Build digital transformation into your B2B marketing
Today, B2B buyers start the decision-making process online and remain there through most of their journey. To ensure all roads lead back to your sales organisation, you need a solid understanding of buying behaviour and a strategic digital presence to influence the outcome.
B2B buyers are looking for insights and inspiration to make sure they are making the best purchasing decisions for their business. With an increased focus on lead acquisition costs and customer lifetime value, you need to understand how to tap into their research process and connect with them in ways that will transform their interest into a firm order.
The time to transform is now
As the term ‘face-to-face’ fades into distant memory, B2B companies see digital interaction as three times more important than traditional channels, according to McKinsey, with almost 90% of sales meetings being held online.
There’s no denying the opportunity this creates; McKinsey concludes that digital leaders in B2B achieve up to five times the revenue growth and up to eight times the EBIT growth of their peers.
So gone are the days where digital transformation is something you need to focus on “sometime soon” – the trend is happening right now. Social media marketing, webinars, virtual exhibitions, customer portals, and self-service tools (such as online configuration tools and budget calculators) are nothing new, and the average B2B professional maker uses six different channels over the course of their decision-making journey.
Embrace the trend
However, too many B2B sales organisations are still stuck in the old school of selling, with companies struggling with disjointed models that make it hard to transition smoothly from face-to-face selling to an online environment.
To win, you need to embrace and explore this trend. In a world where B2B buyers are looking for information online, you’re missing the train if you’re not present at each digital touch point. Furthermore, if you’re not collecting data and activating insights from these touch points, you’re not even near the station.
The million-dollar question: how?
Many B2B businesses need to completely rethink the role of digital channels, including their marketing automation, inbound, social media, websites, landing pages, mails, etc. that support their customers’ buying journey, with a stronger focus on tools, relevant content, and a consistent digital brand experience.
It’s vital to allocate resources to optimise your digital channels, fix parts of your website that lack information and cause frustration, activate your subject-matter experts in your communication efforts, and train and support your sales organisation to feel comfortable in a virtual format. To make this happen and improve performance, sales and marketing teams need to work closer together with a shared vision of what digital transformation really means.
This will also allow you to map your audience and their buying journey to focus on the low hanging fruit and build your initiatives and content strategy around these decisions. A valuable part of this can be to involve your customers to test your scenarios and confirm your hypotheses.
5 steps to drive digitalisation
1. Understand your options – map your audience, their journey, requirements, and touch points
2. Fit around your resources – identify the biggest and fastest wins to focus your investments
3. Get the tech stack ready – get the infrastructure in place to capture the insights
4. Ensure a consistent experience – concentrate on key channels with quality content
5. Learn and refine – never stop looking to improve your results
Let’s be realistic
Of course, most B2B companies cannot do digital transformation in one go (and in many cases it wouldn’t make sense to).
Instead, work with a solid strategic outlook but in an agile format where you develop, test, learn and refine your programme to determine the right approach, then step up the digital investment as results start materialising.
It takes time to get your organisation onboard, but start strong and you’ll move forward fast and learn as you go. Explore your options to find the right solutions for your audience. And if you need help from a team of experienced, B2B-focussed digital marketing specialists along the way, just ask.
Get in touch with Ralph Krøyer, Managing Partner at CBC, on +45 35 25 01 75 or firstname.lastname@example.org.