Most B2B manufacturers are struggling to build the digital marketing strategies and purchase guidance that buyers need to make the most informed decisions. Revealingly, a staggering 62% of the 87 brands tracked in Gartner L2’s inaugural Digital IQ Index: B2B Manufacturing US demonstrate “below average” digital competence.
Why the shortfall? B2B companies have historically relied on manual and in-person methods to market and sell their products. Those include connections made at trade shows, tried-and-true sales team relationships, and channel partner agreements that have been in place for eons.
However, as B2B buyers spend more time learning — and buying — online, marketers face increased pressure to advance up the digital curve. Simply put, manufacturing brands must dramatically advance their digital competencies to keep up with massive shifts in B2B buying behavior as well as looming competitive threats (cough: Amazon).
Best-in-class brands such as John Deere and CAT focus their attention on using digital not only to build top-of-funnel demand, but also to move customers to a point of sale, raising the bar across their cohort. By dramatically advancing their digital competencies, from SEO improvements to guided selling upgrades, marketing leaders can better position their companies for growth and defend against both current competitors and incoming threats.