B2B Marketing Tech Buyers: Do Challenges Differ Across Seniority and Specialism?


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Monday, December 20, 2021

Understanding what challenges B2B marketing professionals in technology are currently facing is one thing, but knowing the pain points most prevalent to different job seniorities and specialisms provides indispensable insight for your 2022 marketing strategy.

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B2B Marketing Tech Buyers: Do Challenges Differ Across Seniority and Specialism?

Our first party research conducted among marketing professionals within our Insights for Professionals (IFP) community reveals the most significant obstacles faced by today’s marketing tech buyers. To go one step further, we’ve taken a deeper dive into how these differ between seniority and markets.

This article covers:

  • Top barriers to success facing today’s in-market marketing tech buyers within their respective fields of expertise
  • How these rank between Senior Managers, Heads of, Directors, VPs and C-Suite professionals all with an influence on B2B technology purchasing decisions within their company

Discover what our first party research reveals about your marketing tech buyers ahead of your 2022 planning…

Marketing Automation: Greatest threats across roles and disciplines

37% of Heads of operating in Marketing Automation cite Social Media as their biggest challenge. On the contrast, 31% of Senior Managers consider Email Marketing as their top pain point, while Directors find Lead Nurturing to be the most prevalent obstacle.

However, on the flipside just 4% of Directors report Landing Pages as a significant problem area along with 9% of both Heads of and VPs. CRM instead came out as the most pressing challenge for VPs (26%), along with 26% of C-Suite alike.

It is clear that although all seniorities are working in the same industry, the posed threats to each level are considerably different. That is why it is so important to understand what individual roles are concerned by, to depict exactly what topic areas they are interested in as we enter 2022…

So, how do these key B2B tech buyer insights relate to you?

If your solutions are focused on Email Marketing and help to improve the look, feel and capability of email campaigns, boost open rates and reach your target audience, you should ideally focus your targeting techniques towards Senior Managers. With an awareness of this specific problem area, they are likely to be the most receptive audience when it comes to content relating to Email Marketing.

When it comes to Social Media solutions, Heads of are who you need to be tapping into as our research identifies it to be a large area of concern. Digging down deeper to understand why Social Media is a key challenge will help inform which areas to address in your content and how you can help this audience overcome perceived barriers.

Directors should be targeted for Lead Nurturing initiatives as again this was flagged as a key pain point for this level of seniority. Strategic lead scoring systems which provide efficient and effective results would be attractive to Directors considering how important nurturing relationships with buyers is to them at every stage of the sales funnel.

How do Digital Analytics specialists perceive key challenges across seniorities?

Product Strategy is deemed the greatest barrier to success for Senior Managers (32%) specializing in Digital Analytics, compared to just 8% of Heads of and 12% of Directors and VPs.

Directors have a fairly even split otherwise, with Optimization, Product Strategy and Digital Journey all receiving just over a fifth of the vote each at 23% across the board. Yet, C-Suite consider Digital Journey their top sticking point (39%) compared to just 6% of VPs.

Social Media once again appears as the most problematic area for Heads of (33%), closely followed by 32% of VPs. It features considerably with C-Suite (23%), Senior Managers (21%) and Directors (19%) as well – highlighting it as the challenge most present on all agendas.

It is interesting to note that not a single seniority identify User Experience (UX) as their greatest pain point, with C-Suite not ranking it at all.

What do these key tech buyer insights reveal for you?

Similar to what we saw with Marketing Automation, if you’re trying to target marketing professionals with the biggest influence on Social Media marketing then focus primarily on attracting Heads of. Levels of authority above and below might still hold some input however, considering how Social Media still ranks highly in their top pain points, so it’s worth bearing this in mind and engaging with them where possible.

When it comes to Digital Journey, look no further than C-Suite professionals. They are the most significant player in this field, possibly due to the requirement of having a top notch digital experience that relies heavily on the journey and strategic thinking behind this.

For any User Experience (UX) related tech solutions, you should focus on capturing the attention of VPs and disregard the C-Suite altogether. VPs again hold considerable authority and so highlighting the key advantages and USPs that your product or service offering can provide over competitors will ensure you remain at the forefront of their minds.

What do Customer Experience experts in B2B marketing consider the most pressing technology obstacles?

A considerable 43% of C-Suite professionals specializing in Customer Experience voted Customer Services as their most significant pain point, compared to only 8% of Senior Managers. Their top sticking point is Customer Retention (32%) which is interesting given how the two areas are closely interlinked. This just highlights the clear division of responsibilities, helping to identify exactly who you need to target for what.

Similar to with Digital Analytics, User Experience (UX) once again ranks middle of the range across all seniorities. It scores highest with Directors (24%) while only 8% of Senior Managers would agree.

There were no recorded votes for Customer Loyalty among C-Suite, yet 29% of VPs identify this as a key challenge, as do 28% of both Senior Managers and Heads of. The Customer Journey is what C-Suite instead consider their second biggest obstacle behind Customer Services.

How should you interpret these B2B tech buyer challenges facing marketing professionals?

For all things Customer Services, efforts should be directed towards C-Suite marketing professionals. They are busy people with limited time to spend researching an extensive array of technology solutions. Your product or service therefore needs to captivate their attention by providing the ability to oversee, manage and monitor customer service easily and efficiently while continuously looking for ways to improve it. How can it give customers the best service possible? Show them with quick demos and credible testimonials.

Heads of, Senior Managers and VPs are all significantly concerned with Customer Loyalty, providing a wider range of job roles to engage with. This provides opportunity to really bring your customer loyalty solutions to life with explainer videos, webinars and step-by-step infographics which demonstrate the ways your solutions can alleviate the challenges they face in this area. Promote proven customer loyalty schemes with evidential facts and figures to back up what you’re offering. This will go a long way in highlighting credibility and results.

Final Thoughts

Our first party research highlights clear differences when it comes to the challenges most concerning to different seniority levels. There is often a contrast in focus across roles, undoubtedly determined by what matters the most to each individual in terms of meeting their objectives.

Each specific specialism has its own, differing set of obstacles to overcome as we enter 2022, hence the importance of a robust and fully informed marketing strategy from the offset.

Understanding what sticking points your in-market tech buyers are faced with is vital for focusing your targeting techniques effectively, creating top campaigns which truly resonate with what marketing tech buyers are looking for in technology solutions, and identifying where competitive advantage can be achieved.

For further B2B tech buyer insights, download our in-depth research report in full: B2B Tech Buyer Behavior: Unique Insights for 2021/22

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Inbox Insight promote the best B2B content marketing practices enhanced by a data-driven approach. We believe putting audience insights at the heart of every digital campaign, drives superior experiences for both our business communities and clients.

It’s about continuously leveraging audience intelligence to understand what they want to hear, and translating this into thoughtful demand generation campaigns that resonate with decision makers across the full buyer journey.


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18/05/2022 John Richard
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