Digitization means that information is constantly available nowadays – regardless of the accessibility of your sales team. Or that of your competitors. What do you know about your own online presence? And about that of your competitors? What information can your target groups find the quickest?
Like all consumers, today’s B2B buyers don’t compare you with other companies in your industry – they compare you with the best digital experiences they’ve ever had.
Today, almost every purchase decision, regardless of whether B2C or B2B, starts with a search for relevant information on the Internet – increasingly on mobile devices in the B2B sector. Ever more people are using their smartphone to obtain the advice they need when making large and small decisions. Mobile searches using the word “best” have increased by 80 percent in the last two years. The first results often show solutions from the immediate environment.
Are you as digitised as your customers?
Mobile is playing an increasingly important role in the B2B customer journey. 50% of B2B searches are carried out on smartphones today. This figure is expected to grow to 70% by 20201. It thus makes little sense to talk about digitisation when it comes to your customers today: they are already digitised. It’s high time to update your sales awareness for digitisation. However, digitising the sales department does not need to be the much-cited “digital revolution that changes everything”.
It is more like a process that takes time. Although your direct contacts will not disappear overnight, the shift is already underway: ever more decision makers are digital natives who attach greater importance to their own search for information than to maintaining personal contact with your sales department. These B2B principles favouring a strong one-on-one relationship still apply, albeit in a mobile-first world. B2B marketers need to find ways to do so on a large scale.
So how can you promote digitisation in your B2B business?
As an agency, we have already supported numerous customers from a wide range of industries with digitisation projects, sometimes even initiating digitisation ourselves. Based on this experience, we have determined three basic rules for successful digitisation.
1. Small and clearly organised projects facilitate first experiences in digital communication with the target group. These initial results form the basis for promoting the digitisation process.
2. Obtaining informative results requires a quantified objective – including for clearly organised projects.
3. Many marketing departments struggle with defining project goals because the sales department cannot or does not want to name any. It is nevertheless always possible to independently quantify goals that help achieve corporate goals. If marketing begins to name goals, sales will follow suit very quickly.
Based on our experience, Google Adwords is a good choice for an initial digitisation attempt. The B2B sector tends to underestimate this channel because it is assumed that too few consumers are actually looking for the very specific products offered by B2B companies. It is time to rethink this assumption. Firstly, those few searchers are precisely the ones you want to reach as a business. And secondly, more complex B2B products are particularly well-suited to this because technical terms are very specific. They are very effective long tail keywords.
Finding information about B2B products is relatively difficult and requires very specific search terms: our long tail keywords. They are perfectly suited to reaching your target group in Adwords on a low budget with little resource scattering. An optimised landing page generates new contacts or leads and even qualified sales leads from the interactions with the Google ad. Such results will help you quickly convince your sales team participate in further digitisation projects. After all, working together is most effective way to advance your company.
And as we’ve seen with the acceptance of every new technology, market leaders generally outperform latecomers in terms of sales growth. Prioritising mobile experiences will give you a head start on your competitors today. Latecomers will have a harder time.