Ran Mullins By Ran Mullins • April 7, 2023

The Key to Success in a Buyer-Centric World: The Marketing Maturity Model

It’s not surprising that the B2B buyer's journey has changed dramatically over the last few years. It's almost unrecognizable.

According to McKinsey research, B2B mobile app ordering has increased by 250%. And 70% of B2B buyers will spend up to $50,000 without ever speaking to a sales rep if a company has adequate self-service options.

Buyers are looking for—and responding to—a buyer-centric model. Within it, the decision-maker can discover, consider, and even buy. They follow a self-guided process made possible by the right B2B marketing content within a data-driven marketing maturity model.

But switching from a seller-focused mindset isn't easy. An innovative marketing maturity model helps B2B enterprises evolve buyer-centric strategies.

Buyer-Centric Companies Get C-Suite Approved Results

A 2021 Berkley University study analyzed over 180 B2B companies. They found that those who had reached a "very mature" level of buyer centricity experienced 2.5X the revenue growth of less mature competitors. Those kinds of results speak the C-suite's language.

The study found that only 9% of companies had fully embraced a mature customer-centric model. Among them, B2B tech companies stood out. 19% of them had a mature buyer-centric business model.

Those with the highest ROIs made buyer-focus a part of their DNA—across all departments and job roles. While you may feel limited influence outside the marketing department, adopting a mature buyer-centric model can make you the voice of the customer across the company. It allows you to drive significant and strategic growth.

We're Experiencing Rapid Transformation

Marketing was already moving in a buyer-centric direction before the pandemic. 2020 accelerated this transformation.

This catalyst has turned the race to B2B marketing maturity into a sprint, not a marathon. Those who fall behind early may find it impossible to catch up.

Assessing Your Organization's Level of Maturity

We know that mature buyer-centric B2B companies:

  • Collect and use first-party data to build a marketing strategy around the buyer
  • Develop end-to-end, cross-channel measurement capabilities to understand the whole buyer's journey
  • Test, learn, and optimize content creation, delivery, and journey alignment
  • Actively acquire the skills and expertise they need to become truly mature

If you aren’t sure if this describes your company, read on or take our quick 12-question self-assessment. This will help you evaluate your B2B marketing maturity stage further and provide steps for improvement.

How the Marketing Maturity Assessment Can Help

Our marketing maturity assessment demystifies what it means to be truly buyer-centric. It definitively tells you what stage of maturity you're currently in and how to move to the next. Ask yourself, is your B2B marketing:

  1. Reactive
  2. Proactive
  3. Integrated
  4. Catalyzed

You may be surprised to find out the answer. The marketing maturity assessment asks this question across three critical areas:

  • Organizational Structure: How you assign roles and responsibilities. How goals are communicated and tracked for individual and team accountability
  • Martech: The enterprise's relationship with marketing technology
  • Marketing Strategy: How you relate to buyers and where you place your focus

Once you identify where you are now, the framework shows you how to get to the next stage.

Let's look at the four stages as they relate to Organizational Structure from the buyers’ perspective.

Reactive marketing has poorly defined roles and teams siloed by departments and channels. The result is a disjointed and confusing buying experience that doesn't work.

Proactive marketing clearly defines roles and has some collaboration but is still highly siloed. As a result, there's double work, and some team members drive hard toward the wrong objectives. Buyers see an inconsistent experience and struggle to stay engaged.

In integrated marketing, you have clearly defined operational procedures around hand-offs. Teams and departments are in sync—usually thanks to the effective use of martech.

They communicate cross-functionally and cross-departmentally. They are all working to meet the same strategic goals.

Operations are agile and scalable, so they're ready for growth. Buyers see a consistent brand image whether they're dealing with marketing, sales, or service. But that experience isn't as optimized as it could be, and many almost-delighted customers fall through the cracks as a result.

Integrated sounds good. But the proper strategy can take you a step further. Getting to the next stage is not only doable—in a rapidly changing B2B marketing environment, it is essential.

Catalyzed marketing means you have a unified and highly adaptable environment across functions, channels, and departments. You center business objectives around developing an in-depth understanding of buyers' needs and aligning marketing strategy accordingly.

The marketing team feels accountable for what happens after the lead hand-off. Team members across functions and departments recognize the value of each others' contributions.

Fast Track Your Way to Marketing Maturity

By increasing your marketing maturity level, you can not only improve the relationship with your customers, you can improve your overall revenue operations and ROI. Make sure to take the marketing maturity assessment now to determine how to unlock the next level of growth.

Once you know your current level, Relequint is available to help you navigate to the next. Make sure to subscribe to our blog for more updates on marketing maturity and check out our case study with a growing technology company, Kinettix, to learn more about our impact.

marketing maturity assessment