Jennifer Ross, VP, Research Director and Adele Sweetwood, Principal Analyst
Planning for 2021 requires an entirely different type of preparation from previous years. Instead of one plan, B2B marketing leaders will need to consider alternate scenarios and continuously reevaluate conditions to know when to shift course. This week, Vice President and Research Director Jennifer Ross and Principal Analyst Adele Sweetwood explain how B2B marketing leaders can rise to the challenge.
Marketing leaders can make their planning process more adaptable and resilient by building in what Ross calls an “early warning system approach.” Enacting that approach might entail more frequent business reviews to analyze changes within the company and broader market and determine how best to respond. “[Marketing leaders] are going to have to be listening more intently and asking more questions, more frequently,” Ross says.
Marketing leaders also need to tune in more closely to the post-sale customer experience to succeed in both the near and long term. While the pandemic has accelerated a focus on customer retention, many marketing organizations still prioritize generating new business and take cues from metrics that show value to the organization, such as bookings and profitability, rather than indicators of value to customers.
Amid the disruption, many leaders have taken the opportunity to evaluate their processes and capabilities and identify potential improvements. This will serve them well in 2021, Ross and Sweetwood say. As budgets get tighter, for instance, optimizing processes can help to minimize disruption within the organization and to the customer experience.