26th Aug, 2020
Marcom, , Designation
We are in 2020 and the erstwhile belief that digital marketing is meant for B2C has been long quashed. With B2B companies – be it an SMB or a large enterprise, making all attempts to leverage social media for amplifying their outreach, time has come for the horizon to be broadened beyond social media and for the investments to be boosted in the space.
Here are the top 10 reasons why B2B companies must relook their digital marketing strategies and boost their digital marketing budgets in order to remain competitive in the market and get their pie in the growing online marketplace.
Reason 1: Customer evolution has paced up
The new B2B customer whom we used to refer to as smart and well-researched yesterday, it has become smarter, and now the research is backed with a technological hypothesis as well over the present-day performance data. In fact, recent studies show that corporate decision-makers get as far as 67% of their buying cycle before talking to any vendors as per the Forbes report. Thus, your digital marketing activities speak for your brand before the prospect ever decides to engage with you.
Reason 2: Everyone and everything is going mobile
It is not just your salesperson who is pressed for time and prepares for pitches on the go, researching those extra knowledge nuggets to share with client but even the prospective customer is spending time on their smart devices to look you up, do deeper research, etc. A bumpy instead of seamless experience over smart devices as well as incomplete or overly complex or extensively gated information would automatically translate into interest drop.
Reason 3: EQ connect of sales is getting stronger
The belief that sales are all about just numbers, better prices, and revenue projections has been proven wrong. These definitely have a major impact on the decision but the emotions which are involved can steer the decisions in either of the direction. That is why client testimonials (building confidence & trust), video outreach addressing concerns common for specific user personas (personalising content to make the prospect feel important), and a digital human persona promoting engagement (establishing an offline relationship through online engagement), etc. are very important.
Reason 4: It has become quintessential for having a fair-play
With digital presence and strategic actions, it becomes easier for even smaller brands to compete with the big names because the playing field is levelled with equal audience access opportunity to all. Digital marketing can be leveraged by budget-conscious businesses to get the eyeballs or mind space of their prospects without investing heavily into marketing or advertising.
Reason 5: It’s more cost-effective than traditional outreach
Digital marketing not only makes outreach cost-effective but also more effective. With the possibility of personalisation, elements like pre-scheduled emails, retargeting ads, or personalized offers for social media accounts, etc. makes it easier to gauge the mind-space of the prospect and subtly push them further into the buying cycle. The key to converting prospects into buyers lie in ensuring digital touchpoints are easy to navigate since they build trust, credibility, and familiarity and paves the way for a conversion prone connection.
Reason 6: Online testimonials act as social proof
Trust and hands-on experience are some of the biggest factors which drive sales, be it B2B or B2C. However, since the stakes are higher in B2B, these factors become further emphasizing. Studies have shown that prospects do their homework on your company before ever engaging with you, hence, their social media excursion targeted to know all about you involves knowing what other companies say about you. An integrated digital marketing strategy with case studies and customer testimonials satiates this need for credibility & social proof.
Reason 7: Measurement & optimisation have become crucial
Putting efforts that cannot be quantified and whose impact cannot be measured – it’s certainly an ineffective strategy. With digital marketing, you can measure each & every aspect of your actions and see what’s working and how much is it working and what’s not working at all. Right from tracking every click, gauging time spends in content viewing, etc. it’s easy to do conversion testing in real-time. With such minute tracking, it becomes possible to do optimisation even in the middle of campaigns.
Reason 8: You can go beyond your regular audience
This is the beauty of digital marketing – it has no defined borders and your chances of expanding your outreach horizon are immense. While most of the businesses are already becoming serious about tapping the whitespace or the untapped customer pie, digital marketing makes this outreach easier and more impactful. Globally also, the trend of getting better services, even if they are being rendered from a different part of the globe, is on the rise. The way to get to those searching eyeballs is through a digital presence. Many companies are now targeting even far off markets without any physical presence there and getting good results.
Reason 9: It makes the customer relationship much better
With digital marketing, your traditional customer relationship management can be given a complete makeover. In the growing online world, you are abreast of all that’s happening on the customer’s turf and even have the pulse of the industry. Armed with the knowledge, you can make your outreach more targeted with specific content through advertisements, newsletters, offers, etc. When your conversation with the prospects or customers is this much personalised, your customer relationships are ought to become better.
Reason 10: Your sales cycle becomes shorter and more active than passive
Owing to the possibility of tremendous customisation, your interactions become extremely targeted in comparison to a mass outreach practice. Today when almost 7 people are involved in a typical B2B sales as a decision-maker or an influencer, it becomes an advantageous point to be able to personalise content for each of them based on their specific concerns and their current positioning in the buying stage. The possibility of tailoring the value propositions as per the decision-maker makes the whole buying journey simpler for them and thus, shorter for the seller as well.
No doubt, convincing and converting prospects become easier with a pragmatic digital marketing strategy in place. Apart from upping the trust barometer reading amongst prospects and customers, you are able to entice people to act with subtle CTAs right at each digital touchpoint.
In today’s day and age, it is close to impossible to continue surviving without a digital marketing strategy in place. In sales especially where everything boils down to the return on investment, investing into digital is a surest way to get maximum ROI for your marketing investment.