Best Practices

What Does The Marketing Leader Say? Reactions To B2B Research On How CMOs Buy

PathFactory and Heinz Marketing recently surveyed 204 marketing leaders – Senior Directors, VP/SVPs, and C-Suite – to dig deep into how they make important buying decisions. The report, Inside The Head Of A Marketing Leader: The Buyer’s Journey, pulls back the curtain on exactly how CMOs buy and how these key decision-makers engage with the buyer’s journey and what drives or hinders their ability to make better buying decisions.

Knowledge is power. Especially in an era of evolving buyer preferences and needs. The report sheds light on some interesting findings to help marketing leaders better understand how their peers buy and provides insight for marketing teams on how to improve their marketing as a whole.

Why run the survey?

“As marketing leaders, we’re constantly involved in one decision-making process or another. Have you ever stopped to wonder how your process compares to your peers? I know I do. That’s at the heart of this report. We think it’s important for CMOs to know how their engagement in the buying journey compares to their counterparts. And in the process of analyzing the results, we also uncovered important takeaways for marketing teams when it comes to accommodating the needs of these key decision makers.”

Photo: Elle Woulfe VP of Marketing, PathFactory
Elle Woulfe
VP of Marketing, PathFactory

“So many marketers obsess about personas (for good reason) and fail to understand how those personas actually navigate the buying process – including how they interact with other members of the buying committee to build consensus, velocity, and commitment to solving specific problems. This new research sheds critical light not just on how marketers buy, but how marketing leaders participate, guide, and filter the process.”

Photo: Matt Heinz President, Heinz Marketing
Matt Heinz
President, Heinz Marketing


Marketing leaders share their thoughts

Now that the dust has settled and everyone has had time to absorb the results, we asked some marketing leaders to reflect on the survey and share their thoughts.

“I can 100% relate to the key findings and challenges that marketing leaders face when researching and buying new technologies. With more budget being allocated to marketing technology and higher expectations on return across the organization, making an informed decision through a deliberate process is critical to long-term success and internal alignment. As the report calls out, the type of content that resonates is relative to the stage of the journey. The more we can relate to the content, the more value we can find in the technology or vendor being researched. As we move through our buying journey and near the decision phase, content related to the business case, operational/resource considerations, and time to realize value provide the largest amount of value.”

Mervyn Alamgir Senior Director, Demand Generation and Customer Marketing, TIBCO
Mervyn Alamgir
Senior Director, Demand Generation and Customer Marketing, TIBCO

“As a head of marketing, most of my business purchases are for software or services that improve marketing/sales effectiveness or efficiency. Yet, I’m surprised how often vendor salespeople are unable to articulate how their product has helped their own company grow. Yes, of course, I want to talk to references and read case studies. In fact, I rely heavily on the experiences of my peers in making any purchase decision. But before any of that happens, sellers should be able to talk about how the product they are pitching has improved their own business. It’s that kind of personal narrative that really intrigues me.”

Jim Williams VP of Marketing, BlueCat
Jim Williams
VP of Marketing, BlueCat

“I am not at all surprised by the fact that marketing leaders feel they are too often served lackluster content. The further down the buyer’s journey someone goes, the less visibility and influence marketing has on that customer experience. That has to change. Marketers need to recalibrate how much of the buyer’s journey they are responsible for, while empowering their sales teams to be a creative force on that journey. ”

Justin Keller VP of Marketing, Sigstr
Justin Keller
VP of Marketing, Sigstr

“When selling to marketing leaders and business execs, vendors need to focus on the later stages of the buyer’s journey just as much as, if not more than, the initial discovery and awareness stages. This makes sense as executives are more likely to have subject matter experts make initial recommendations while they focus their time on helping to make a final decision based on all the relevant inputs and the needs of the business. But the mistake many vendors make is leaving the “decision” part of the buyer’s journey exclusively in the hands of the sales team. Given executives find 3rd party analyst research, videos, and executive summaries to be the most valuable forms of content, marketing teams need to equip their sales teams with this type of content to help them win the hearts and minds of executives and to get those deals over the finish line.”

Tyler Lessard VP of Marketing, Vidyard
Tyler Lessard
VP of Marketing, Vidyard

“This report definitely resonates with me. Today, we are taxed with the expectation of driving most of our business transformation. I research like crazy and am influenced by peers, colleagues, third-party review sites, and analyst reports. During my research stage, content is very important. But the vast majority of vendor content is still focused on awareness of the problem” and/or how company X addresses a problem. I am way more interested in how others are using the service/solution and how much of their team’s resources are required. Thought leadership is good, but I need vendor content to show me some real results (like improvement in attributed pipeline and closed-won deals). And when it comes to these case studies, I’m really mainly interested in hearing from customers in a similar industry, experiencing similar challenges, and with a similar team structure. Content that fits one or all of these criteria is gold.”

Carlos Araujo Director, Demand Gen & Revenue Ops, Enghouse Networks
Carlos Araujo
Director, Demand Gen & Revenue Ops, Enghouse Networks

Find out what all the buzz is about and let us know your thoughts! Read the full report here.

Inside the Head of a Marketing Leader:  The Buyer's Journey, with geometric shapes on a grey background, with a PathFactory and Heinz Marketing logo on the bottom right