The vast majority of B2B brand marketers around the world believe brand marketing plays an important role in the financial value of their company, according to The State of B2B Brand Building 2022 report [download page] from Transmission. Some 81% say that brand is “critical” or “very important” to revenue growth, 78% ascribe that level of importance to the role that brand has to play in the financial value of their company, and 61% say that brand building is a strategic business priority, per the report.
Indeed, other research has highlighted the importance of the brand in B2B sales: one survey asked more than 500 business decision-makers in the US with influence over purchasing decisions at B2B companies to identify the factors that most influence them to make an initial engagement with sales. The top response was the salesperson representing a well-know company with a strong professional brand.
Returning to this latest research, which is based on a survey of 500 senior marketing leaders worldwide in B2B organizations of all sizes and industries, the results indicate that B2B brands are performing well in almost indicators of brand health, though are faring better in some areas than others.
The area in which respondents feel their brand is doing best is brand trust. The average score (on a 5-point scale) for the measure of the brand being seen as reliable, truthful, and trustworthy, was 4.00. This is encouraging, given separate research indicating that brand trust is the main driver of B2B brand affinity.
Close behind, B2B brands are performing well on brand likability (average rating of 3.95), brand compassion (3.9) and brand focus (3.9). However, B2B brands are facing more headwinds in brand differentiation (“our brand stands out from competitors in a good way”), with an average score on this indicator of 3.66.
B2B Brands Are Serving Customers Better Than Employees
Results from the report indicate that B2B brand marketers believe their companies are doing a better job meeting the needs of customers than of their employees. When asked how well their brand currently performs on a range of brand platform components, respondents rated their brands’ relevance to the needs/priorities of its customers highest, with an average score of 4.0 on a 5-point scale. By contrast, respondents rated their brands’ relevance to the needs/priorities of its employees a 3.6, the lowest rating on the list of components.
Likewise, when asked how important B2B brand marketing is to various areas of the company business, the top 3 areas cited in terms of importance were the attraction of new customers (average rating of 4.2), the revenue growth of customers (4.17) and the retention and loyalty of customers (4.15). By contrast, B2B brand marketing is playing less of an important role in the attraction of new talent (3.86) and the retention and loyalty of staff (3.8).
Separately, while just under 8 in 10 respondents said they collect insights from external customers and prospects on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis, almost half (48%) said they occasionally, rarely or never gather insights from internal employees.
Average ratings for the effectiveness of the existing employer brand in achieving various goals also display the need for improvement. The top-rated area of effectiveness for employer brands was transforming the culture in a good way, though this received a mean rating of just 3.3. Other areas registered average ratings of below 3.0, including improving employee belonging and inclusion (2.9) and improving employee job satisfaction (2.82).
For more, download the study here.
About the Data: The results are based on an April survey of 500 B2B brand marketers across Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Singapore, the UK, and the US. Some 27% work at large enterprises ($500+ million), while another 44% are at small to medium enterprises ($10-500 million). The majority (63%) are the primary marketing budget decision-maker, while the remainder have shared decision-making responsibilities or influence the decision-making.