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B2B CMOs around the world are focusing on new buyers and new markets over new offerings when it comes to their growth strategies, a new study from SiriusDecisions has found. That an enhanced customer experience is seen to have the biggest influence on growth strategies in the next 2 years merely highlights the shift towards audience-centricity undertaken by CMOs. This is shared by the wider B2B community, which is also moving towards a more audience-centric approach in its content marketing efforts.

A move towards greater customer-centricity is in fact shared by all CMOs. Recent research indicates, for example, that representing the voice of the customer at the leadership table is one of the most – if not the most – important traits of an effective CMO.

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Standing in the path of an enhanced customer experience, though, are the challenges of organizational readiness and insufficient data, per the report. Separate research into marketers’ customer experience initiatives finds a similar roadblock to improvement is an inability to derive actionable insights from data and analytics. The issue? Fewer than one-quarter have total access to a comprehensive view of the customer…

Meanwhile, another key influencer of B2B CMOs’ strategy is addressing changing buyer behaviors. Here the lack of buyer insights rears its head again as a challenge, along with the related trouble of developing content that satisfies buyers’ needs throughout their decision-making process. New research showing that B2B marketers are testing out content personalization may help meet that challenge, primarily by personalizing the type of content that targets are engaging with.

It looks as though B2B CMOs also see the potential for interactive content and visual storytelling to satisfy buyers’ content needs. This type of content beat out mobile marketing and customer communities as CMOs’ top marketing trend planned for implementation in the next 2 years.

B2B buyers are indeed increasingly moving towards this type of content: research released earlier this year found 41% strongly agreeing that they’ve shifted over the past year to preferring more interactive / visual content that they can access on demand.

B2B Organizations Not Offering Enough Skills Development?

Almost 8 in 10 CMOs reported that their organization offers some kind of skills training and professional development. However, on average, two-thirds spend $1,500 or less on training per person each year.

The lack of organizational commitment to training and professional enablement is reflected in a lack of formal structures. Only about one-third have a unique department such as a marketing university set up to handle marketing enablement, although another 30% have dedicated virtual marketing enablement teams and committees. A sizable share, however, only have ad hoc committees (16%), roles with only a partial focus on enablement (16%), or no function focused on enablement at all (7%).

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The full report from SiriusDecisions is available to view here.

About the Data: The results are based on a survey of 271 B2B CMOs around the world, 49% of whom are from North America. The majority (54%) of respondents come from organizations with more than $250 million in revenues.

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