Despite the economic downturn, 85% of B2B organisations still expect their digital experience budget to increase next year, which will help 71% of B2B leaders who agree that the digital experience their company offers does not meet the needs and expectations of its customers.
However, facing market uncertainty brought on by the global pandemic, B2B organisations must adapt to changes in how they connect with customers as 54% of leaders in IT, marketing and ecommerce roles define their company’s customer relationships as strained, developing or non-existent.
That’s According to data from Episerver’s B2B Digital Experience Report, which says that delivering relevant, personalised digital experiences has emerged as a top priority and direct selling as the most significant opportunity for B2B leaders navigating a new reality.
The March 2020 survey of 600 global decision-makers in IT, e-commerce and marketing roles at B2B organisations indicates 41% of respondents believe selling directly to customers online is the most significant opportunity for their business in the next year, followed by expanding into new geographies (37%) and providing their salesforce with digital selling tools (36%).
“It is clear from our data and conversations with customers that digital transformation is being accelerated to address immediate needs due to COVID-19,” said Alex Atzberger, CEO of Episerver. “Direct-to-consumer sales, for example, have been discussed for years, but now the time is there to rethink your go-to-market channel. Getting in touch with customers directly and in a hyper-relevant way is business critical when in-person tactics are impossible to execute. You can’t not be digital anymore; you can’t not create content to create engaging experiences; you can’t not sell directly.”
The survey also discovered that many B2B organisations are struggling to meet customer expectations and are faced with an arduous competitor. Fifty-two percent of B2B leaders believe their company is losing revenue to Amazon, but despite those perceived losses, 52% of B2B leaders also say Amazon is seen more as an opportunity than a threat.
While technologies offer a potential solution to today’s challenges, anxieties remain around the impact of AI and automation on future job security:
- 61% of B2B leaders fear that AI will replace the need for a human worker in their current position in the next five years.
- 82% of B2B leaders say, however, that AI will make them better at their job in the next two years.
- 82% of B2B leaders say better data quality is how AI will make them better at their job in the next two years.