How to Adapt B2B Digital Marketing to the Buyer Journey in 2022?
Last update: 27 April 2023 at 12:42 pm
Understanding the natural progression of a B2B buyer’s journey is critical to developing a B2B digital marketing strategy. When we do this with our customers, it helps us look at their entire marketing strategy rather than focusing on discrete marketing approaches and minor concerns.
We may use an informed approach to enhance a prospective client’s results after understanding what’s currently working for them. We may also advise a customer to take a step back from the marketing approaches that aren’t performing effectively enough.
What Is B2B Digital Marketing?
Any marketing approach or content directed at a business or organization is referred to as B2B (business-to-business) marketing. B2B digital marketing methods are used by companies that sell products or services to other businesses or organizations rather than consumers. B2B marketing familiarizes other companies with your brand, and the value of your product or service, and aims at converting them into clients.
B2B (business-to-business) and B2C (business-to-consumer) marketing are very different. B2B and B2C marketing have different tactics and uses, as well as different audiences and communication methods.
Individuals who are making purchases on behalf of or for their company (rather than for themselves) are the goal of B2B digital marketing, which makes the organization the consumer.
The Anatomy of B2B Buying Journey
With digital disruption affecting all aspects of life, B2B buyers’ expectations for customer experience are evolving. They spend 27% of their shopping time online, conducting independent research. By 2025, digital channels are estimated to account for 80% of B2B sales contacts between suppliers and customers.
COVID-19 also saw a rise in the use of digital channels in the B2B buying process. It isn’t simply for the website or for starting a dialogue. B2B buyers are increasingly using digital channels for product research, contact with salespeople, and even internal purchasing debates.
B2B Buyer’s Journey Is Heavily Mobile Dependent
Even while the epidemic raged on, B2B customers began, and sometimes completed, their purchasing journeys on mobile devices. Build out the greatest version of your mobile marketing self to go where your consumers are.
According to the State of B2B Ecommerce in 2020 infographic, 91 percent of buyers currently search via mobile devices. Finally, while having a mobile website may appear to be something that agencies and marketing professionals have been suggesting for years, some businesses have yet to make their websites mobile-friendly. According to the 2020 CMO Survey, 14.5 percent of CMOs feel their mobile marketing activities are still hampered by a “lack of a mobile-friendly website.”
B2B Buyers Relies Heavily on Peer-to-Peer Information
More than 90% of B2B purchase decisions are influenced by peer recommendations, with 84 percent of B2B buyers beginning the buying process with a reference. 70 percent of B2B buyers completely describe their demands before speaking with a sales professional, and 44% identify specific solutions before contacting a seller.
Many customers rely on peer suggestions, but they also cherish and prioritize peer relationships. People participating in the B2B buying process may have diverse jobs within the firm, and hence distinct peer groups. People in various jobs are concerned with various issues.
Companies are aware of these discrepancies and are attempting to address them by developing a variety of materials suited to various consumers in order to assist in different stages of the buyer’s journey, hoping to shorten the sales cycle.
B2B Buying Journey Isn’t Linear
The linear process is archaic. Digital sales procedures have evolved from consumer to business-to-business. Buyers are more informed, and thus the sales process begins with a check of how much the prospect already knows about you. Usually, it will be a significant amount. Customers who are well-informed, aided by the internet, and have easy access to information about your – and your rivals’–products have basically killed the linear sales process and replaced it with something far more effective.
Salespeople may no longer presume that the consumer requires education or desires to be courted. Common sales objections must be anticipated.
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Redefine Your Targets
Digital marketing has been exponentially successful. Your ability to identify the demographics accurately means you’ll be more successful at marketing your campaign. This campaign is offered through Google searches and is geared towards everyone in the buying journey of your product.
It is important to use the right keywords to find the business you want the most. Achieving this goal is also possible through Facebook or Twitter. Platforms, including LinkedIn and Facebook, offer advanced targeting which can help you select potential candidates by job title, educational background, or even hobbies.
There’s always the possibility of getting an unexpected objection, but most sales objections fall into four categories: budget, authority, need, and time.
Adapting B2B Digital Marketing to the Buyer Journey in 6 Steps
Here’s a short rundown of the six stages discussed in this post.
Awareness of need
Trust, long-term loyalty, and brand equity are all dependent on brand awareness. It’s no surprise that so many marketers believe it’s essential for long-term success. However, it is also critical to raise awareness about the problem that your product addresses and how your products may assist.
If you’re a seasoned B2B marketer, you’re undoubtedly well aware of the importance of content marketing to generate leads and close deals; you might even have a strategy in place. But are you aware of the potential influence of content marketing on brand awareness?
On a technical level, providing fresh content that is relevant to your audience’s problems and requirements allows you to rank in Google and other search engines for the keywords they use. In some circumstances, this will be their first contact with your company.
You should be able to identify and track where your prospects are in the sales process. As a result, you will develop and implement approaches that will meet them where they are.
Because they have not shown a desire to make a purchase to fix the problem, bombarding them with prices or particular offerings would be inappropriate. They merely admitted that there is an issue.
Once your target audience is aware of the problem, the next stage of the buying process comes, which is research. Consumers rely on internal and external elements, as well as good and negative prior contacts with a product or brand while investigating their alternatives. They may examine possibilities in person or study online resources such as Google or customer reviews.
As a brand, your duty is to provide potential business customers with the information they need. Make a funnel and list the types of content that people will require. Present yourself as a reliable source of information and knowledge.
Educational information, such as white papers, analyst reports, and surveys, will be crucial. Make sure your website has these kinds of resources. To progressively provide this material to prospects, consider employing a marketing automation solution and creating lead nurturing campaigns. Email signature marketing is also a great way to provide your customers with valuable content and get them into your funnel.
At this phase, salespeople must connect with B2B prospects because stakeholders will decide whether or not they can build a solution in-house. It’s vital that your sales agents are aware of the customer’s demands so as to demonstrate how you’ll produce outcomes that go beyond an internal solution to gain the sale.
Committing to Change
Prospective buyers have formed criteria for what they desire in a product at this step in the consumer decision-making process. They are now weighing their options against similar possibilities.
They’ll go back to the research stage once they’ve narrowed down their options to only a few firms. This time, though, we’ll delve even further into each company’s individual services to see how they may handle their specific problems.
They’ll start contacting sales staff for further information or tailored product demos so they can truly dig into the aspects that are important to their teams.
During this stage, your marketing campaigns should focus on keeping a track of your lead’s interest and updating their lead score accordingly. Your marketing materials should aim to persuade customers that your product is better than the competition.
Salespeople must explain what’s essential to the buyer and the advantages of moving ahead. They must constantly serve as a trusted counsel and put themselves in the position of the buyer. Prepare to overcome objections—for example, know your competition so you can answer inquiries and compare benefits during sales calls.
The purchase is the moment the customer has been anticipating. Consumers should arrive at a rational decision on the product or service to purchase after gathering all the data, including feedback from prior customers. Your buyers will begin focusing on material that offers information about price, ROI, and the bottom line to justify their investment in order to secure approval from their C-suite colleagues.
During this stage, your marketing content should be tailored to the C-suite personnel of your customer organization, as they will make the final purchasing decision. You should focus on stats and information like price, return on investment, and the bottom line to justify the investment.
Your sales staff must function as consultants at this point. They must assist the buyer in persuading key stakeholders. Demonstrating the value of your solution becomes extremely important. You must persuade the consumer that your solution is superior and how it can help them be more efficient or scale their business.
Buyers have already chosen a solution classification at this point. They’re ready to choose a vendor and make a purchase once they get senior management’s approval. They’ll start thinking about preparation, implementation, quick start expenses, and customer support since these are the last factors that will determine which solution is ideal for their demands and budget. The client becomes more concerned about expenses at this phase. They weigh the risks of doing nothing and adopting the incorrect response. Customers want guarantees that the deployment will go smoothly.
It’s now time to tailor your content to your brand and show them why they should buy your product. Prepare a variety of case reports and customer reviews to demonstrate to prospects what others have accomplished by working with you, as well as how great their experience has been. This gives them the final reassurance to make the purchase and spend their money with you.
Each stakeholder has a unique viewpoint on the problem. Each one values the capabilities differently. By communicating the opportunity costs associated with the current system, your sales professionals must build this alignment and push the customer’s enthusiasm.
The purchase is the moment the customer has been expecting. Consumers should arrive at a rational decision on the product or service to purchase after gathering all the data, including feedback from prior customers.
If you’ve done your job well, the customer will see that your product is the best alternative and will choose to buy it.
Create a drip nurturing campaign for your consumers with useful articles on your product’s more sophisticated capabilities. Advice on how to use your product more successfully and efficiently. If you can assist them to understand the value of your product, they’ll be significantly more inclined to stay with you when it’s time to renew.
The buyer will think about what they’re willing to give up or exchange in order to receive the greatest deal. Customer objections are common among salespeople. Rather than overcoming objections, the purpose is to settle them. Overcoming an objection may cause the client to abandon terms or limit the scope of the sale.
Brand Examples of Successfully Deployed B2B Digital Marketing Strategies with a Focus on the Buyer Journey
Positive testimonials can be helpful in steering a lead’s decision, especially in the consideration stage. This can boost the image of your brand and help in giving an overall better impression.
On its website, Venngage featured encouraging client testimonials. This social proof demonstrates to prospects that you have a track record of reliability and has consistently exceeded customer expectations. Providing testimonials to potential consumers during the consideration and decision stages has a big impact, as discussed before.
You must make a business case for implementing a B2B referral program. According to research, recommendations are critical to B2B sales performance for 78 percent of marketers and 87 percent of frontline salespeople.
Referrals also have a greater conversion rate, close faster, and have a higher lifetime value, according to them. 86 percent of businesses with a structured referral program have seen revenue increase in the previous two years (compared to only 75 percent without programs).
An excellent example would be Blackbaud. Blackbaud is one of the world’s biggest cloud software firms, with a focus on non-profit organizations like charities and foundations.
Blackbaud has a fantastic B2B referral program that rewards current customers for becoming Blackbaud Champions, or product evangelists. Advocates are invited to give their perspectives on how the implementation process works, how it feels to work with the team, and how Blackbaud solutions have helped them achieve their goals.
You’ll need to guide your prospects through the buyer’s journey phases and supply diverse material, including social media postings, to cater to each of these stages in order to establish a successful B2B digital marketing plan. Provide a link to a free trial on a landing page, or provide contact information or a scheduling app for a prospect’s convenience as part of your B2B marketing plan. Include this information in your emails if you employ email marketing.
You may better prepare your content and entire marketing plan by taking your prospects through the buyer’s journey.