What a year it’s been. The COVID-19 pandemic changed so many things in the last year, one of them being that it fast-tracked a world that was slowly becoming more digital, flexible, and simple into digital transformation mode in a matter of weeks.
For CMOs of enterprise companies, digital transformation continues to represent an enormous opportunity -- to move away from the inefficient, highly centralized, largely ineffective big funnel marketing strategies to a more sophisticated, personalized, B2C-inspired model. The reality is, B2B marketers can no longer rely on generic drip emails and marketing automation, hoping a corporate website that functions as the primary digital experience hub will suffice. Nor can they rely on in-person events and face-to-face sales meetings in a digital-first marketplace.
Today’s savvy B2B buyers are in control and very comfortable guiding their own discovery and self-guided journeys. In fact, most B2B decision makers are open to making new, fully self-serve or remote purchases. In this new world, it’s time for enterprise marketers to take a page from the book of their B2C counterparts: democratize, empower, micro-segment, and personalize marketing efforts so they resonate with these modern enterprise buyers.
So how do you change the game from using traditional B2B marketing tactics to chasing customers to harnessing the power of digital transformation?
Cultivate better buyer relationships
The pandemic put a mirror in front of us, and the message was clear: change or vanish. Now more than ever, a strictly transactional approach to interacting with buyers isn’t going to cut it. They want to feel supported and nurtured as part of an ongoing relationship. Customized digital marketing efforts are critical because they can provide you with the data needed to understand your customers. As a result, even traditional industries like medical devices, logistics, and manufacturing are embracing digital marketing. Without it, you can’t split customers into smaller and smaller cohorts and build that close relationship.
The reality is the companies that know their customers the best can support them the best.
Shift from macro-segmentation to micro-segmentation
Broad customer segmentation results in bland, forgettable marketing, but in contrast, micro-segmentation is far more personal and powerful. It's easier to segment in small, creative ways if you tap into what the customer really needs and provide it without any overt sales pressure. We see it in many account-based marketing strategies. For example, Cisco had 1,500 sales engineers running demo days for technical users. Because the sessions were entirely centered on education, training, and the customers' needs, with no sales presence, they felt genuine and impactful. The users found the sessions valuable, and they had the desired outcome; 50% of attendees requested follow up meetings.
Empower frontline marketers
Ten years ago, you needed a data mining expert to help with business intelligence. Today, anyone in any company can use solutions like Tableau, Looker, Domo, or Qlik to pull relevant data and see immediate insights. People can execute faster and more effectively because they’re no longer dependent on the schedule and approval of others.
This same trend is happening in marketing -- so embrace it now as an early adopter. Empower your customer facing frontline marketers (ABM, field marketing, event marketing, partner marketing, industry marketing, and demand generation) across the entire global team so they can execute with agility, autonomy, and impact.
A frontline marketer in Singapore should be able to build a specific buyer journey for their microsegments quickly and independently -- just like their counterparts in Italy, Denmark, and Mexico. If you do take this path, it’s important to provide your team with clear brand standards and compliance with GDPR and other regulations.
Strengthen the partnership between sales and marketing
How can marketing be an even stronger partner to sales? It starts with empowering your frontline marketers to serve as the quarterback for the sales team, owning the buyer journey each step of the way. Marketing and sales teams should operate from a joint playbook and feel like they are taking the same steps toward the same goal - making sales.
How Folloze Helps
Moving full-steam ahead with digital transformation and making the large scale changes listed above might seem like a Herculean effort, but it doesn’t have to be if your team utilizes a Buyer Experience Platform like Folloze.
Folloze enables B2B sales and marketing teams to engage today’s sophisticated and digital-first buyer and fuel long term growth. By harnessing deep customer insights with personalized content and messaging, Folloze empowers frontline marketers to create and launch engaging buyer experiences and microtarged campaigns across the entire customer lifecycle. Folloze also orchestrates precise marketing-led campaigns to ensure that sellers focus on the right target accounts and achieve their sales goals. At every step of the customer journey, Folloze measures buyer engagement to inform future campaigns or next steps from the sales and revenue teams.
To learn more about Folloze and how it can be used to harness the power of digital transformation, visit their website.