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How B2B Marketing Executives Can Kickstart Innovation – Forbes

Change is nothing new to B2B marketers. Throughout the last two decades, modern marketing practices have exposed siloed talent pools, introduced process rigor that frustrates creative marketing minds, taxed marketing bandwidth, exposed skills gaps, and challenged the traditional dynamic between sales, marketing, and product organizations.
And B2B marketers adjusted.
So it’s no wonder that B2B marketers believe their teams are innovative.
Sadly, they are mistaken.
In the Forrester Analytics Business Technographics® Marketing Survey, 2020, we asked global marketers to rate their companies’ use of marketing innovation activities while also answering the 20 questions that comprise Forrester’s Marketing Innovation Maturity assessment. To be fair, it was challenging to score in the “advanced” range: A marketer would have to respond “completely agree” to 13 out of 20 questions and “agree” to the other seven. While 68% of global B2B marketers believe that their companies’ use of marketing innovation activities is mature, only 4% scored as advanced practitioners in our maturity assessment.
B2B Marketing Leaders Must Build A Sustained Competency For Continuous Innovation
Of course, some innovation happens organically. During the pandemic period, B2B marketers delivered an object lesson in rapid adaptation. In a matter of weeks, physical events became digital experiences that are now morphing to hybrid experiences. Demand marketers created meaningful engagement with late-stage prospects via digital executive events to accelerate deals. Suddenly, separated teams learned to collaborate, create, and invent without a conference room, flip chart, or whiteboard.
The pandemic demonstrated to marketing leaders that in a volatile and uncertain world, a capacity for innovation is essential.
CMOs who understand the innovation imperative don’t count on serendipity. They aim to catalyze and cultivate innovation. In our B2B Summit presentation, “The CMO’s Handbook For Nurturing Innovation,” Susan Macke, Sheryl Pattek, and I will show B2B marketing leaders how to operationalize an organizational competency for innovation by focusing on six change levers.

Innovation Is Essential, But Don’t Take It For Granted
Don’t trust that sufficient innovation will happen organically. Innovation leaders make it a priority to catalyze and cultivate innovation. They execute with specific practices and processes.
To learn more, register to attend Forrester’s B2B Summit North America here.
This post was written by VP, Principal Analyst Lori Wizdo and it originally appeared here.


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