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UNIQUE B2B DIGITAL MARKETING CHALLENGES AND HOW TO OVERCOME THEM?


Posted on: 02 Dec 2020   |   Share on :   |     |     |  

B2B marketplace faces two unique challenges.

Modern B2B buyers are tech-savvy, with different expectations. The traditional sales-meeting, hand-shaking, negotiating, contracting, and procurement process, does not gel with them. This has resulted in a crisis of confidence as they increasingly struggle to make large-scale purchase decisions.

Likewise, B2B marketers too face unique challenges, resulting from the fast-paced evolution of Digital Marketing. This has greatly impacted their work-process that involves a smaller audience market, longer sales-cycles, and a higher price of tickets, besides catering to a large number of decision-makers.

NEED OF THE HOUR

B2B still relies on old-school marketing strategies. This is a far cry from the reality wherein most buyers want to do their research digitally, with or without the help of a salesperson.

As a result, most would-be customers tend to land on competitors website.

The path instead can be cut down by investing in digital marketing.

By switching over to Digital Marketing, new opportunities for branding open up which in turn proves businesses value to their audience long before they are even ready to start talking about the sale.

CHALLENGES & SOLUTIONS

 

B2B BUYERS

 

BUYING PROCESS

B2B buying process is complex and tedious, often involving a lot of decision-makers, each with their own specific roles and responsibilities, which makes the whole of the buying cycle long. The decision makes vary from people who research solutions to stakeholders whose buy-in is needed to move forward; financial representatives who approve spend; and so on. Add to this, depending on the value of the purchase, the whole buying process could take up to a year or more.

As a result what happens is that every stakeholder interacted with needs to be provided efficient information that is essential for executing their tasks.

Such a process cannot be handled manually. Instead, it needs integrated software tools like Customer Relationships Management (CRM); and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), to integrate all of the data and self-service options. This will help buyers get the best of quality information on own, essential for making the right buying decisions.


COMPLEX PROCUREMENT PROCESSES

Procurement involves activities related to acquirement of products and services that support business operations. Currently, the whole system from the buyer’s angle is complex that is often tightly monitored and controlled, with clearly defined policies and processes, including a lot of documents like contracts, requisition orders, purchase orders, invoices, and more.

B2B buyers expect flexibility in the sense how the order can be placed and how the order can be paid for.

To overcome the difficulties, eProcurement is the solution.

eProcurement is a platform that digitizes the whole procurement system, by enforcing the best practices and consolidating data. An eProcurement integrator, bridges the divide between buyer and seller platforms, facilitates the flow of requisition, purchase order, invoice, and other data between ecommerce and eProcurement platforms.

By using eProcurement platforms, B2B buyers can make the right orders and gain greater control over spending, thereby making the whole system efficient and swift.

 

LIMITED WAYS TO PAY

Buyers expect varied payment mode choices that will allow them to pay the way they would like to. Currently, in many cases, the choices are far too limited.

The need of the hour is to offer flexible payment terms like Net 3D (or longer) terms with payment mode choices that will win over new customers while retaining existing customers. This in turn will also allow businesses to keep growing their business with immediate capital instead of waiting for customer payments.

 

FINDING COMPLEX PRODUCTS


With modern buyers moving away from in-person sales meetings and ordering via a paper catalog, online B2B buyers like B2C shoppers want relevant search results, easy website navigation, and suggested product content. Furthermore, they also want add-ons that helps tackle the complexity of B2B buying like a unique account with a custom catalog, specialized pricing, and sensitivity to product availability.

The need of the hour is personalized, intelligent, search-driven experience that makes finding more complex products easily.

The solution is ADAPTIVE SEARCH – Search by exact part number or SKU; Search by exact keywords, including industry terms; Search by problem or issue solved; and Search by content. When combined with auto-complete, the search process completes the word in the search bar and presents suggested answers or results based on the search item. This kind of search process will make accessing the WEBSITE into a dynamic, customer-centric shopping experience.

 


B2B MARKETERS

DATA FRAGMENTATION

The biggest challenge B2B marketers face is compiling account-level and individual-level data into a cohesive dataset which can be leveraged to gather actionable insights. Problem is that these data live in multiple platforms which are owned by different teams (sales, marketing, data sciences, etc) and have varying accuracies and completeness. Eventually, the challenges lies in bringing varied data together under a common identifier that allows for merger of different datasets and later gathering of insights.

Solution to overcome this problem lays in leveraging third-party or in-house team measurement and analytics platforms. This will solve the issue of data fragmentation.

Plus-point is that it will also allow to understand how current and prospective customers are engaging with their business while providing valuable insights into how the marketing and sales cycle can be optimized

 


TEAM ALIGNMENT

Currently, most businesses have separate independent sales and marketing teams. This has often resulted in lack of proper communication or miscommunication as a result of which the work process stutters or suffers badly.

To overcome the issue, aligning the B2B marketing and sales teams into one unit is the way forward, a process that results in what is called SMarketing. Towards this end, regular meetings can be set-up where in work-review and needed actions, can be discussed and formalized; and constructive feedback and knowledge can be shared. Eventually, the outcome is seamless communication and an error-free workflow.

Likewise, from a technical point of view, the two teams also will have a shared-filing platform that will allow them to upload and share business-related materials. This will ensure access to information for everyone while optimizing the integration and work-flow effectively.

 

CO-RELATING DIGITAL RESULTS TO BUSINESS IMPACTS

Business CEOs or board only care about core conversion and impact metrics.

This has been an issue for B2B marketers.

The solution to this lies in balancing the right way the attribution models which assigns a value of the outbound or inbound marketing activities on sales, while also accounting for the offline and non-marketing efforts that play a role in closing the deal. The balance can be achieved by aligning marketer’s activities to a ‘conversion’ metric which is oriented around the volume or quality of leads or the creation of sales opportunities or new customer touch-points.

Digital Marketing is here to stay. There will be challenges along the way that can only be overcome and conquered with solutions only.

Remember, nobody conquered anything by doing nothing!

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