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  • Alexandra Syzova Allison

Is customer education the future of b2b marketing?

Updated: Sep 29, 2023

Can an organisation successfully utilise marketing tools without a strategy built in a data-driven, holistic and sustainable way? With a growing portfolio of martech options, organisations are widely expected to enrich their marketing mix with new instruments on a “silver bullet” basis while left to integrate them into the organisation's strategies at own cost. And it often backfires, as marketing strategies turn into a collection of short-term tactical exercises lacking measurable objectives, relevant KPIs and overall coherence, eventually leading to excessive customer acquisition costs.


According to McKinsey research, global marketing spend exceeds $1 trillion per year, out of which 15 to 20 percent can be released through better marketing return on investment efforts. That’s up to $200 billion globally per year! The unnecessary spend (or loss, as business owners will read it) along with the general product frustration, can be easily avoided by taking customers on a tailored learning journey developed with and signed off by their own stakeholders. While this might sound like a traditional execed or consulting project, the difference is that the customer learning programme is a) journey and not a one-off event b) shaped and delivered by subject matter experts, strategy analysts and practising (vs academic) marketers, creating a sustainable foundation linked to real life challenges and scenarios c) integrates tech solutions into a more comprehensive strategic discussion without the salesy feel d) is interactive and C/B+ level targeted, leaving the traditional customer product trainings to B- and A level practitioners.


An organisation’s strategic marketing plan is fundamental to its sustainable growth. Equipping marketing, data analytics, performance, sales and other teams with aligned vision and SMART tactics can significantly improve company’s performance and establish a stronger relationship between the martech providers and their customers. Yet despite many resources available for companies, the approach from major tech players remains largely scattergun rather than tailored to the organisations’ needs. And where customised options might be offered, they often represent a “set-and-forget” initiative rather than an integrated part of a sustainable journey. Martech customer learning programmes address these challenges on both sides of a platform, bringing an undeniable win-win solution:

For the martech provider, a programme helps companies understand where the solution exactly fist in the organisation’s strategy and funnel to match their marketing objectives. It creates a bond between the provider and customer company teams, resulting in improved relationship and consequently higher marketing investment from the customer.

For the customer company having an expert pair of eyes on their marketing strategy, discussing challenges and leveraging success stories from other client's similar cases boosts ROMI and helps the business grow.


And the cherry on the cake for all - her Majesty Alignment. Customer learning programmes bring all decision makers into one room and provide a perfect environment to hear crucial business insights first hand, uncover challenges on each side and work together towards a solution that will create a customised transformation journey for optimised ROAS and ROI in general.


There is no rocket science behind customer learning programmes, yet their success will largely depend on an expert multidisciplinary combination of executive education, marketing, technology, consulting, learning design and analytics. And the results are more than worth the investment for martechs bringing revenue for both tech platforms and customer organisations looking for ways to accelerate their growth.


Having built dozens of customer programmes in the last 15 years, I would recommend any organisation considering customer education for its clients to build a STAR approach to customer learning programmes that will be based on:

Setting SMART business and marketing objectives

Transformation journey customised to organisation’s needs

Alignment between team members for enhanced performance

Return on investment for the organisation.


B2B marketing is entering a new era of customisation, authenticity and robust analytics, and customer education is the fundamental game changer for organisations. By putting the customer in the epicentre of the entire journey and integrating tech solutions into a learning programme customised to the organisation’s needs martech platforms will see a long lasting pay off both in quantitative and qualitative perspectives.

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