Top B2B news stories from this week

April gets mixed reviews in poetry circles. Chaucer begins the prologue to the Canterbury Tales effusively: "Whan that in Aprill with his shoures soote, the droughte of March hath perced to the roote... Thanne longer folk to goon on pilgrimages." In Middle English middle England, April was all about letting the good times roll, saying farewell to winter and kicking back on a big old dirt-path trip to a holy site. 

But by the early 20th century, things were a lot more bleak. "April is the cruellest month," wrote Eliot, "breeding lilacs out of the dead ground, mixing memory and desire, stirring dull roots with spring rain." For old Tom, spring just brings the pain, an unwelcome return to wakefulness after the comfortable blankness of the winter's void. 

Whether you're packing your things and getting ready to meet in a tavern in Southwark, or you're far too occupied shoring fragments against your ruin, there's a chance you've missed the week's biggest B2B news stories. Here's our weekly round up.

5. Businesses failing to digitally up-skill employees

Over a third (34 per cent) of UK employers admit they struggle to implement the right training to digitally up-skill their workforce.

As a result, 40 per cent of businesses elect to employ a younger, more digitally savvy workforce in order to address the skills gap.

The findings also revealed around half (47 per cent) of respondents felt their organisations would be more productive if the level of digital skills was higher.

Despite this, businesses are only investing an average of £109 per employee per year on digital skills training.

4. Only 39% of CMOs have power to improve customer experience

Many senior marketers lack the power to drive customer-centric solutions within their businesses, new research reveals.

The report, Who owns the customer journey?, was conducted by B2B Marketing and Squiz, and surveyed over 150 B2B marketers.

Only 39 per cent of respondents felt their CMO has the remit and budget to drive customer experience, with 41 per cent admitting gaining such a remit and budget is a constant battle with the c-suite.

Most worryingly, 20 per cent stated their CMO simply wasn’t currently trying to improve the customer experience.

3. B2B marketers work 20% more hours than their contracts demand

Marketers are commonly working far more than they are contracted to, according to B2B Marketing’s first ever Salary Survey

The groundbreaking study of salaries and working conditions in B2B marketing found that, on average, marketers work 20 per cent more hours per week than their contract requires. 

The average full-time employee is contracted to work 37 hours a week, yet actually finds themselves working 44 hours per week.

This dedication to their roles comes on the back of last year's findings that half of UK marketers browse their work emails before work, after work and over the weekend, compared to just 28 per cent of general office professionals.

2. Three-quarters of marketers struggle to provide consistent customer experience

The majority of marketers are struggling to provide a consistent customer experience, according to new research conducted by B2B Marketing and digital transformation agency Squiz.

Though 45 per cent of respondents place ‘customer experience’ as their number one priority, with a further 24 per cent ranking it as the second most important, and significant buy-in to the concept from senior management, only 23 per cent of marketers were confident in their ability to provide a consistent experience across all channels.

Engaging customers in the multichannel age is an incredibly complex proposition and it’s not surprising that over three-quarters of marketers are still struggling to do so. The problem may well be related to confusion as to which department takes ownership of the customer journey.

1. Gender pay gap exposed in B2B marketing

B2B Marketing's first ever Salary Survey has revealed there remains a considerable gender pay gap in the industry.

The research, based on responses from over 500 B2B marketers, shows the average female B2B marketing salary is £45,000 per annum, while the average salary for male marketers is £52,000. 

Although women are well represented in the industry - 55 per cent of marketing heads and 68 per cent of marketing managers are female - women continue to earn less than their male peers. 

The report also shows that although there is little difference between the most junior marketers' salaries, with both men and women earning approximately £33,000, the gap is much bigger when it comes to board-level marketers, with female board-level marketers earning on average £25,000 less than their male counterparts.