Over the recent years, we have seen some major shifts in the marketing space.
According to many beliefs voiced throughout the globe, it is now obsolete to consider marketing as merely a support function to businesses. In fact, 62% of purchases are influenced by digital marketing.
So marketing seems to be a crucial part of a business rather than just a support system.
This post will help you know why you need to reconstruct your business marketing strategy.
Why Should Marketing be the Core of Your Business?
Having said that the outlook of the B2B marketers is changing, let me tell you what brought on this change:
Consumers’ Changing Buying Behavior. Today, the customers with their zeal to learn about a product before purchasing it, have shifted the scales of power towards their side.
Have a look at some statistics by Forrester research that will help you understand the change in B2B buying behavior:
- 92% of the B2B purchases begin with internet searches
- 68% of B2B buyers prefer conducting online searches themselves. Back in 2015, only 53% of buyers did this.
- 75% of buyers depend on social networks to determine the best vendor before making a purchase.
- 60% of buyers prefer not to interact directly with vendors.
- 62% of B2B buyers claim that they can finalize their vendor list based on digital content only.
Now if you’ve recognized the dawn of a new era for B2B marketing, let me tell you why it is necessary for B2B Marketing to transform.
Why transform your B2B Marketing Approach?
B2B marketers need to implement Lead-To-Revenue Management (L2RM) methods that aim at generating revenue throughout their customer life cycle.
What exactly is Lead to Revenue Management (L2RM)? L2RM is a method to analyze the amount of revenue your customers bring you in each stage of their interaction with your company. This starts with lead generation and proliferates through each phase of the customer’s interaction with your organization.
Simply put, unlike traditional marketing, L2RM helps you focus on customer retention along with customer acquisition.
A recent study by Forrester research shows that the companies who have started incorporating Lead-To-Revenue Management (L2RM) processes in their businesses contribute 52% of the sales pipeline.
However, while implementing the L2RM process, you would want to improve it further by transforming your marketing structure from a supplier of leads to establishing customer engagement.
Given below are some reasons that will help you understand why it is necessary for your B2B marketing to transform.
1. The bulk of your customers are now Gen Y
The time is long gone when universal B2B marketing strategies were applied to all ages of consumers. Now, marketing is highly personalized and it is essential for you to understand who your target audience is, and then adapt to their thought processes, interests, and requirements.
An article published by Pew Research Center claims that ‘Millennials’ now constitute a major chunk of your audience as they look for B2B services for their companies.
The following image will give you a clear picture of your target audience:
Here are some figures for you to understand what proportion of your buyers do millennials account for:
- About 35% of the American workforce are millennials.
- In the year 2017, there were around 56 million millennials working or looking for work.
- 9% of the labor force comprises post-millennials (born after 1996).
Since most of your buyers are newer generations, you need to adopt newer marketing methods to establish connections with these tech-savvy customers who are habituated to analyzing products online before making a purchase.
2. Customers want to experience your products
Experiential Marketing involves providing products for trial and experience, helping consumers make concrete decisions while purchasing products.
According to ‘InternetRetailing’, 82% of the customers want to experience a product before making purchases.
With such a large proportion of consumers who want to experience the product before purchasing, it becomes crucial for you to adapt to the change.
3. Consumers want transparency
You can no longer withhold information about products. The most essential aspect of present-day B2B marketing is to incorporate transparency in the entire buying-selling process.
An important trait of Gen Y customers is their zeal for gaining knowledge about your products so that they can make purchases without worrying about ulterior motives.
Also, the present-day buyers want to know about your product’s life-cycle. This helps them determine the value of your product and decide whether they want to commit to you or not.
4. Increased importance of customer experience
The most important aspect of marketing is not lead generation anymore, it is achieving customer satisfaction.
That’s why marketers have started aligning their campaigns along the lines of customer insights rather than sales.
As stated by Mark Hurd, Co-CEO of Oracle, “The companies that align their marketing efforts and data with the customer journey are the ones that are going to succeed.”
Have a look at these stats regarding how customers view the buying experience:
- 86% of buyers pay more for a better experience.
- 89% of customers switched to businesses providing a better customer experience.
So, the need of the hour is to align your marketing strategies with customer insights instead of just pushing down sales through the business pipeline.
Now that you understand why you need to adapt to the changing times, let me guide you about the pending phenomenon which awaits you- DESTRUCTION of the current marketing strategies and adoption of new ones.
Destruct the Preconceived Marketing Notions
It is a common belief that in order to create, you must first destroy. This applies to your B2B marketing strategies as well.
It is necessary that you first destroy the preexisting marketing notions and then embrace the newer trends so that you can evolve and perform better.
Don’t sound your alarm bells yet. This part of the article provides you with a plan of action to surf through these incoming tides:
1. Create a customer-centric vision:
Articulate a clear customer-centric vision for your organization. This will motivate your employees to work towards an organizational goal, building a customer-centric culture within your organization.
Ensure that this vision is aligned along the approaches mentioned earlier in this article (Customer-centric). Highlight specific targets for your teams that will help the company realize its vision.
2. Prioritize establishing a connection:
If you want to retain your customers, it is paramount that you establish a relationship with them.
Your marketing team can help you in this by adding a touch of empathy in your product advertisements that drive most of your sales
Furthermore, align your sales according to your customers’ desires and requirements.
Tip: Collect customer feedback and work towards improving services, rather than trying to generate more sales with adamant practices.
Apart from empathizing with your customers, it is also necessary that your customers trust you. You can achieve this by living up to your promises and ensuring quality services to your customers.
3. Understand who is buying what:
As mentioned before, universal marketing campaigns don’t work anymore. Today’s marketing is about personalization.
You need to analyze each consumers’ behavior to understand their tastes and preferences.
So that you can highlight these preferences in your marketing strategy to ensure that your customers get exactly what they need.
Tip: Get in touch with your customers through multiple touchpoints, and try to understand their budgets, requirements, and future goals. This will eventually help you in providing your customers with the right services.
4. Digitalization is the new normal:
The onslaught of the pandemic has led to a great change. The physical world has now become a virtual one.
Digital and content marketing have become the new normal.
Tip: Consider methods like ‘Experiential marketing’ through mobile applications and other virtual platforms as one of the necessary transformations required in your B2B marketing strategies.
Also, establish an apt omnichannel customer interaction that integrates all these platforms.
Build a ladder not a slope
As mentioned earlier in this article, the prior methods of B2B marketing that focussed on professional messages and limited flow of content, seem obsolete when you are pitching to newer generations.
The crux of the present-day B2B marketing is customer experience. So, sticking to age-old methods would only widen the gap between you and your customers.
About 5 to 10 years back, getting educated about a product and trying it before making the purchase would be like icing over the cake. However, today it is the basic requirement for tech-savvy customers to even consider looking into your product.
Having read the entire article, I hope you now understand what you need to do to adapt to this new age of marketing.