Digitalisation is often produced as a major challenge for business to business than for business to consumer. Consumer communication may seem to be better suited for digitisation: it is more fast-paced, concept-based and personal than digital B2B marketing .
This is true, for example, e-commerce is much more common in consumer goods than goods for companies, even though trade between companies has a higher turnover than consumer goods.
Digital b2b marketing = digital b2c marketing?
It is sometimes said that a b2b audience and a b2c audience are no longer different. Their digital behaviour is similar to each other and the division is therefore no longer relevant. It is also true to some extent, even b2b buyers want to be entertained and inspired.
But the buying process looks different between the customer groups. B2b purchases require more knowledge, greater trust, personal contact and often longer processing. The brand is strengthened by the fact that the company is knowledge-leading rather than identity-creating. An effective strategy for digital B2B marketing is about positioning the company as a thought leader.
Knowledge-leading companies place themselves in the recipient’s top of mind in particular issues. They are perceived as an authority and can define trends in the industry. These sales arguments are specific to b2b and do not have the same weight in b2c. What does this mean for digital company b2b companies?
Digitisation changes time and space
Time goes a bit faster in the digital space. Quick communication is not only possible, we get used to default as a default. The customer is used to answer questions directly and rarely has the patience to wait or need to contact a company for more information.
The information should be available by simple search. And best search results win. Ranking and advertising on Google is one of the most important channels for pushing new customers into a web site or e-commerce platform. SEO is therefore equally relevant to digital b2b marketing as digital consumer communication.
SEO also makes the customer image central to business – what information is the customer looking for and what format do they want?
Sudden out the physical distance
In addition to changing time, digitalisation has also eliminated the physical space’s limitations. Today, companies no longer compete only with nearby companies, but all companies in the same industry.
Creating the image of the company’s proximity to the customer is more about logistics solutions and technical accessibility than any local representation. The changing distance also affects the internal organisation.
The technology makes it possible to integrate different functions and develop more collaborations, such as between HR and the communications department, or between the marketing department and the sales force. The challenge for the digital b2b marketing lies in the customer’s demand for a consistent, flexible and complete contact experience, no matter who they are talking to or in what situation.
New ways to sell
Digitisation also creates new ways to sell. Social selling , initiating and building relationships through social networks, is part of the change that the company’s sales force faces. Marketing focuses on content marketing – interacting with the audience through knowledge-sharing or inspirational content that potential customers themselves are looking for. Content comes in various forms: blogs, ebooks, downloadable material, articles, infographics and more.
Marketing automation and lead generation
Digital b2b marketing is often based on long and wide marketing efforts to reach potential customers. It requires closer cooperation between the marketing department and the sales department.
The purpose is to jointly create conversion, resale, merchandising and cross sales. One way to work is to automate the external communication. Briefly, marketing automation builds on a software program that automates email marketing. The software is usually linked to the CRM system and the e-mail addresses are collected using content marketing material.
Marketing automation makes it possible to create and send relevant material based on what interest a person has shown to the company. An extension of this is lead management, where potential customers are identified. Lead management is primarily about analyzing needs and prioritising purchase signals for generating business. It involves getting the visitor from “suspect” to “prospect” and from “lead” to “customer” with the right interaction and communication.
Structure of the complexity
In summary, digitalisation has put a number of new frameworks for B2B marketing, which implies both possibilities and limitations. The digital anxiety experienced by many market and sales executives is justified – in the digital arena, the pace is high and development is fast.
But the advantage of an increasingly complex arena is the emergence of new solutions that make it easier for companies to create structure and reach out. At SEO Expert Melbourne we have been working on these issues for several years and help our customers develop strategies for better digital b2b marketing. Find out if you want to know more!
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