Room to Grow

B2B manufacturing brands have a lot of room to grow when it comes to digital marketing. Get to know where digital stands in this interactive, based Gartner L2’s inaugural B2B manufacturing report.

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Most B2B manufacturers struggle to build the digital marketing strategies and purchase guidance needed to help buyers make the most informed decisions, and findings from Gartner L2’s inaugural B2B Manufacturing Digital IQ Index highlight those challenges. The Index, which quantifies the digital competence of 87 B2B manufacturing brands, found that 62% of brands studied fall below average.

Gartner L2 scores a brand’s digital competency across four main dimensions, which sum to their total Digital IQ score:

SEO & SEM
Can buyers find your brand site?
+
Site Functionality
Does your site work as intended?
+
Guided Selling & Content Marketing
Do you offer information and tools to help buyers answer their purchase questions?
+
Social & Media
How do you interact with your community?
=
Digital IQ Score

A Lack of
Confidence

B2B buyers reward those brands that help them move efficiently through purchase decisions, which is admittedly easier said than done. According to Gartner research, 51% of B2B marketers rate the digital experience they offer their customers as “Average,” while slightly more than one-in-five rate their digital experience as either “Poor” or “Very Poor.” For many marketing leaders, gaining the confidence needed to get ahead of the digital curve isn’t just seen as something that takes a lot time. It requires a great deal of money, too.

B2B Marketers Rate Their Current Digital Experience

Source: Gartner 2017 B2B Digital Marketing Transition Survey

Challenging a Common Assumption

Gaining the budget necessary to support marketing’s push for digital excellence can be a difficult task. Given that marketing budget is often a function of company revenue, there is a common perception that the more money a company makes, the stronger their digital performance.



Guess the relationship between company revenue and digital performance across the four dimensions of Gartner L2’s B2B Manufacturing Digital IQ.

Digital IQ Dimension 1 of 4

SEO & SEM

The SEO and SEM dimension measures the discoverability of a brand’s digital properties. Leading brands have superior site performance across desktop and mobile as well as well-honed SEO and SEM strategies.

Use the slider to guess dimension performance for each revenue band.


Drag each slider to where you think that revenue band with Energy brands lies on the scale for each dimension.

Use the slider to guess how the average Aerospace & Defense brand in each revenue band performs in each dimension.



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Digital IQ Dimension 2 of 4

Site Functionality

Site Functionality ranks the degree to which a B2B website influences and guides customer buying behavior. Leading brands build a well-functioning site around their buyer’s journey.

Use the slider to guess dimension performance for each revenue band.

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Digital IQ Dimension 3 of 4

Guided Selling & Content Marketing

The Guided Selling and Content Marketing dimension looks at how brands build and deploy guided selling (e.g., buyer enablement) tools and content marketing strategies. Leading brands have a clear and simple set of resources and tools that help customers along the path to purchase.

Use the slider to guess dimension performance for each revenue band.

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Digital IQ Dimension 4 of 4

Social Media

Social Media considers a brand’s presence and activity with its audiences across major platforms. Leading brands recognize the value in maintaining a distinct yet harmonious presence across various platforms and utilize them on a consistent basis to engage with their community.

Use the slider to guess dimension performance for each revenue band.

Overall Digital IQ Score

This is how the [Energy] sector fares across all dimensions in aggregate. The average Digital IQ score that you guessed, calculated by totaling your guesses for each dimension, is shown in comparison.

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A Level Playing Field

Across the Index as a whole, revenue didn’t offer as much of a boost to Digital IQ scores as expected. There were brands with revenues of over $20 billion that ranked as Feeble while there were brands with revenues between $1 billion and $5 billion that ranked as Gifted.

Looking Across Sectors

Across the index, Machinery brands included the broadest range of Digital IQ classes, with brands falling into every class from Feeble to Genius. Electrical Equipment brands had the highest average Index ranking with an average Gifted score of 115. Overall, all sectors were relatively equal in their digital sophistication.

All Revenue Bands

Conclusion

The Gartner L2 B2B Manufacturing Digital IQ shows that sector and revenue band don’t predict success. Instead, strong digital performance is typically a function of the posture a brand takes towards digital. Unlike traditional marketing channels, digital provides small brands the opportunity to outperform large industry stalwarts – if they make smart investments of their time and budget. With calculated, strategic plays, brands across revenue bands and sectors have the opportunity to make it to the top of the pack.



For more information regarding this report, contact your Gartner Account Manager.



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Credits: Honor Flannery, Kyle Rees (research); Minh-Anh Nguyen (design); Julia Kim (development);