4 Ways B2B Marketers Can Thrive in the Age of Adaptation
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, everything about our world is different. From our interpersonal interactions to our content consumption habits, virtually everything about the world has changed, and B2B marketing is no exception.
According to Nielsen's 2021 Annual Marketing Report, many businesses had to make significant changes in their marketing budget due to the effects of the pandemic, and almost a third of technological firms adjusted their spending significantly in the same year.
B2B buyers today are doing everything remotely and digitally, from where they work to what they're reading to how they make buying decisions. They don't care about where they are on your sales and marketing-defined buyer's journey map; all they want is specific information to help them make buying decisions. In a nutshell, B2B buyers are seeking to purchase goods or services much more like B2C customers do today, making B2B marketing increasingly difficult than it's ever been.
The above data suggest that the Coronavirus has dramatically altered consumer habits, company priorities, and budgeting for many businesses. B2B Marketers are forced to figure out how to do more with less - in short, they need to adapt, and here are four ways to thrive in this new era:
Take a Buyer-Driven Approach
B2B buyers have shifted their buying behaviors and expectations, so it's time for marketers to shift their thinking as well. Emphasize customer-centric content over product-centric content; create buyer personas and use them as a basis for all marketing activities; and focus on helping buyers through the entire purchase process, not just at the top of the funnel. Also, implementing a buyer-driven strategy will help ensure that your content is relevant and useful to buyers, which is what they're looking for in this new era.
Gain Control of Measurements
In order to know if and how you're adapting, you need to be able to measure it. This means understanding what's important to your buyers and what they're looking for when they make a purchase. Use analytics to track not just website visits and leads generated but also the content being consumed, the types of interactions customers are having with your brand, and what sales cycle stage the customer is in when they reach out to you.
Be Open to Frequent Marketing Adjustments
While adequate resources are important for making fast campaign adjustments, sophisticated measurement tools that show real-time changing consumer behaviors and enable marketers to adjust their approaches along the way are also valuable. Marketers have always had to keep up with evolving consumer preferences, but the epidemic has hastened the rate of change to a point where it might be overwhelming (if not impossible) to stay up to date if control were maintained manually.
The old-fashioned marketing technology wouldn't cut it. In today's digital world, marketers have a wealth of data at their fingertips; therefore, they need tools that can analyze what's essential to their business and strategies while also integrating everything else. With future-forward analytics technology capable of providing granular, targeted insights into how audiences are responding to their efforts across platforms, marketers have the context they need to make confident and quick changes to their marketing mixes, so they target goals on the channels they're presently using instead of squandering money on those they aren't.
Reconsider Your Omnichannel Strategy
Taking an omnichannel approach to marketing isn't anything new; many marketers already aim to build a consistent brand personality that spans online and brick-and-mortar shops, guiding the consumer from top to bottom of the funnel. But now is the time to concentrate on the consumer experience at each point of contact, rather than just at the point of purchase, and synchronize investments across platforms in order to maximize customer interactions.
Also, due to the changes in purchasing behaviors of B2B buyers, it's necessary to go beyond the basics of omnichannel and focus on creating customer-centric experiences that are personalized, contextual, and consistent. For this reason, B2B marketers must take a holistic approach to their marketing efforts.
Buyers are looking for content that is relevant to them, regardless of the stage of the buying process they're in, so it's essential that you have a wide range of content that speaks to their needs at all stages. And, since buyers are interacting with brands in a variety of ways, it's more than important to have a consistent message and experience across all channels.
As a marketer, you should have a well-balanced approach to content, consider all the channels that buyers are using to interact with the brand, measure how well you're doing, and make changes when necessary. By adapting to the current business environment, you'll set yourself up for success in the years to come.