Digital transformation in B2B marketing is slowed by the lack of an adoption strategy

Digital transformation is still a mixed bag for some B2B marketers who have yet to form an adoption strategy / Photo by Helloquence on Unsplash

Rapid advancements and adoption of technology aside, only one-fifth of B2B marketers find their businesses have adopted digital transformation programs.

A recent report in eMarketer suggests that adopting digital transformation programs have been undertaken by only 21% of the marketers according to Technology for Marketing (TFM) and Smart Insights. While only 9% of marketers say they have had a strategy in place for two years, only 6% of those marketers said they are convinced that their company’s digital marketing integration is completely optimized, according to the article.

Meanwhile, one-third of respondents were planning to adopt a digital transformation program within the next year.

Level of digital marketing integration at companies varies

While most marketers believe new digital usages enable new types of innovation and creativity, the report found that nearly four in 10 marketers in the survey said they had no plans to embark on such a program.

The report suggests that they may be hesitant because of the need for a better strategy, as reportedly only 6% of marketers considered its company’s digital marketing integration completely optimized.

It is possible, too, that defining the word 'digital' is a matter of opinion. In the article, eMarketer notes that separate data from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) found that companies define digital differently, with three in ten business and IT executives saying digital encompasses all technologically innovative activities.

In fact, many executives can’t even agree on their company’s definition of digital. “If you put 20 [executives] in a room and ask them to define ‘digital,’ you are guaranteed to get 20 different answers,” said Anand Eswaran, corporate vice president of Microsoft Services and Microsoft Digital said in an earlier report.

Uncertainty is the theme that Martha Mathers, marketing practice leader at consulting firm CEB, said she sees most from her clients as she works with them to define their digital transformation efforts. “Digital presents so much choice, so much opportunity and such a different way of working that it creates tremendous uncertainty. Most marketing leaders feel overwhelmed by technology ... and they’re not sure where to begin.”

Laurie Fullerton

Laurie Fullerton is a writer based in Boston, MA with a background in business, sports, community, medical and travel writing. She has been a newspaper editor in the Boston-area, a sports writer covering yacht racing and a community reporter. She has been reporting for The Drum since October 2015.

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