How B2B Marketers can stay close to their Customers

B2B Marketers

Effective marketing is difficult to get right. B2B marketers need to learn to prioritize Customer Experience Management (CEM) to stay close to their customers and to develop an all-inclusive marketing strategy that strikes a perfect balance between creative demands, budget limits & channel decisions of the marketers.

The biggest determinant of effective marketing for B2B marketers is whether they can stay close to their audience. This is possible by getting the audience targeting right.

In terms of marketing, staying close to B2B customers means that marketers have to get the targeting of their buyer personas right.  Missing out on the proper targeting of the personas would mean that your promotions & advertisements mean nothing for your B2B customers.

B2B marketing has evolved. In an era of digital transformation, marketing has several boulevards. Marketing to businesses, for example, is very different for marketing specifically to the key decision-makers of critically important accounts (Account-Based Marketing).

Learn more: How to Use Account-Based Marketing to Acquire High-Value Customers

To perform a better job of selling their products to the B2B customers, marketers must understand how to talk to them & help them at the individual stages of their buying cycles. Optimizing customer experience is an essential pre-requisite to converting prospects into customers.

According to Gartner, Customer Experience Management (CEM) is the practice of designing & reacting to customer interactions to meet or exceed their expectations, leading to greater customer satisfaction, loyalty & advocacy.

According to Ann Handley, Digital marketing & content expert at MarketingProfs, B2B marketers need to make their customers the hero of their stories.

B2B marketers can make the shopping experiences of their customers more customer-centric by focusing on the strategies enlisted below:

1. Personalization:

Optimizing online personalization is very important as the shoppers & buyers are different people. B2B marketers need to sky-rocket their multichannel-attribution modeling with the right messaging. Marketers need to have an omnichannel presence.

Read more: How Omnichannel Reputation Management Assists in B2B Branding

B2B marketers need to rely on niche-specific targeting strategies. The target personas need to be clustered into specific segments before they can be targeted and converted.

Personalization means much more than addressing the customers with the correct name after they log in. The realm of personalization extends to delivering the prospects with highly-tailored pieces of content based on their demographic, firmographic, psychographic, techno-graphic and ‘fit-data’ as well as based on their intent-data obtained from the website analytics as well as from the third-party sources.

Application of the principles of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to shape the predictive & dynamic content strategies help  B2B marketers in tailoring the personalization of the buyers according to their buying stages & according to their past browsing histories & purchase habits.

Read more: 5 Essentials of Dynamic Content for Smarter B2B Marketing

Marketers adjust their messaging as B2B customers progress through the sales cycle. The brand of a company & the tone of marketing material also affects the messaging of a brand.

While some B2B companies such as those operating in the finance & e-commerce sectors focus on logical reasoning & keep the tonality of their messaging strictly formal, others, such as advertising agencies can take a lighter approach & use more humor.

2. Strategize Your Content Marketing:

B2B sites are conventionally copy-heavy & hence, transitioning to a streamlined website can be somewhat difficult.

B2B marketers need to optimize their website loading time & overall experience that it delivers to B2B customers.

Brands need to effectively propagate their message, propagate their vision, key features, & other relevant information that needs to be displayed.

B2B marketers should focus on creating pieces of content to educate their audience groups. B2B customers value the testimonials & content reflecting on positive word-of-mouth-marketing (WOMM). Influencer marketing, also, has a great impact on the psyche of the B2B customers which leads to greater sales conversions & the retention of the customers post-purchase.

Content marketing is all about addressing the pain-points of the target B2B customers articulately & succinctly, in a way that helps them through their buying journeys, streamlining it & in deducing how certain products or services are the best-fits to resolve their problem areas.

B2B marketers can choose amongst the following type of content to optimize the experiences of their customers & to tactfully guide them down their buying cycles, compelling them to make a buying decision:

  • Blog Postings: Understand your target audience groups & weave your blog posts around the issues faced by your prospective customers
  • News Articles: Write about the trending topics, including what’s hot within your niche
  • Podcasts: Include the audio recording of interviews with the industry influencers & experts. Audio storytelling is an effective way of content marketing & is proliferating among the audience groups as a popular medium to hear from their favorite brands & niche-personalities.
  • Webinars: Both live as well as recorded webinars are an effective medium to win over the trust of B2B customers by engaging with them & resolving any concerns that they might have
  • White Papers: White papers are often elaborate & specifically written pieces of content to resolve specific pain-points of the customers. A well-researched white paper can be a most-effective tool in the arsenal of the B2B marketers to drive their customers ahead on the path of sales conversion
  • Case Studies: These are intricately researched pieces of content assimilating stories of companies successfully using the products & services offered by a particular company. Publishing case studies help you emerge as Subject-Matter-Experts (SMEs) in your niche. You can showcase your unique approach towards resolving particular problems. This positively impacts brand equity & helps in building brand resonance. Case studies can also be written specifically to reflect on brand advocacy & positive word-of-mouths of the existing customers. Inculcating trust through case studies helps in winning over more quality prospects & in turn, leads to more sales conversions
  • Demonstrations: B2B marketers can also put to use the flash demonstrations of their products & services to win-over their customers.
  • Repurpose Your Content: Time & Again you need to restore the vitality of your pieces of content. You can just update the statistics in evergreen content & consider tweaking some facts in other types of content.

Read more: 5 Remarkable Ways to Repurpose Content in B2B Marketing

3. Optimize Your Website For Mobile:

B2B marketers need to constantly test-run & optimize their mobile pages. Ideally, a website loading time of up to 2 seconds is acceptable at a maximum & a loading time of less than 1 second can be considered as optimal.

As the B2B customers across the globe are increasingly researching their buying preferences using the mobile device, optimizing mobile pages may provide B2B marketers with many opportunities that they might be struggling to launch into.

Optimizing the mobile pages isn’t still something B2b marketers have perfected & there’s a lot of scope for improvement.

According to a report by Gartner, B2B marketers generate a meager of 19.4% of their digital commerce revenue from mobile.

4. Make It Convenient for the B2B Customers to Research & Find You:

The B2B marketers should put the customer service number on the homepage. Also, the brands can consider displaying their contact emails so that B2B customers can submit any electronic queries that they might have on their minds. Importance should be given to simplifying the ways to transact & care should be taken that the prospects can find somebody.

5. Adopt the Omnichannel Way:

B2B marketers need to have an omnichannel presence throughout the buyer’s journey. Emails must be sent proactively in instances wherein, fresh signup has occurred or the service warranty of a buyer is about to expire.

The new buyers can be directed to the YouTube channels to help them better understand how to use a particular product or service.

Wrap Up

Intelligent B2B marketers know that though their customers aren’t always in buying mode that in no way means that their future buying decisions can’t be influenced.

An average B2B buyer completes 57% of the purchase process before he ever engages with the sales team, states a report by CEB & Google.

B2B marketers need to constantly be a part of every discussion that is taking place anywhere on the web & that resonates with their areas of interest. In general, having a multi-channel attribution modeling in place ensures that brands can engage with their B2B customers, wherever they are – even on the untapped/under-tapped marketing channels across the web. This at times would also mean brands marking their presence in channels they haven’t historically been playing in.

Katrina Craigwell, director of global content & programming for GE, quotes the entire phenomenon as:

“We know our story, but they know the audience…and putting those together helps us resonate (and) helps us create more of those emotional moments with the audience that’s out there around the story. It’s kind of putting two halves together to make that connection.”

Katrina also implicates the connection between the research of B2B customers on the web & the importance of brand being in direct touch with them there. She states that if someone is telling your story it’s your responsibility to validate that it’s you.

Valasys Media thoroughfares all the aspects of B2B services; providing tailor-made services such as lead generation, account-based marketing, lead nurturing, event promotion services, list building services & content syndication services.

Contact us to benefit from our innovative marketing solutions en route for optimizing your core-bottom-lines.

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