B-to-B: Digital Remix
To start, B-to-B marketers must upgrade their Web site experiences. They also must stop blathering incessantly about features and functions and shift to an outside-in perspective, where messages and communications focus on helping prospects and customers accomplish buying and adoption goals. Marketers must stretch budget dollars further and replace conventional tactics with digital approaches that create more targetable, measurable and engaging interactions. In addition, they must move Web 2.0 tools like microblogs, virtual trade shows and wikis from experimental to routine to react to customer cuts in corporate travel and to meet buyer desire for new sources of information during purchase decisions.
Use Digital Media to Boost Buyer Dialog and Engagement
Digital marketing uses the Internet to create dialog between marketers and buyers. Marketers who try to force-fit conventional offer-response-fulfill communications into these interactive channels miss new opportunities to connect with buyers and sort out qualified prospects. Shifting long-held marketing practices from outbound to inbound doesn’t happen profitably unless B-to-B marketers create digital complements to conventional tactics.
Forget bleeding-edge stuff like avatars and virtual worlds. Instead, sit with your PR, field and corporate communications teams to brainstorm simple, logical approaches that use digital channels to supplement and enhance physical experiences. For example, add publication-specific URLs to print ads, or embed a key or code in event gifts that unlocks executive briefing content published on exclusive landing pages to link the online and offline worlds.
Despite boosting awareness and demand generation, automating e-mail conversations can be a daunting task. The trick is to make the content sound conversational but provocative. Start by asking your top sales people to contribute and rate the top 10 e-mail opening lines they’ve seen work with prospects. Narrow this down to three or four, and conduct A/B testing to determine which formats, elements and offers work best on which audiences. Do this yourself, and then use the exercise to help select a creative/e-mail partner, if appropriate.