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Four Tips for B2B Success in the Digital Age

By Nick Price

With digital taking on a more important role in marketing, B2B marketers may need to pivot their approach in order to succeed. But with the right strategies in place, B2B marketers can execute campaigns in more compelling ways than ever. Below we’ve outlined several techniques that can help ensure business success in the digital age.
Help Clients Maximize ROI. The uncertain economy has built resilience into the marketing plan of today’s B2B marketers. Successful companies understand that resources are limited, highlighting the importance of reaching target audiences who themselves have limited budgets.
In today’s marketplace, employees are being held accountable for their contribution to marketing initiatives more than ever. Potential buyers are tasked with maximizing ROI and finding growth with the allocated budget and time. Vendors, channel partners and allies that stick with clients through the good, the bad and the ugly can help improve the relationship. B2B marketers can help clients improve their ROI by remaining relevant to clients and adding a human touch in an increasingly digital world. Taking the time to craft strong content that understands your customer can also help deepen relationships and close deals.
Adopt Programmatic Media Buying. Taking an automated approach can help B2B marketers reach targeted audiences without blowing their budget. Yet, media buyers executing B2B campaigns are not taking to programmatic buying as much as consumer-facing advertisers. In fact, only 63 percent of media planners and buyers execute B2B campaigns programmatically, as opposed to 73 percent of buyers for consumer campaigns, according to a recent study Kantar Media SRDS and Connectiv.
But this will change. According to the report, more than two-thirds of respondents are already using programmatic and half expect their budget to increase in 2016.
Share Data. Evolution is also key to surviving the competitive landscape. Customer webs run by Facebook, Google and Amazon are turning online ecosystems on their heads and it is making survival tough. Surprisingly, pooling proprietary data can actually help companies succeed. While it may seem counter intuitive, many brands are sharing their data and sharing the findings in order to compete. These first-party data joint ventures bring insights that make it worth it. This data can help your company target and retarget customers, understand intent and, if they are in-market, track company devices down to the individual.
Focus on Customer Service. It’s no secret that customers that have a positive experience are willing to spend more with a company and that helps the brand grow their business. Most B2B customers are willing to spend more when they have a positive customer experience, and even recommend that service to colleagues or friends. Yet, poor customer service is a leading cause of buyers dropping their current vendor and those unsatisfied customers tell their friends. According to a study from B2B International only 14 percent of large B2B companies take a true customer-centric approach. While it might not be easy, it is worth the time and investment to develop a customer-centric strategy.
The first step in building a positive customer experience is commitment. B2B companies must commit their entire organization to providing strong customer service in order to succeed. The next key thing is to provide products and services that a customer actually needs, rather than just trying to sell a product. Only 38 percent of B2B firms score well in this category, according to B2B International, showing that there is plenty of room for improvement. B2B companies should also be responsive, provide a seamless experience and proactively create strong customer experiences. Just as businesses need to evolve to stay competitive, companies’ customer experiences need to evolve as well.

Nick Price

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