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How to Create Commercial Grade Digital Marketing

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Your B2B buyers are also B2C buyers. And many of the easy, helpful customer experiences created by B2C companies have given them high expectations for what the buying process should be like. This ebook will show you how to create marketing for your customers that’s at least as pleasant and profitable as what they’re used to when shopping for consumer products – if not more so. That’s what can make it truly “commercial grade.”

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How to Create Commercial Grade Digital Marketing

  1. 1. How to Create Commercial Grade Digital Marketing Written By: Yariv Drori Vice President of Programmatic Ad Operations We’re all used to B2C customer experiences, many of which are easy, helpful, and successful in getting us to buy – and the fact is that many B2B marketers have some catching up to do when it comes to making marketing that’s just as pleasant and profitable. Yariv Drori explains how to shift your marketing toward becoming commercial grade – meaning it creates an experience for your customers that meets their high expectations set by B2C businesses. By following the steps he outlines here, you’ll attract more customers, boost your reputation, and grow your business to new levels of success.
  2. 2. © 2016 MultiView. All Rights Reserved. 7© 2016 MultiView. All Rights Reserved. 2 B2B Connected. Commercial Grade Digital Marketing Some of us buy goods on behalf of a business and some of us sell them; some of us take products to market, some influence decisions and some may be doing all of the above. But in our lives we are all consumers and as such we have become accustomed to a buying experience that is based on lightning fast access to abundant information at the tips of our fingers. As consumers we expect brands and retailers to be ready with every bit of information that will help us make the educated decision that’s necessary to complete a purchase. We expect to be able to find the companies we need, learn about them, get help in making a decision and engage in a transaction. As business professionals we bring those expectations with us when we seek products and services on behalf of our businesses. However, many B2B brands have yet to adapt to this new standard in customer expectations, and as a result they are taking a major risk and losing business. Take Carl for example, who drives a sport sedan and works as a warehouse manager at a brewery. Let’s compare his experience when buying a new set of tires for his car versus a new set of tires for a forklift at his warehouse.
  3. 3. © 2016 MultiView. All Rights Reserved. 3 B2B Connected. Commercial Grade Digital Marketing The B2C Customer Experience Versus the B2B Customer Experience When buying car tires Carl gets an instant opportunity to browse and compare almost every option on the market. By conducting a quick search online, he comes across multiple retailers, manufacturers and consumer rating sites that provide an abundance of information in the form of specs, graphics, videos, comparisons, customers’ reviews and expert advice. At any point of the process Carl has the opportunity to find what he is looking for and engage with a retailer to complete the transaction. Tirerack.com is a great example of a consumer brand leveraging digital media to sell tires because it caters to all the steps in the conversion funnel in one excellent website. Now let’s compare Carl’s experience shopping for car tires to his experience shopping for forklift tires. These are commercial grade tires; they are heavy duty, durable, made out of quality materials, often cost 10 times more than car tires do, and are difficult to install. The path Carl takes would probably be one of the following: Rummage through his drawers to find the phone number of the distributor that sold him the forklift 10 years ago, call the dealer (hoping they remember him), let them know the make and model of his machine, wait for them to look through a 2,000 page catalog and give him a price for a couple of options from the same manufacturer of the old tires that they happen to have a relationship with. Pick up the phone and call the guy in a van that visits his warehouse once every two weeks who’s selling anything from paper towels, to light bulbs, grease, gloves and earplugs. While it’s convenient, he’s most likely going to just call the same distributor we referred to in the first scenario and mark up their price a tad.
  4. 4. © 2016 MultiView. All Rights Reserved. 4 B2B Connected. Commercial Grade Digital Marketing Carl may even follow his consumer instincts and go straight to a search engine on the web looking for forklift tires. A bunch of sites will come up in the search results for distributors, manufacturers and retailers. A few more clicks and Carl soon finds out that to get his tires he would either need to download a 2,000 page catalog or contact one of these companies by phone, email or fax. He may be lucky to actually find tires that fit his forklift, but there will be no videos, no peer reviews, nor comparisons, and the product pages will be plain and utilitarian – just a picture and some technical specs. The big risk in ignoring the fact that buyers have moved online is in the disruption of the current product distribution model. The same effect that Expedia had on travel agents, Netflix on broadcast and Uber on yellow cabs could happen here too. What would happen to forklift tire distributors if tirerack.com – a company that’s adapted to their buyers’ new habits – started selling forklift tires directly to Carl? Today’s B2B buyers are accustomed to a richer, more nimble and more transparent experience because that is what they get from their journey as consumers. B2B marketers must adapt quickly because Carl may have ended up calling the distributor for his forklift tires today, but I am pretty certain he will not be calling them for the next set in the future when he’ll be even more likely to shop online. How to Adapt to Your Customers’ Expectations Of course, everything we’ve covered up until this point sounds easier said than done. But if you take the time to develop these four areas of your marketing strategy, you’ll align your customers’ experience with their buying expectations and ultimately grow your business. Why the stark difference in user experience between B2C and B2B when in both scenarios we are selling tires to the same guy? The answer is that, for the most part, B2B marketers have not kept up with the rapid changes in consumer behavior; many of them are either sticking to their old ways of doing business or have made only marginal improvements.
  5. 5. B2B Connected Industry Newsletter © 2016 MultiView. All Rights Reserved. 5 B2B Connected The Ultimate Buyers GuideB2B Connected. Commercial Grade Digital Marketing Build Your Brand Think of your brand as the perception that your addressable market has your business. It includes everything they hear about it (from you or anyone else), their past experience with your company and the connotations they associate with it. Where would you put your brand on this chart ? Everyone wants to be in that green quadrant where your potential customers know and love you. While getting into that quadrant requires tremendous effort and Make Your Company Discoverable You must give your prospective buyers a chance to find you. It may seem like a ridiculously obvious statement, but I am still repeatedly astounded by how deep some B2B businesses are buried in the web. Some are difficult to find even when looking for them specifically. People expect the internet to be indicative of everything that there is, and if they cannot find you online through a standard search then you practically do not exist. You absolutely must assume that people are looking for your products and services online; it is how the buyers’ journey begins today. Discoverability can be managed through: Search Engine Optimization – Make sure your business comes up in search results related to what you offer. You can improve this yourself by seeing which keywords are driving people to your site in Google Analytics and including them throughout your site (without overusing them.) Consistent content marketing will also improve SEO. Search Engine Marketing – Your buyers are searching for different terms related to your business throughout the buying journey, and a comprehensive SEM strategy can help your company be a part of every step. Public Relations – Regular PR plays give your company more opportunities to come up for reputation or brand-based keywords while showing off your progress and expertise. Low Awareness and Positive Low Awareness and Negative High Awareness and Positive High Awareness and Negative
  6. 6. B2B Connected Industry Newsletter © 2016 MultiView. All Rights Reserved. 6 B2B Connected The Ultimate Buyers GuideB2B Connected. Commercial Grade Digital Marketing Create Content Are you familiar with the feeling where you talk to a sales rep who cannot tell you anything you don’t already know about the product you want to buy? That may have happened to you in a car dealership or an electronics store while shopping for a consumer product. The internet is a fantastic research tool and people use it extensively during their buying journey for B2B products, too. In fact, recent studies found that 94 percent of B2B buyers research their purchase decisions online* and 70 to 90 percent of the buying journey is done before they reach out to sales.* When people look for what you sell, they will consume an immense amount of content to help them reach a decision, and the more they consume the more likely they are to buy. Just think of the websites you visited and the content you consumed before you purchased your current car. There’s a reason why companies invest so much money and effort in content that helps you reach decisions: content converts prospects into customers. 1. *Acquity Group 2. *Forrester investment, you can probably name a few brands that can claim it. But remember that high awareness is not always a rose garden and can become very difficult to manage when customer experience goes bad, which is why you can probably also think of some big brand names that fall into the red quadrant. Many B2B businesses, especially SMB’s, fall into the blue quadrant. They are very focused on providing top quality products and services, which is great, but they struggle to justify investment in their brand awareness – an aspect of their businesses that’s absolutely essential – especially within the context of discoverability mentioned in the previous section. While getting found will put you on the roster when your buyers are looking for your solutions, investing your brand will get you in the starting lineup. 65% of buyers cited reputation as a top primary factor in choosing a vendor.* Reputation in today’s world equals positive brand recognition. So while B2B companies MUST manage their brand perception in the ways they have before, now they must do so through online channels as well. 1 2 *Forrester
  7. 7. Engage With Your Customers So, you invested in discoverability and people found you, you invested in your brand and people trusted you, and you invested in content on your website pages so people are now choosing to engage with you. So much effort was put into capturing this intent, and now that you are in full control of the process, how do you facilitate this engagement? Checkout the website of Case IH (www.caseih.com), an agriculture equipment manufacturer with a fantastic website that doesn’t leave a clod unturned (literally!) in its effort to convert visitors into customers. It makes you wish you were a farmer; it is that good. © 2016 MultiView. All Rights Reserved. 7 B2B Connected Industry NewsletterB2B Connected The Ultimate Buyers GuideB2B Connected. Commercial Grade Digital Marketing Communicate Through All Channels The more methods people have to engage with you the more likely they are to do so. Think beyond the form on your website or a phone number and consider creating downloadable content, webinars, and newsletters while facilitating conversations on social channels, chat, email, and text. The challenge will be to maintain a consistent, quality experience regardless of the engagement method. While you are carrying out these initiatives, don’t forget to ask potential customers about their journey and the factors that drove them to engage. The stories you will hear may surprise you and are invaluable data for refining your marketing programs. Maintain the Relationship After the Sale This part is often excluded from marketing conversations about the buyers’ journey. But in the context of this ebook it is important to bear in mind that your customers are still going to expect you to be there through all those engagement channels after the sale is over for support and customer care. When they engage with you after buying they’d expect to find you again, to get answers to their questions, to find more information about the product they purchased, and for you to pay attention to feedback.
  8. 8. B2B Connected Industry Newsletter © 2016 MultiView. All Rights Reserved. 8 B2B Connected The Ultimate Buyers GuideB2B Connected. Commercial Grade Digital Marketing B2B buyers are essentially regular consumers who are in a mode of trying to accomplish an objective on behalf of a business. Indeed, they may be bound by different rules they need to abide by in order to reach a decision and execute the purchase, but the way they do research, the way they are influenced, the way they engage and the way they expect to be treated are all similar. Yet, it seems to take B2B businesses a little longer to jump on the digital bandwagon, and many businesses who are accustomed to engaging with customers through traditional channels are literally sinking into the abyss of nonexistence because they fail to acknowledge this change in buyers’ behavior. But by focusing on how you can make your marketing commercial grade, you can create a strategy that will make the grade – and ultimately make more happy customers. Is Your Marketing Making the Grade? Visit us at multiview.com Learn more about customer strategy today 972.402.7070 solutions@multiview.com About Yariv Drori As MultiView’s Vice President of Programmatic Ad Operations, I help more than 2,000 B2B clients connect with their audiences. It’s been a fun journey from fish farming on a kibbutz in Israel to here. In between, I went to art school for photography and animation, worked as an animator, then joined an ecommerce firm that created immersive shopping experiences (it was hot in 1998!) for world-famous luxury brands like Neiman Marcus, Brooks Brothers, Kate Spade and Barneys NY. From there I joined another start-up that evolved into Sizmek, then moved to adap.tv, which sold to AOL. I even ran an ad agency in NYC before coming to Dallas. I still love photography and English football (that’s soccer in American). Follow me on