2020 blindsided all of us.
Personally, professionally, you name it.
When 2020 forced people home, the need to meet buyers on their terms rapidly sped up digital transformation for B2B companies.
Buyers now want the same conveniences in their business buying that they get when ordering a book on Amazon or a ride on Uber. And this shift has ushered us into a new era of B2B marketing and sales – something Drift calls the Revenue Era.
Here’s how we got here, what this means for the future of marketing and sales, and a roadmap for how leaders can navigate this paradigm shift:
In the Brand Era (pre-2000s) marketers were completely focused on creating “buzz” through PR and print advertising – think billboards, magazine ads, and TV commercials. Unfortunately, this form of advertising and PR was difficult to measure, making it hard for marketers to show their impact on revenue.
Fast-forward a few decades and we land in the Demand Generation Era (2000-2019). During this time, businesses and consumers were moving activities online to “the cloud.” The rise of digital advertising platforms – like Google and Facebook – as well as marketing technology (marketing automation software) and cloud applications (CRM) helped revenue teams track their marketing spend directly to lead output.
Towards the end of this era, innovators like Amazon and Netflix took advantage of digital to reshape the B2C customer experience. Personalization, self-service, instant gratification, and delivery became commonplace. Soon, other companies followed suit – but B2B was slow to keep up.
Revenue teams must embrace digital and work together across the entire customer journey to drive value. As Drift’s CMO, I’ve seen first-hand the impact Revenue Acceleration and a unified customer experience can have on a company.
Just look at PTC.
PTC wanted to shift from a “product-centric” go-to-market motion to a “customer-obsessed” motion. To do that, they focused on both internal and external-facing digital transformation. That included leveling up their digital experiences for customers – and actioning revenue teams through predictive analytics and real-time engagement tools.