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Research

Did digital kill the relationship renaissance? Our take on the B2B relationship report 

As restrictions ease and things start to get “back to normal”, we can once again enjoy the luxury of human interaction, whether that’s heading into the office for a day of collaboration with colleagues or travelling to meet a business partner for coffee, we can all agree time apart has made us more aware of the importance of face-to-face relationships.   

Traditionally, relationships have always been the beating heart of B2B sales and marketing; even if the way of building connections and engaging with audiences has changed quite a bit over the past decade thanks to advances in technology. Whilst digital marketing has certainly made the lives of B2B marketers easier by enabling them to interact with customers and prospects in different ways, the pandemic has certainly made us question if this has eroded the closeness to people in the process? 

An introduction to the B2B relationship report 

We surveyed over 200 B2B sales and marketing professionals to find out what value they place on relationships at different points of the customer lifecycle; what challenges they encounter; and, if technology helps or hinders relationship building. Much to their delight, we put our MD, Rob Skinner and our director, Claire Lamb, in front of the camera to discuss the results and the key themes identified.  

Relationships are critical to making B2B marketing successful 

There’s no doubt that strong business relationships are vital to making B2B marketing successful. But like any other relationship, things can get a little rocky if the right amount of time isn’t invested into the ‘business marriage’. In this video, found out the challenges marketers face when forging better relationships with their customers. 

The customer lifecycle 

Most marketers are confident that they are effective at forging and nurturing relationships at the awareness stage, but our research reveals that the strength of the bond fades as time goes on. Often, there is a tendency to focus effort at the outset to ‘nail the sale’ but less attention is paid to the relationship later on in the partnership – possibly when it’s needed most. Whilst the awareness stage is key, our research shows there are issues at all stages of the customer lifecycle.  

Human Interaction vs Technology 

Whilst the power of digital technology plays a key role in relationship building especially when breaking down location boundaries or helping marketers interact with larger audiences, our report shows that human interaction is still crucial. Find out why businesses need to use the best of both worlds to foster relationships with the future ‘tech savvy’ customer.  

Conclusion 

The last two years has changed the way we communicate as the pandemic pushed us to heavily rely on digital tools to build and maintain relationships. Yet, this also exposed a longing for human interaction, creating the need for businesses to return to the human element of marketing and providing customers with a more personal approach.  

If you’re interested in the research and want to learn more about the importance of relationship building in B2B sales and marketing, head over to our report here. Long live the B2B relationship renaissance! 

Do you understand the importance of relationships in B2B marketing?

Here’s a short video that helps demystify the relationship eco system.

About this article

Read time:

4 minutes

Category:

Research

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