B2B Marketers Fail to Act in Time

August 30, 2018

Even with a sophisticated marketing stack, b2b marketers are inefficient in using data for decision-making due to delays between insights and action.

There is an ever increasing pressure on marketers to have KPI’s directly linked to revenue. Despite this, marketing teams are failing to demonstrate their impact. A recent survey in a white paper by Marketo shows that almost 61% of marketers say they are either fair or poor in this area.

It is puzzling to see almost two-thirds of marketers fail to show their impact despite having cutting edge technology at their disposal. Modern marketing stacks constitute tools capable of capturing customer data, analysing it, and automating marketing operations.

One clue to this puzzle can be obtained by a recent survey of marketers by MIT Sloan Management Review. In the report, only 49% responded that they were able to use data to guide marketing strategy.

This means that though marketers have access to technology that is capable of capturing and analysing data, they still fail to use insights for taking action. But then what is stopping them?

The culprit: Delay in data activation

Analysing current marketing stacks points to a gap: there is a delay between the times when insights are generated and when actual action is taken—insights and action are out of sync. Gartner provides a power framework to make sense of this. The contemporary analytics continuum looks something like this:

The feedback loop you see in the above diagram causes a delay between insights and action. Most of the analysis done by b2b marketers is reactive in nature, inhibiting marketers who actively use prescriptive analytics with decision automation. This means that though they know answers to:

  • What happened? (e.g.: 20% more conversion in a campaign about X service)
  • Why it happened? (e.g.: person Y is inclined in knowing more about X service) &
  • What will happen? (e.g.: 70% chances of conversion if we immediately pitch X service to just person Y)

They still cannot use this knowledge to act in time for results that are impactful.

Marketing stack that can help

As in most cases, technology can save the day for b2b marketers by having a marketing stack with not only a Data & Decision layer, but also an automated Delivery layer.

Here is our take on this solution:

The above diagram shows an ideal stack that can considerably shorten activation time. This delivery layer would capture insights by the decision (analytics) layer and, with the help of tight integrations via APIs, could deliver insights back to campaign and CRM tools for timely action. For example, the system could maintain automated delivery of suggested content to a suggested segment by delivering insights directly into campaign workflow.