The idea of the digital disruption changing the marketing industry is nothing new. The online invasion has been in full force for B2C marketers for a number of years, however, some industrial B2B digital marketing efforts have been slow to take note. According to a recent report from the respected global consulting firm Bain & Company, this is beginning to change. The report claims that the traditional B2B marketing and sales model has run its course and that the digital disruption is gaining momentum among B2B digital marketing campaigns and industrial marketers.
Bain & Company interviewed 370 marketing and sales executives working in the industrial and technology sectors around the globe. Almost half of those surveyed said that digital capabilities have significantly changed their customer’s behavior. Largely this is due to a power shift, as customers have access to more information online, they are making more informed decisions.
According to the Bain & Company report, B2B buyers perform more than two-thirds of their decision-making research online, meaning that businesses which are hard to find online will be disqualified by customers before they even know they are in the market.
And while there has been a shift in power towards customers, businesses are certainly not left in the dark. In fact, the lights have never been brighter.
As buyers spend more time online, businesses are able to monitor more closely their behaviors and buying habits, which is a great benefit to marketing and sales teams. With online customers, Bain & Company suggest that many companies already have access to a wealth of customer data. It is easy to know when and what customers are interested in, which pages or lines of business on a website get the most attention, and which products or offers are proving to be the most effective.
Data on buying habits is only a benefit to sales teams if they are able to properly make connections and understand what it means.
For example, a safety equipment and services company notices that their web page for plant/mine safety audits is one of the most popular pages on their website. This is great, but taking a step further, they discover that the majority of customers who arrived used search terms related to the mining industry to find their website in the first place. In response, the company is able to tailor its messaging to target companies operating in the mining sector, and inform sales teams about mining industry leads that have shown interest, so they are prepared to have meaningful conversations with potential customers right away.
The digital disruption has arrived and, much like e-commerce changed consumer driven business, online technology is leaving its mark on B2B industrial marketing.
Leading companies are taking advantage by building detailed views of customer behavior, and following the sales cycle effortlessly to know the right time to make contact. As customers continue to spend more time online, businesses will need to effectively leverage their B2B digital marketing technology use to understand customer behavior, and be found by customers looking for their products and services.
About Samuel Fordham
Samuel brings energy and enthusiasm to the marketing team at ActiveConversion. With a background in communications and digital journalism, Samuel focuses marketing efforts towards the goal of increasing opportunities for business growth.