they’re important. Starting with systemizing trust, what does the audience need to know here? And how do you measure efficacy?
Tm: Trust is becoming more and more a key kind of driver of revenue loyalty. I think we’re seeing that in a bunch of the papers people are doing. People are doing more research on trust, there’s trust scores. Deloitte has a trust score, as a way to weigh and measure the impact that we’re using. Intuitively, I think it makes sense to all of us that if we don’t trust somebody, we’re not going to buy from them or engage in activities with them.
But it’s interesting. In that same study, when we asked about trust, there’s still a gap, again, between buyers and sellers. Think about other small things around trust around making the same small mistake multiple times, those were impacts of trust and 41% of prospects said I’m not going to engage with sellers that I don’t trust.
When you asked sellers if trust was a big thing, I mean, on the other hand, they’re saying only 27% of them thought that would impact their deal. So I mean, there’s a 14-point gap in such a really simple concept that I think that we need to as organizations look at a better way to make that information more available to people and kind of systemize it. And so in the way you do that, in an organization, is you do it through culture. You’ve got to build a culture of discipline, around trust. It has to be kind of built into your everyday operating rhythm. You have to build feedback mechanisms, that are able to get information back in real-time. And to your point, measure the effectiveness of either your marketing or the trust that your somebody has with you.
And finally you’ve got to create instrumentation that flags when we see increases and decreases in trust, and allows us to act on those things, and more importantly, drives accountability. So at the end of the day, it’s about building this into your everyday process, and putting in systems and processes to actually measure the impact.
Rich: Dom and I in our last podcast episode were specifically talking about customer trust metrics. What are the actual metrics that you use to measure customer trust? Is there something attached to that?
Tim: We’ve used a wide variety of things all the way from NPS as an indication of loyalty all the way through kind of other metrics. But recently, the firm has coalesced around what we call a trust measurement. And there’s kind of four drivers of trust that we measure: it’s humanity, it’s competency, it’s transparency, and it’s reliability. And we measure those through a primary research: we kind of ask people how you’re feeling about those four factors and their ability to impact your trusted organization.
And then, based upon those factors, and some of the other behaviors that we see from different channels, we can actually predict trust for those people that maybe we don’t have a direct response for. So that’s that’s the best way that we’ve seen recently and to be able to kind of measure trust and quantify which specific lever is actually impacting your trust score and what you can do about it.
Dom: And Tim, this is something that needs to be built over time. That’s like any relationship and human endeavors. It’s a time thing. It takes time. I mean, I don’t know about you, but every interaction I have that I’m spending money, I don’t trust anybody. I go into like a car shop for the first time I don’t trust them, you kidding me? And then when they deliver on their promises, my trust meter gets higher and higher.
I get that a takes a heck of a lot of time and kind of hand in hand with that building trust comes empathy and that was another one of your findings. You know, prioritizing empathy. I’m a little skeptical of the whole empathy promise. I’m not skeptical that you don’t have to have empathy. But how it actually measures back to business results. Like is there like an empathy ROI meter? I would love for you to offer more insights on that.
Tim: No, I’m with you, too. I mean, I’m naturally a bit skeptical. We think of empathy in the same way that you kind of described it from an action perspective. There’s being empathetic to somebody that you can do in-person. And there’s a softer side of understanding your business or your business situation and making short-term adjustments.
But when we think about empathy, we think about it more in the aspect of listening and reacting to customers into whatever options or ideas that they need in making improvements to your business that reflect their needs, not just yours. So Dom, as you mentioned, it’s about listening so that you can continue to deliver on those rational challenges that are out there, and you keep meeting the bar from a rational perspective, you’ll eventually hit this inflection point where you can build trust, and then from trust allows you to build more emotional relationships.
Now, it’s a little bit more difficult at the B2B level, because we’ve talked about there are multiple stakeholders, and they have multiple different needs. But at the same way, if you build mechanisms to listen, you build mechanisms to gather feedback, you’ll understand what rational needs are not being served, or being served, and you build strategies to fix them, or emphasize the value that you’re driving from them. And that then buys you the opportunity to earn trust, and from trust comes partner type of relationship.
You asked about ROI. And I think there is an ROI for trust. I mean, in our study, when we talked about people that embrace these kind of empathetic actions and principles, you know, they actually outperformed their peer group by about 20% from a revenue perspective. So if being empathetic will give you 20% more uplift on revenue, I think that’s probably something we’d all sign up for.
Rich: Could you actually offer a real-world example there?
Tim: There’s an organization that I work with at the moment, and, you know, they sell computer equipment, and they service big organizations and their shift to empathy on a B2B side was really trying to get into the mind of the end users and think about not just the physical hardware, but what was on the hardware.
And as I started to think about what that meant, a lot of what was outside of their control was the internal IT departments that were supporting those machines and those machines just became the vehicle. And so they took a new kind of campaign and approach to work with those IT departments to kind of leverage some of the tech and feedback and data that they got about their customers and to share with them opportunity areas to not only improve the internal IT process and the hardware, but to improve how the IT teams serviced the end users.
And what that started creating was initial set of trust. We’re looking at problems and helping solve our problem. We’re looking at ways to make our service better. And customers are starting to fix rational problems, which then create a two-way dialogue not only between the IT group and the account leader, but also the IT group allowed for more access to users that were using the system that we talked about in the B2B environment.
You’ve got procurement, you’ve got the direct people that are maybe potentially buying it. But a lot of feedback comes into them from end users, the consumers of the solution, and now that we had access to that, we were able to craft solutions that supported that buying group, and therefore, we lead to more more purchases, more upsells, and that type of thing. And that was all about being empathetic and listening in a different way. And really trying to solve a problem for the organization that wasn’t necessarily a problem for the business selling, because a third problem down the road was impacting their sales.
Rich: What do you do when you go into an organization, and their voice of the customer program is in shambles?
Tim: I think that’s more often than not, actually. You’ve got voice of the customer programs that I think are a lot of times channel-based, so you can’t get a full enterprise picture. So I think, you know, if that’s the case, obviously, you make recommendations on how they can improve their voice of the customer program. There are external benchmarks that you can use; we have talked about that trust ID index, for example, not only can we help organizations measure their own, we’ve done broader studies on trust so we have comparisons across industries so people can see from the broader blinded research how we can do it. We can do a blinded study to kind of get that information.
We can also piece together a lot of the customer journey just from if you take what’s the customer side, you can take kind of all the other interactions, unstructured data from support services, reactions to campaigns, general customer data; you can pull that together to get a picture of kind of how things are looking when you compare that to, especially in the B2B world where you have to account revenue and repurchase rates, you can get a good view from a data perspective as to kind of where the opportunity areas may lie and then you would overlay that qualitative data on top of it.
Dom: Your last couple takeaways from Deloitte’s research, you know which were very important for B2B marketing, were collaborating, timing and content and then personalizing actions. Would love a few insights on on those two dynamics.
Tim: There’s definitely an opportunity to be more systematic as to where we engage and how we engage. And I think there’s some changes from a marketing perspective, and also maybe some changes from a sales perspective that may come down the road as those changes advanced.
But personalization that you brought up, I think that’s one that we’ve all kind of heard about a lot over time, right? We’ve all had these promises that tech and data are going to just massively change how we engage and is going to personalize every interaction, we’re going to get drive more engagement. I don’t believe that premises is wrong, but I think that we may have had a bunch of hyped expectations about how personalization actually works. That being said, personalization is still key in the B2B world; it’s the number one frustration from buyers in our report that vendors never use data that they had about them to actually create a tailored solution. And they actually said, look, if I knew that they had all this information about me, and they didn’t use it, 60% of them said that they wouldn’t actually engage or purchase from from somebody. So the impact is real there.
The challenge is it’s not one-to-one. B2B is a misnomer in some aspects, right? It’s multiple people coming in and out of roles. And so the challenge that marketers have is kind of taking all of that different information and connecting it into a customer view over time. So marketers are taking an approach to try to solve that. We’re seeing a lot more organizations taking a hard look at kind of moving data in-house.
We’re seeing a lot more organizations taking a hard look at organizing their account data better using customer data platforms, or account data platforms, pairing that with experienced data platforms to try to get a full view of the customer and kind of qualitatively how they’re feeling, how they’re acting. We’re seeing an investment in machine learning, too, at least at a base perspective, helping with next-best marketing action, but also maybe helping predictive audiences that we need to to engage from.
And we’re seeing a big investment in just re-understanding the customer journey. So before we were looking at it from who were the buyers, the major users, and now we’re trying to figure out more broadly, how does that diverse B2B family fit in? And what do we know about those people and what do we need to know more about so we can interact with them?
Rich: You just brought up the customer journey. So how do you see the B2B customer journey changing over the next year?
Tim: It’s going to become more digital. I think the cycles are going to go longer. But you’re going to have more steps in the acquisition process. From a learning perspective, you’re going to see the journey kind of expand. I think for the players in the journey, you’ll see them be more recognized, which will lead us to need for more data about those players. And I think the metrics that will measure around success will be able to get a little bit more granular around what drives success.
Rich: Just to tie this up for everybody. Can you share what you think are you know the big takeaways for our talk today with the audience?
Tim: B2B marketing is evolving. I think it hasn’t evolved as fast as as B2C, but it’s right there on the doorstep and ready to run. Now, I think part of it is just because people have access to data, you see more B2C marketers moving to B2B companies. And so we’re ready to take that approach.
I think also the pandemic has forced us to move a little bit faster. And so I think from a takeaways perspective, B2B marketing is ready to evolve and run, there’s a lot of challenges from a data aspect around getting organized and better understanding your customers that need to be solved. But they don’t have to be all solved right away. There’s a phased approach that you can do that. And just if you think about getting B2B marketing right, I think there’s a gap in who does it well, and who doesn’t.
So there’s a very interesting way to differentiate yourself from an engagement perspective, and to do that, you have to realize that we talked about trust a lot, and it is about trust, but you’ve got to systemize that throughout your entire organization. Be empathetic, and build those systems to listen and act and meet customers where they are.
Think about what’s different from a timing perspective and content, that’s going to be huge. And personalization is still there, so the more you can understand and recognize that there are multiple people involved, and we can get more information about them, the better off you’ll be. And then absolutely be protective of that data because that first-party data will differentiate you and will also break you if you’re not safe with it.