Rethinking marketing for the new B2B buying journey
COVID-19 has shaken up the world. It has disrupted businesses, impacted economies, and changed the buying behavior within weeks. With no physical interaction possible, businesses had to quickly move their operations online.
The pace of this move towards digital was aptly captured by Microsoft’s CEO when he said, “We have seen two years’ worth of digital transformation within 2 months.”
For B2B marketers, this meant all events had to be canceled or shifted to digital formats. They responded promptly and we all were flooded with webinars. Within weeks, even offline conferences were converted to virtual summits.
As we move forward, it is clear that physical interactions remain a distant future and remote and digital interactions are likely to continue. In fact, with time, these changes would become irreversible, changing the buying behavior and journey altogether.
This presents a massive challenge for B2B marketers who have relied on offline events, conferences, and meetings to engage with their prospects and customers. With so much content available online, digital events and meetings can never replicate the trust and credibility built during physical interactions. These marketers would have to reorient their strategies for digital, which means new tactics and capabilities.
At the same time, it offers a massive opportunity for those marketers who can unlock the full potential of digital to deliver differentiated experiences and help their buyers intuitively get answers to their queries.
Even before the lockdown, we were seeing examples of how brands were adopting new techniques.
Gainsight, a customer success software company has been powering its ABM campaigns with personalized videos from their sales team for each prospect.
Video content was already showing amazing results for brands and at a time, when the world is craving human connection, this technique can bring authenticity to your campaign and immediately grab your prospect’s attention and get them to engage with you.
Interactive content for self-directed learning
Microsoft is using multiple types of interactive content to help companies in their AI journey. From having an online tool to help businesses determine their AI readiness to creating an interactive infographic that shows how businesses across industries are charting their way forward with AI, they are pushing the barriers of what is possible on the digital medium.
Another great example is IBM. They have created calculators to help customers understand the financial benefits of their products.
With 91% buyers preferring visual and interactive content over traditional formats, these interactive content tactics such as visualizations, assessments, and calculators can drive immense results for brands.
IBM and Tally are leveraging the reach of their employees to build opportunities. IBM invited select 6,000 employees for their #NewWaytoWork campaign and asked them to participate in social sharing. This earned them 250,000 social shares and 50,000 leads.
Tally has realized that its target audience is highly active on WhatsApp. So, it has armed its channel partners with images, videos and stories that they share with their customer and prospect base.
According to a Nielsen Global online customer survey, 90% of customers trust recommendations from people they know. With employees having 10 times more connections than the corporate, employee advocacy can help you drive authentic reach at scale.
Interactivity in existing content
Leading companies such as HPE and Salesforce are supplementing their existing content with interactivity to build immersive experiences. With content space getting crowded, building interactivity can be a great way to bring differentiation in your content.
Preparing for the changing buying behavior
As COVID-19 prolongs, it will make permanent changes to the buying journey. To leverage this opportunity, you need a partner who can work with you to convert your technical details into the right marketing asset. Binary Prospect has worked extensively with companies such as Microsoft and IBM, helping them leverage the full possibilities of digital.
We would be happy to have a discussion on how we can work with you. Please drop us a mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.