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Four in 5 B2B marketers (83%) say they are going to focus more on data analytics in 2020. In line with this, measurement and analytics technologies emerge as their top investment priority to achieve data-driven marketing and advertising goals. Here are some other platforms B2B marketers will be using, per a report [download page] from Dun & Bradstreet and Adweek Branded.

Among the more than 250 B2B marketers surveyed, 69% say they will be making measurement and analytics an investment priority, the only technology with a majority consensus. Nonetheless, respondents also say they will be investing in marketing automation platforms (45%), data management platforms (39%), customer data platforms (34%) and content management platforms (34%) to help achieve their data-driven marketing goals.

Although respondents say they consider measurement and analytics technologies to be an investment priority, that doesn’t mean they currently don’t have them. In fact, an overwhelming majority (92%) say they are currently using campaign measurement and analytics tools already in their marketing stack, though fewer (37%) said they are currently using the advanced functions of these technologies.

Almost 9 in 10 respondents (88%) are also using customer relationship management (CRM) technologies, with 33% of them using the advanced functions and 52% using the basic functions. Although the percentage of respondents who are using CRM has increased from last year (84%), fewer appear to be using the more advanced functions of the technology.

Prior research has shown that nearly half (48%) of marketers using marketing automation say they are always able to prove ROI because of the technology. Despite this, only 57% of B2B marketers and agencies surveyed report using a marketing automation platform, although another one-quarter (25%) do say they plan to use it in the next 12 months. The remaining 18% of respondents say they have no plans to use marketing automation.

A focus on data-driven marketing is not without its challenges. Some of respondents’ biggest challenges center around customer data, with respondents citing siloed or inaccessible customer data (27%), incomplete customer data (27%) and the accuracy of customer data (21%) as their biggest obstacles to succeeding with data-driven marketing.

A separate study by Arm Treasure Data also identified siloed data as a major challenge to gaining insight from data. Additionally, the business professionals surveyed in that report said that they also were dealing with the challenge of a lack of knowledge or capacity to extract insight from their data. Dun & Bradstreet/Adweek Branded’s survey respondents also found a lack of data expertise (26%) to be an obstacle.

Customer Experience Across Channels Critical

The majority (87%) of respondents agree that B2B organizations need to be as focused on customer experience as their B2C counterparts, with 46% of them strongly agreeing with that statement.

On top of that, nearly all (94%) respondents believe it is important for their company to deliver a consistent experience across their various digital and offline channels, with three-quarters (74%) of the B2B marketers surveyed rating their company’s ability to do so at least on par with their competitors.

However, looping back into data, one of the biggest hurdles for B2B marketers to deliver better customer experience across channels is their inability to fully leverage data and the data tools they currently have (33%). In addition, other struggle to deliver a consistent cross-channel experience due to problems with a cohesive marketing data strategy (25%) and lack of available data sources (21%).

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Results from the report are based on a multinational survey of 255 B2B marketers and their agencies.

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