B2B marketers are starting to understand the importance of building brand and upper funnel activity, says Hubspot CMO KippBodnar.
Speaking at the software businesses event about inbound marketing tactics, such as content, in Singapore this week, Bodnar said the blurring between B2B and B2C was starting to be a reality for marketers.
“Historically B2B companies had understated the importance of brand, in exchange for the pipeline or demand, and really tried to hit the revenue targets. But to grow and scale long term you need to build a strong brand that can be trusted in the marketplace and be representative of what you stand for. The B2C folks have always been brand centric and you are seeing that across the B2B side,” he said.
The comments time with research released by the company, which aimed to look at how the businesses need to adapt sales and marketing as there is more technology and information involved in making a decision.
One key finding was the importance of content and how critical information, such as a product demo, was actually needed early on in the decision. The report, ‘Asia Pacific buyers have spoken: sales needs to evolve’, says one third of buyers in APAC seek out product demos very early on and rank sixth overall for content types during the awareness phase-- above best practice tips, expert reports and how to guides. According to Hubspot, this at odds with many organisations that think this information comes later on.
Bodnar said the knowledge about how to use tools like content and having an inbound marketing strategy was more prevalent in consumer-facing brands but that B2B marketers in APAC were starting to catch up.
“In terms of B2B and content, I think maturity comes in two ways: first knowing what to do and second being able to do it. If I think about the market at large, Asia for the most part knows that it need to evolve and be more inbound but the struggle and challenge is how to prioritise the right things, how to get started and then how to scale that over time. That’s where the gap is,” he said.