The customer journey is becoming more and more complex.
In B2B, the customer journey has always been complex.
We have long decision-making cycles, we have the notorious buying center made up of specialist departments, Purchasing departments, management, maybe the management assistant to start with.
But according to a new study by CEO Decisions, the customer journey has been 22% longer in the last five years.
This is because more and more content is available, there are more providers, users obtain information via different channels on different platforms.
And your job is to be present with your B2B company at every stage in the purchase decision process.
That means with content, where you provide general information, but also then of course with explicit information about your product You have to be present there.
At Google, where the search often begins, but then it shifts to specialist websites, YouTube is used as a source of information, Social networks like LinkedIn, Xing, Facebook, maybe even Instagram now.
And you have to be present on all of these channels with different types of content.
The earlier you are present and when you are present through this entire customer journey, you are most likely to graduate.
Do you prefer to do it online or offline in B2B? Both! So forget about the separation between online marketing and offline marketing! Rather, use both channels or both sides! Coordinate the actions you take so that you say, for example, You have a booth at an important trade fair and do online marketing, to get people to the booth.
Or you do an event where you invite your potential customers or existing customers and do the invitation management and the acquisition of participants, you can do wonderful things via Xing.
Or you have a fantastic blog article that generated a lot of attention.
Make another YouTube video and then you make sure that trade journals write about it in print.
You might even be able to turn it into an eBook and then give out this eBook in print form, so that you can hand it back to people at the booth.
In this way you can wonderfully interlink your online and offline measures And there are so many points of contact; it is important that you have so many touchpoints, as many customer contact points as possible can then also be recorded in a CRM, where all the data then converges so that you know which measures then ultimately brought about what.
Don't depend on Google! Google is the first point of contact for many searches, also in the B2B area.
We cannot prevent that.
However, we also see that the competitive situation in SEO and also in Google Ads has become much more intense in recent years.
This has the consequence that the click prices on Google Ads have risen sharply And in the end that means nothing else than that Google is getting more and more of the margin incorporated by you as a B2B advertiser.
is not so nice therefore make sure that you have content that attracts users that is, that you have good content on your website, which you can then find on XING, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and which channels can play out and also reach users through them! Make sure that you and your content are visible on specialist pages for industry portals and then make sure that the users come to your website and you then get the user data, for example via eBooks, case studies, whitepapers, in order to be able to delight them with your content at the push of a button via marketing automation.
Not when it suits Google.
This makes you much more independent from Google.
Brands and stories are also becoming more important in B2B.
B2B means business-to-business, but people actually buy from other people and there are several factors that make the difference.
That is sympathy in the first step, because I never buy from someone I don't like otherwise the intro is always very difficult.
Trust and presumption of competence, these are the three decisive elements that you have to use.
Make sure your company and your brand are liked and you can do that by telling captivating stories, how your offers your products solved customer problems.
Show real people for it! Not somehow these stock photos, preferably with the headset, this funny stock photo lady, who then phoned! No, shows real people you can come into contact with! and when these people solve the problems of your customers, then you are credible, then you are sympathetic and then you also get the authority for the topic.
The challenge is to create really entertaining content, to pack into a beautiful story and at the same time tell how you solve your customers' problems.
Then your potential customers, whom I love, will ask you.
Marketing and sales must be linked, dovetailed.
In many companies we still see it that marketing and sales Sitting in different offices, having different roadmaps, different goals and not really work together, but, sometimes even felt, against each other.
Marketing complains that sales are kind of goofy with great leads who have been brought in to convert into customers and the sales department says: "Yes, but the leads were total crap" And that means that the company can't really grow.
If you want your business to grow then you have to put marketing and sales in one room.
So that they work together on a roadmap with goals that build on each other In this way you can ensure that the company looks extremely harmonious in its external presentation and you also make offers that solve customers' problems.
And if you can do that, you will bring in better leads You will know more precisely what the quality is, where the good leads come from and what sales have to do to turn the inquiries into customers.
And if you really want to play the Champions League, you pack in the same office, where marketing and sales still sit for product development! That means when product development and marketing and sales work very closely together, then you will have products that keep getting better and better at that Needs of the market are tailored.
It is much easier to then market such products and win customers for them.
Those were the five recommendations for your B2B marketing.
How do you do it now? Step 1: check out the status quo! Are you present throughout the entire customer journey? Have you dovetailed your online and offline measures and do you use more platforms? Are you present on Google with your SEO measures? Are you present with Google Ads? Do you use YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Xing? Do you have a presentation on Slideshare, so you use all possible content formats, to be present.
If that is not the case then take care of it.
Step number 2: Talk about the solutions you offer and not the features of your product! Tell stories of how your offers and your products solved customer problems and really drive this story through the entire customer journey! So that users understand that you are making their life more beautiful, better, more successful.
Step number three: connect step one and step two! Make sure that you are present with suitable messages throughout the entire customer journey.
This means that you are at every stage in the purchase decision process send the appropriate message that the user is probably interested in at the moment The whole thing packed into a nice round story, which always comes to the same result, namely that you solve your customers' problems.
And you can only do that if you bring marketing and sales together and work on a common roadmap to achieve these goals.
If you implement these three steps in your company now, you will achieve very good results in the next few months.
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