Time for B2B Marketers to move to the fore

In a new industry report, created in partnership with B2B Marketing, Stein IAS explore the impact of Coronavirus on B2B Marketers. And the pandemic provides a timely reminder that Martech Connection Means Human Connection, the agency’s Chairman and Chief Client Officer, Tom Stein, writes.

Download the report here

For the past several years, Stein IAS has teamed up with B2B Marketing to explore and share the perspectives of CMOs and senior marketers in the US and UK on the evolution of martech.

Our exploration started with marketers’ early challenge to realise martech’s full value (a challenge that has somewhat abated but by no means been overcome). We later probed progressive marketers’ push from tactical martech to strategic digital marketing transformation, introducing Stein IAS’s own Digital Marketing Transformation Framework.

This year’s report represents another progression, but with a major influence. The Covid-19 pandemic has played havoc with the world – and certainly the world of B2B marketing. It

is extremely noteworthy, as we find in the report, that far from being blunted, martech’s ascendance continues.

Most marketers had planned to continue their investment in martech. The pandemic and all-digital environment it ushered in has actually added impetus (and c-suite support) to these plans.

Most marketers had moved to one extent or another to full-blown digital marketing transformation. Now, Covid-19 has created an inflection point. Digital marketing transformation to enable deeper (and again all or mostly digital) engagement with customers has become of urgent and paramount importance.

With the pandemic and its necessitated shifts to more customer-supportive and empathetic communications, to higher-quality content at all funnel stages, and to enlivened digital experiences reflective of people’s yearning for human connection, marketers are stepping up to meet this need.

For the report, we interviewed some of B2B’s most forward-thinking marketers. And those interviews – in addition to my own ongoing conversations with CMOs all over the world – shows that there is change afoot.

Over the past decade or more, marketers have built real muscle. They have developed the skills around data and technology, insights and analytics, real-time intelligence and relevant messaging, agile ways of working and adaptability.

And, they have risen to the occasion. They have addressed the crisis from the front lines, pivoted to all-digital engagement solutions to support their sales colleagues, overcome the loss of the physical event channel, and on and on.

This is a time of great uncertainty. How the near and longer-term future plays out can only be a matter of conjecture right now. But there is a something of which I am certain: B2B marketers have led from the front lines.

And now at the fore, we won’t look back.

Download ‘Martech Connection Meets Human Connection’ here