A few weeks ago I had a long, informal conversation with Jason Gorud (Group VP – IDC/DG Global Solutions) on marketing in time of evolving normal (not so ‘new’ anymore).
The first part we talked about Customer Experience, ‘Omnidigital’ marketing environment today, and marketing data sources.
|Few highlights from Part 1:|
|Customer Experience is the heart of Digital Transformation. 34% of the Dx spent is earmarked for Customer Experience enhancement. And marketing is the first touchpoint for future customers. Customer-centricity is the compass for today’s B2B marketers. In the pre-COVID era, companies looked at digital as one of many channels for reaching out to customers. What we see now is the world is moving from, obviously, digital as a channel to Omni-digital. IDC research suggests that by 2021, 65% of organisations will have shifted entirely to digital interactions with their customers. New York Times showed a 20% increase in internet traffic, a 27% increase in the use of social media to make purchasing decisions. COVID has pushed customers to online Omni-digital only world now. |
Customer-centric B2B marketing success depends on getting out of the slavish dedication to linear ‘funnel’ and focussing on insight-driven engagements. Insight doesn’t mean you only understand the prospects from a technographic or a firmographic perspective; it means you understand who they are, what they need. IDG calls it B2I (Business to Individual) marketing.
Marketing insider group said up to 70% of pre-existing CRM data is either wrong or out of date or un-actionable. So if you’re a firm that’s entirely reliant upon the data that sits in your current CRM system, you might be putting yourself at a disadvantage.
In the second part, we talked about standing out with empathic content and the shift from competency demonstrating content strategy aka thought leadership content.
|Highlights from Part 2:|
|When the phrase, “Content is King,” meant everything, and B2B marketers strove to develop thought leadership through the appearance of technological superiority. That too, as a model is dead. You still have to develop and be able to communicate competency, but at the same time, you must be able to display empathy. Technical competency all too often is in the form of fact sheets, and I know this or some loosely thrown together case study, which shows, “Oh, look, you’re a bank I’ve sold to a bank. I’m competent. You should buy it from me.” But according to IDC – 70% of people in the buying team need you to demonstrate a clear understanding of their business needs. Your ability to create almost an empathic relationship or experience with the customer has to come first, and then the demonstration of competency has to occur. |
The ability to capture that data and put it through a meaningful system matters the most. CRM systems, of course, are a must. Customer data platforms, we talked about those the last time. Same thing, those are increasing in popularity. In 2020 we’re expecting $550 million in just pure CX technologies. That includes analytics and platforms, which lets you capture information from your customer, not just with how they interact with your content, but through the point of buying it and beyond.
In the third part, we talked about personalised buyer’s experience based on data and the importance of B2I (Business to Individual) marketing.
|Highlights from Part 3:|
According to IDC’s Future of customer and consumers report, 73% of the customers that we talked about said – “if you want me to remain loyal and act as an advocate, I need a personalised, differentiated experience throughout the entirety of my relationship with you. Please don’t bombard me with webinars. Please don’t invite me to an event to tell me about your new chipset. Don’t throw feature functionality at me. Don’t tell me how great you are, how bad the competition is. Fix my problem. Don’t try to demonstrate competency without figuring me out first.”
The role of sales has now fundamentally shifted. DX is driving that shift, and COVID has accelerated it. It is Omni-digital in the most real sense. Everything offline is now online, including a lot of the sales function. How am I serving them content that’s personalised so that their experience is unified and frictionless is if you think about it, the job of the salesperson. Marketing is the new sales from one perspective.
Focus on the channels that provide you with the best freshest data. Make sure that you’re capturing that data so that you gain insight into this, the customer at any given point in time. Use that data to begin to improve the customer’s experience. Move away from demonstrating competency before empathy, understand that order matters and structure your content, your webinars, your interactions with your customers in the Omni-digital world to be more B2i focused. It’s a fundamental shift, but it’s not that fundamentally tricky.
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