Major B2B Global Research Study Finds Safety, Trust, and Customer Experience are Crucial for Success in a Competitive and Dynamic B2B Marketplace
Merkle, dentsu’s leading technology-enabled, data-driven customer experience management (CXM) company, launched its global B2B Superpowers Index; the guide for brands endeavoring to deliver exceptional B2B experiences and increase their customer base. The report was developed by Merkle B2B, which provides an integrated suite of specialized capabilities, tailored to the needs of global B2B organizations.
This global research report combines quantitative and qualitative data from B2B buyers across different industries – including technology, financial services, manufacturing, and professional services – and across key markets around the world. It is the third edition of the Superpowers research survey, which tracks year-on-year trends and aims to support B2B brands in developing strategies for the future.
“B2B brands and buyers are looking for more from their vendors and partners. Much like we’ve seen in the consumer space, a subpar experience isn’t cutting it anymore, and B2B is finally entering the CX arena,” said Patrick Hounsell, Merkle’s activation and global B2B lead. “We’ve seen increased similarity in how we approach B2C and B2B loyalty, and the biggest focus has become customer experiences. Just as marketers are elevating CX for consumers, B2B sales and marketing teams must do the same for their buyers.”
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As the economy continues to face challenges, de-prioritizing B2B relationships could hurt brands in the long run. The B2B Superpowers Index acts as a resource for B2B teams by revealing the key factors that influence buying decisions and providing context, key learnings, and recommended applications of findings to ensure business leaders have a roadmap for success. Insights from this year’s Superpowers Index include:
- The growing competitor landscape in B2B: On average, B2B buyers are evaluating a higher number of potential partners when making purchase decisions, and are taking longer to make their final decisions – creating further obstacles for B2B brands looking to win new business.
- The B2B performance gap is narrowing: The performance gap continued to narrow between leading brands and second place contenders. This divergence underscores the increased competition in B2B markets, and the critical importance of continuous innovation. More and more B2B buyers are making decisions to eliminate existing suppliers or make changes to their vendor roster.
- The need for buyers to feel safe: One concern that didn’t surface in the inaugural 2019 report is the importance of feelings of safety in signing a contract with a supplier. Safety as a decision factor has been skyrocketing to the top of many buyers’ lists, and is now one of the most important factors influencing vendor selection.
Hounsell added, “As B2B sees a period of growth, it can be intimidating for leaders to anticipate and understand the needs of buyers. This indispensable index provides direct access to insights into what today’s B2B buyers want most. Prioritizing the customer experience will not only improve relationships in the near term, but also help build long-lasting partnerships for years to come.”
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