Years ago, there was a clear divide between B2C (business to consumer) and B2B (business to business) marketing. B2C and B2B rarely overlapped, and marketers would stick to their specific area of focus.
But the digital marketing environment has changed dramatically in the past decade and now the lines between B2C and B2B are more blurred than ever. As we’ll discuss, a few major technological trends have caused this shift, helping to bring on a golden age for B2B marketing.
First of all, new tools have helped marketers collect data more effectively, then seamlessly turn this data into more sophisticated campaigns.
At the same time, content has taken centre stage, giving marketers the ability to “talk” to their clients and consumers more regularly.
To put it simply: it’s been a perfect storm for B2B success. Here’s how ambitious brands are taking advantage of this transformative moment.
A Complete Picture of the Customer Journey
In the past, marketers had a difficult time discerning customers’ needs and intent. Customers might check their email only every few days, or make online purchases only occasionally. It was hard to know where a customer stood in the marketing funnel, how close they were to making a purchase.
Today, the rise of mobile and e-commerce has given marketers a much better idea of customers’ needs and desires. Marketers now have the data to see the whole customer journey — a zig-zagging path that might start with a customer seeing an ad campaign on social media, then browsing for products on their phone, and finally making a purchase on their desktop a few days later.
Turning Data Into Action
It’s not just about having more data. It’s about turning that data into actionable insights. Analytics, improved customer relationship management (CRM), and powerful campaign optimization tools have helped brands analyze customer data, deal flow, uncover a complete picture of the customer journey, and then get to work taking action on these data-driven insights.
Additionally, these tools have enabled more iterative testing, so that marketing teams can build campaigns on the fly and adjust them quickly based on real-time insights.
Data isn’t worth much unless it’s being understood, analyzed, and put toward improved customer experiences. Marketing teams now have the tools to do just that — and as you can imagine, this technology has transformed the way marketers engage customers.
Providing More Impactful Customer Experiences
As understanding of the customer journey increases, today’s B2B marketers are able to have actual conversations with users. As marketers anticipate customers’ needs, they’re able to respond with messaging that’s relevant and personalized. It’s a more human, customer-centric approach to marketing, committed to delivering the right content to the right customer at just the right time.
Today’s marketers also have more avenues for delivering these impactful customer experiences. With the rise of new channels and new devices, marketers have increased opportunities to communicate with users across their journey. A push notification on a phone or a personalized banner ad can go a long way toward building productive, ongoing relationships with consumers. And thanks to advanced digital tools, building these experiences is an easier, more streamlined process.
No matter what industry you’re in, it’s an exciting time to be crafting messaging and building relationships with customers. So look around you. Who is your target audience? What are the tools at your disposal? Then decide: how are you going to seize the moment?