10 Reasons Why Digital Matters Even More These Days for B2B Marketing
Smartt has helped leading Canadian companies create effective B2B digital marketing plans, from product launches to lead generation campaigns. There are obvious benefits to digital marketing, such as lower cost to reach larger audiences. There are also some significant reasons which may not be immediately apparent, why digital is a must-do for B2B marketing.
- Executives are relying more on mobile devices. According to a recent study by Google, 7 out of 10 senior executives now use mobile devices to look up product or service information after they first hear of it. 57% use mobile devices to conduct deeper research, and one-third reference information from their smart phones during decision-making. 73% of executives in the survey say a bad mobile experience will make them less likely to do business with the company. If you’re not leveraging mobile as a sales channel, prepare to lose market share to more mobile-savvy competitors.
- B2B customers are self-educating. Business buyers now prefer to do their own research before talking to a sales person. Recent studies show that corporate decision-makers get as far as 67% of their buying cycle before talking to any vendors. In other words, they’re spending more time gaining specific knowledge to solve their most pressing challenges and delaying sales conversations until they’re confident your company can deliver the desired results. Your digital marketing programs are the face of your company until prospects are ready for live interaction.
- Digital makes follow-up a lot easier. Sales experts say it takes 7 to 12 contacts before customers are ready to buy. Digital marketing can make these follow-up contacts easier and more cost-effective. Contacts such as pre-scheduled emails, retargeting ads, or personalized offers to Twitter accounts warm up leads and help them advance through the initial stages of the buying cycle. Well-crafted digital touchpoints build trust, add credibility, and establish an online familiarity. Increase the odds that a prospect will contact you when they’re ready to talk.
- Digital lets you customize content based on digital body language. Sales has always been a linear process. Depending on where they are in the buying stage and their role within the company, prospects respond to different messages. If you talk about your services and pricing too early, you could be viewed as a commodity supplier instead of a trusted partner. If you address problems and challenges but can’t provide proof points, you could miss the shortlist. With digital marketing, you can prepare content for each stage of the buying journey, “see” which stage a prospect is at, and send targeted content based on how they interacted with previous marketing content.
- Measure and optimize your results. This is what we love most about digital marketing: almost everything is measurable. You can track every download and every click. You can even track mouse movements and email views. You can even do this all in real-time. Conversion testing used to take weeks or months before delivering answers. Now you can transfer direct response campaigns to online and start seeing results in hours or even minutes. You can track and optimize everything with digital marketing - and you should.
- Social proof augments your digital presence. In an increasingly online world, trust is a big factor in B2B sales. Serious prospects will research your company and key staff members via social media to see what other companies say about you. Support this with online content that features testimonials and case studies. An integrated digital marketing strategy lets you put your best foot forward in the digital world.
- Streamline complex sales cycles. B2B products and services often require a long and complex sales cycle involving multiple influencers and decision-makers. By creating personalized content for each user persona and addressing their concerns for each buying stage, you can express simpler value propositions that sell to each audience.
- Expand your reach - Most B2B businesses already do business beyond their immediate locale. The Internet has brought the concept of globalization to a whole different level. Many companies now search for better and most cost-effective vendors online - even if they are on the other side of the world. Try targeting other regions with your digital marketing - you may be pleasantly surprised at the results it generates.
- Improve customer relationships - Customer relationships has always been a big part of B2B. Digital marketing allows you to take your CRM to a whole new level. You can keep up-to-date with the latest changes at your clients' companies, target your key contacts with specific ads, offer advice through your newsletter, and converse with them over social media.
- Launch new products quickly - Digital marketing allows you to launch new products and services quickly and much more cheaply than with traditional marketing. Aside from sending out an email blast to your existing customers, you can also use retargeting and paid search to ramp up sales quickly. If your new product is useful and unique, you can also promote it over social media and have your fans promote for you. Lastly, you can start or join an affiliate program and get other marketers to send you leads for a set fee.
Smartt has a private 90-minute executive briefing with 50 more facts that can help make your B2B marketing more profitable. If you are interested in attending this complimentary executive briefing, please submit a contact form to sales.