B2B marketers need to approach digital transformation as an odyssey, not a roadmap with a fixed destination

B2B firms, regardless of the business sector, must pivot to a digital-first model, but they also have to understand that digital marketing and leveraging the technology that supports it does not have a fixed destination.

Jonathan Copulsky, senior lecturer of marketing and executive director of the Spiegel Research Center at Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications, is co-author of The Transformation Myth: Leading Your Organization through Uncertain Times. The book, forthcoming from , outlines the organizational, operational, and technological building blocks needed for adapting to acute disruptions like COVID-19, and features a series of in-depth interviews conducted with C-suite executives during the pandemic. While B2B companies' immediate response to the virus has varied, the interviews conducted for the book reveal a stark consensus about the long-term effect of the crisis — and that could spell trouble for marketers in thrall to the status quo.