GLOBAL BRAND AND MARKETING DIRECTOR
Is the global pandemic responsible for the rise of digital marketing?
Companies were already adapting their sales and marketing strategies to have a larger digital focus before the global pandemic. The global pandemic simply accelerated this adaptation as businesses needed to reach their customers when they were working at home. Now that we are in the ‘new normal’ following the pandemic, businesses still need to keep up with their buyer’s habits and preferences. Buyers are now very comfortable using online channels for research. It is estimated that buyers now make up to 60% of their final decision before contacting sales representatives in the final stages of their buying journey.
This means that B2B businesses must make sure that their content directly answers the questions of their buyers and can be easily found online. The personal shopping habits of buyers outside of work have now created expectations in their professional lives too. If a buyer does not have a seamless research and buying experience, like they would on Amazon for example, then they are very unlikely to buy from that company.
What can B2B marketers learn from their B2C counterparts?
There is a lot that B2B marketers can learn from B2C marketers. In particular, B2B marketers need to understand the importance of human emotion and personal identity in their marketing efforts. Because even though it may be a B2B transaction, the decision-makers behind the purchase are still humans. The reason that human emotion and engagement is still vital in digital B2B sales and marketing is trust. Without trust and positive relationship building between supplier and customer, B2B sales simply don't happen.
To bring more human emotions into their sales and marketing, companies need to start talking less about themselves. Instead they should focus on their prospective customers and what matters most to them. The first question should always be “What problem do I solve for my customers”. From here, introduce real examples of where you have solved this problem for your existing customers and helped them to be more successful. Showing your prospects that you can help overcome the problems that keep them up at night is one of the most powerful ways to build credibility and trust.
B2B marketers need to understand the importance of human emotion and personal identity in their marketing efforts.
Once you know how your buyers spend their time online, it becomes much easier to put the right content in front of them at the right time.
What does it mean to have a digital mindset?
The first part of having a digital mindset means having a deep understanding of different digital tools, channels and technology, and how they can be used to support your sales and marketing. But alongside this, marketers also need to have a deep understanding of who their buyers are and who is involved in the decision making process. Having this knowledge of your buyers is crucial as it allows you to understand the channels that they engage with and the content they look at. Once you know how your buyers spend their time online, it becomes much easier to put the right content in front of them at the right time. It’s important that this insight is shared across the whole business and not just contained within the marketing team. It can be particularly valuable for sales teams as they can see what matters to their prospects even before their first conversations.
Arcadis is the leading global Design & Engineering Consultancy for natural and built assets. Their deep market sector insights and collective design, consultancy, engineering, project and management services work in partnership with their clients to deliver exceptional and sustainable outcomes throughout the lifecycle of their natural and built assets.