Why B2B Companies need to do more to reap Digital Rewards


B2B businesses need to do more to drive up their revenue share from digital, according to a new report from Accenture Interactive.

The report, which surveyed organisations of more than 1,000 full-time employees to analyse their digital efforts and effectiveness, showed that 40% of B2B businesses earn less than 10% of their sales from digital, a number which is much lower for businesses serving the B2C market. Yet for the same amount more than half of revenue flows through digital channels – especially true in larger organisations.

Digital strategies and performance was measured in a number of different ways with revenue the most popular KPI at 61%. This was followed by digital traffic at 40%. However for those businesses serving both the B2B and B2C markets more digital KPIs were generally put in place.

The study showed that companies adopted a number of different operating models when it came to structuring their digital businesses. Nearly a third (30%) had a digital centre of excellence model (DCoE), providing expertise and standards and supporting strategy development for focus areas. 28% had a centralised model and only 8% a fully integrated model where all functions were digitally enabled and the experience was managed holistically across all touch points. The low numbers for the latter is likely to be due to the complications of implementing such a structure and the management capabilities it requires.

But digital isn’t easy despite the benefits it brings. The two most critical challenges were cited as customer retention (37%) and customer acquisition (36%). Internal staffing was also cited as an issue. 27% of respondents said that staff skill sets were a problem whilst 15% said understaffing was a key challenge. Governance and control and processes (at 36% and 37% respectively) were also identified as challenges faced by digital companies.

However despite the many challenges the report seems to show that such companies are still confident in their abilities. 42% of those surveyed said that they were on a par with sector leaders while 27% said they were the leader in their sector.

The report also aimed to answer the increasingly popular question of who is actually responsible for digital within companies. One in four said it was the chief marketing officer (CMO) and 15% said the chief digital officer. 12% of respondents meanwhile said a senior digital executive was in charge.

The report showed that more than a quarter (28%) plan to add marketing roles in the next year followed by strategy for 28%, analytics for 26% and customer experience for 24%. Market leaders in digital however had different priorities with 40% planning to add additional digital strategy roles, 37% additional digital marketing roles and 33% customer experience functionality.

Over the next 12 months the average digital organisation was found to be prioritizing digital organisation expansion, enabling new digital customer self-services capabilities and looking at content creation and enrichment (30% for each). However investment priorities differed for market leaders with 39% focusing on omni-channel, 37% of digital organisation expansion and 31% on mobile commerce.

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Posted by Liz Morrell on Marketing Tech News. 

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