How Can B2B Marketers Stay Ahead of The Curve?
Marketers are presently getting accustomed to the ongoing recession. Currently, everything in the world, including B2B businesses, has gone digital. According to an Accenture report, 61% of all B2B transactions are happening online. Another report from Forrester claims that the US B2B market will grow by 10% annually to reach $1.8 trillion by 2023.
The digital transformation has been a blessing for the B2B business. As more and more people work remotely, the need for automation has increased. It has also opened opportunities for new technology platforms. However, B2B marketing comes with its own set of challenges – generating better quality leads, managing marketing operations, and finally bringing in new business.
One of the things that marketers can do immediately is to build high ROI campaigns, which will help the prospects convert. One should also stop waiting for issues to arise; good planning might help you anticipate them early. Proper planning will help guide your team to deliver the right actions at the right time.
In this blog, we will deal with how B2B marketers can talk to their prospects while on their buying journeys.
Converting your prospects
A B2B buyer will make a purchase decision based on their need for the product. Most of the time, a prospect will only make a move toward a product if it is a custom fit for solving the problem the buyer is facing. If your communication is not right, your prospect might not consider your product, even if your product is top-notch.
B2B marketers need to get their message right so that it can catch the prospect and hit them directly at their pain point. Marketers should effectively use platforms to target prospects. You can set up a lead scoring process to determine the stage of buying where your lead is.
Many prospects are motivated by immediate desires, benefits, and emotions. Others will take their time to effectively chalk out a buying process – identifying the problem, evaluating the needs, and finding the custom-fit solution.
As a marketer, you need to reach out to your prospect at every stage of this buying process.
B2B Buyer Journey
According to a Forrester Research study, 74% of buyers conduct their research online before making an offline purchase. One needs to form a cross-channel engagement strategy to engage with buyers successfully. B2B marketers need to tap into digital and social channels, events, and a compelling email marketing journey to help the prospect advance their decision-making process.
A study by SiriusDecisions suggests that 70% of a prospect’s journey is complete before they reach out to the sales team. Today, content is the greatest treasure to tap into your B2B prospects. 80% of B2B buyers get information from educational blogs and articles, while 74% of business buyers react to marketing emails.
Marketers need to have outstanding content and an email strategy in place to tap into the market.
There are three stages to a B2B buyer journey – Awareness, Consideration, and Decision.
Awareness – In this stage, your prospects will ideally identify their needs, followed by conducting research, based on which they will prioritize their next steps. As a marketer, you need to engage with your prospects in this stage by forming a marketing operations strategy. That would involve – creating blogs and articles, email marketing, and adding hyper-targeted messages to urge the buyer to reach the next stage. This stage allows the marketer to build rapport, kickstart relationships, and cultivate buyer trust in their product and services.
Consideration – While your prospects reach the consideration stage, they have already defined their problems and are now zeroing in on the solution. For a marketer, a highly targeted content marketing strategy is crucial at this stage. One needs to form a solid lead nurturing strategy involving – social selling, case studies, webinars, whitepapers, live events, etc. According to a Hubspot report, 67% of B2B marketers reported a 10% increase in sales after adopting a lead nurturing strategy.
Decision – At this stage, the chances of getting a paying customer is high for marketers, since your prospect has done a thorough research and consulted with stakeholders. This prospect is now your opportunity. But for the B2B space, the decision stage can go on for over 6 months. It’s an ongoing process, and the purchase needs continuous review. For a marketer at this stage, one needs to stay on top of customer satisfaction. A happy customer can turn into an evangelist for the future.
To complete this whole process, a B2B marketer needs to invest in an extensive lead nurturing strategy. It would be best if you build a strategy with the right customer in mind, which will define a buyer persona. That will lead you to strategize for the right channels to reach the buyer and understand their buyer journey.
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