Skip to main content

Are B2B Technology Firms Customer-Centric?


According to a CMO Council market study, the significant disconnect between vendors and their channel, on one hand, and customers, on the other, begins with a basic disagreement about what it means to be customer-centric.

Customers say that, above all else, centricity begins with the strategic alignment of a vendor's organization with the customer. Yet, among vendors and the channel, strategic alignment with customers is neither their top priority nor a real competency.

When asked what three qualities best characterize a customer-centric company, some 52 percent of customers cite "organizational, operational and cultural alignment around the customer," compared with only 40 percent of marketers and 35 percent of channel respondents.

Perhaps even more importantly, vendors do not believe they are particularly well-aligned with customers. When asked how well they are aligned with the customer -- the customer's own yardstick for measuring customer centricity -- only 21 percent of marketers say they are extremely well aligned.

Even more telling is how the channel assesses the vendor's alignment with the end-used customer, with only 3 percent of channel partners indicating that the relationship is extremely well aligned.

Accountability and measurability in meeting the needs of customers is far and away seen as the top success factor for customer centricity among marketers (54 percent) and the channel (58 percent), but it ranks only fourth among customers, who selected it only 23 percent of the time. In addition, some 40 percent of customers point to "empowerment of employees to address and remedy customer problems."

Perhaps as a result of this basic disagreement on the factors behind customer centricity, vendors are significantly overrating themselves, far more, in fact, than the channel. Fifty-six percent of vendors perceive themselves as being extremely customer-centric, compared with only 12 percent of customers.

In fact, only 47 percent of customers rank their vendor's customer centricity as moderate or better, while they place 65 percent of their channel partners in that category. An overwhelming majority of vendors (85 percent), are convinced that they are getting better at responding to customer needs, but 45 percent of customers disagree.

When asked whether vendors are getting better at understanding and responding to customer needs, nearly 45 percent of customers answered "no" or "not sure." When asked the same question about the channel, 41 percent said "no" or "not sure."

Popular posts from this blog

Wireless Solutions Advance Work from Home Trends

Despite a challenging backdrop from the ongoing effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the negative impact on fifth-generation (5G) wireless supply chains has been minimal compared to the wider mobile smartphone market. This led to 5G mobile devices becoming more diverse, brought to market quickly at a variety of price points, thereby accelerating affordability and adoption. The mobile market is transitioning to 5G and many leading vendors are now exploring the low-priced 5G smartphone segment. According to the latest worldwide market study by ABI Research, 681 million 5G handsets will be shipped in 2022. Therefore, the race is on for OEMs to find that all-important level of differentiation in their flagship portfolios to help boost margins and improve market share. 5G Wireless Market Development Vendors continue to drive the adoption of new product designs, screen technology, chipsets, and camera setups -- notably within the flagship smartphone segment. Meanwhile, the leaders seek a

Software-Defined Infrastructure: The Platform of Choice

As more organizations adapt to a hybrid working model for their distributed workforce, enterprise CIOs and CTOs are tasked with delivering new productivity-enabling applications, while also seeking ways to effectively reduce IT cost, complexity, and risk. Traditional IT hardware infrastructure is evolving to more software-based solutions. The worldwide software-defined infrastructure (SDI) combined software market reached $12.17 billion during 2020 -- that's an increase of 5 percent over 2019, according to the latest market study by International Data Corporation (IDC). The market grew faster than other core IT technologies. The three technology pillars within the SDI market are: software-defined compute (53 percent of market value), software-defined storage controller (36 percent), and software-defined networking (11 percent). "Software-defined infrastructure solutions have long been popular for companies looking to eliminate cost, complexity, and risk within their data cente

Digital Identity Verification Market to Reach $16.7B

As more enterprise organizations embrace the ongoing transition to digital business transformation, CIOs and CTOs are adopting new technologies that enable the secure identification of individuals within their key stakeholder communities. A "digital identity" is a unique representation of a person. It enables individuals to prove their physical identity during transactions. Moreover, a digital identity is a set of validated digital attributes and credentials for online interactions -- similar to a person's identity within the physical world. Individuals can use a 'digital ID' to be verified through an authorized digital channel. Usually issued or regulated by a national ID scheme, a digital identity serves to identify a unique person online or offline. Digital Identity Systems Market Development Complementary to more traditional forms of identification, digital identity verification systems can enhance the authenticity, security, confidentiality, and efficiency of