Illustrations & drawings by Kitty Wong, Hong Kong. Inspirations and ideas from everyday and new exploration in life journey.
B2B Marketing is in the midst of a Digital boom. How far can your company run with it now?
August 18, 2014
With advances in technology and the internet, consumers are no longer willing to be patient and spend a long time waiting for response, delivery of service or products offered by brands. Instead they look for more information about the brands they are interested in according to their own time schedule, available communications channels and across various locations. To answer these changes in consumers’ behaviour, there is a boom in the development of new solutions in the B2B market, for example business automation, enhancing production efficiency, real time logistics management, customization of e-commerce, big data management and so on.
Traditional B2B marketing has been about ‘push’ marketing such as placing print ads in industry magazines, mailing newsletters and/or emails to prospect through either selling new products or invitations to seminars and trade shows. These tactics for reaching out are deemed mainly passive as they entail waiting for prospects to raise their hands and show interest.
The latest B2B marketing emphasis is on ‘pull ‘marketing and this approach ensures potential buyers can easily “know” and “become interested” in your products and company before reaching out directly to you.
This “knowing” is the art of making your solutions accessible, visible and talked about. Communications consequently become targeted so that call-for-click banner ads, key words on SEM and SEO, influencers to share their words on social media, user friendly website/mobile site all provide stand-out and simple to understand messages about the solution’s values and benefits. This “knowing” process has a rolling effect to spread the message and requires marketers to plan both “push and pull” marketing in a smarter way.
The next stage “interested” is all about enticing prospects to be more involved in your solutions. This may require showing demos or prototypes as well as product comparison to allow prospects to evaluate the solution in their own time. In addition, when a solution can be presented with an appealing idea and clear implementation, it improves its chance to gain credibility and trust and encouraging prospects to make contact with your company.
However, in B2B buying situations, the bigger the investment, the longer it takes for business decision-making. Also not all prospects have their budget and readiness in this fiscal year to buy your solutions. The nature of this longer sales journey requires holistic marketing and sales efforts to keep prospects warm and interested.
Throughout this long selling process, digital marketing provides analytical measurement of effectiveness by identifying learning and opportunities for agile responses. With systematic planning in place for this measurement, it is possible to identify key drivers for more information, touch points for contacts, key channels and media for driving responses. All these enhance the experience of prospects with your company before a real sales call is made.
Finally, the lead generation process is not only about “how”, but importantly the “what”. A classic case is IBM’s “Smarter Planet” - a great marketing idea platform that is a clear proposition of brand promise yet big enough to embrace diversified products and services solutions under the brand name and image that permeates all their marketing. Although “Smarter” is a generic word, IBM uses it consistently and strategically across all its marketing to build a clear image and in the process they own this key word in the category.
Contact us at www.cheerbox.com.hk if you’d like to discuss B2B marketing.