Three years into a global pandemic, much of the world’s business landscape has been compelled to alter. Lockdowns, patron limits, and social distancing have resulted in a massive drive toward online business, so everyone has been clamoring to implement a new digital marketing strategy.
Marketing managers in the B2B sector are now aware that the digital space is the primary arena for competition, and are therefore looking for methods to gain an advantage over their competitors.
Engagement and Personalization in Digital Marketing
Businesses are now required to engage with on-screen experiences for their customers and prospective customers because we all use digital screens today. Everyone is vying for your attention, particularly companies seeking for other businesses to collaborate with, and one of the ways this competition is waged is through the creation of personalized experiences. Reflecting on our work with enterprise-level B2B organizations such as AWS, Lenovo, and Microsoft, we’ve uncovered several insights and strategies for maximizing your business’ digital marketing, regardless of the size or scope of your operation.
Implement an Omnichannel Digital Marketing Strategy
Marketing professionals are aware that omnichannel marketing typically refers to a combination of offline and online marketing channels. Together, they can create the impression that a brand is ubiquitous. This concept is still valid, but in a pandemic-affected world, a new omnichannel strategy has emerged.
Now, businesses can strengthen their identities by utilizing a variety of online marketing channels. The new strategy involves an omnichannel digital marketing campaign, giving consumers the impression that a brand is ubiquitous regardless of where they go online, in recognition of the fact that people’s lives span multiple devices and digital modes. The return on investment (ROI) of marketing expenditures has increased significantly for B2B companies that adopted multiple platforms early and in depth. Whether on an app, a browser, or a social media platform, contextual messages about products and services are distributed in mass quantities.
The Walk exhibited the scalability of Lenovo’s product line by commissioning miniature office supplies.
The Walk assisted Lenovo by executing an omnichannel digital marketing campaign to promote the company’s productive partnership with Microsoft. When Lenovo Cloud Solutions and Microsoft 365 products are combined, a compelling offering is created, and it is our job to demonstrate this to B2B companies. This is where ROI comes into action (The Walk’s ‘patented’ return on imagination). We took a creative approach with Lenovo CSP Managed Services, enlisting a Melbourne-based artist to design a miniature office within a converted warehouse, replete with miniature Lenovo infrastructure. Why? We came to the conclusion that the scalability and adaptability of Microsoft 365 can be tailored to any business, regardless of its scale.
This concept served as the basis for our creative, which was utilized on a variety of digital platforms, including search, social, and email, through a combination of outreach and remarketing. A proverbial murmur ensued. We targeted key IT procurement decision-makers while engaging and empowering resellers on conversion journeys. It was irrelevant from which digital environment they originated; all roads led to Rome.
Start B2B Marketing Funnels With Digital Pipelines
As a result of the global pandemic, many experts believe that B2B marketing is being driven into a new era of digital communications. This may be a difficult adjustment for traditional marketers who are accustomed to familiar methods, but as more people are working from home, fewer people are commuting, and fewer people are viewing reward billboards and bus shelter posters.
Consequently, many businesses are adopting an entirely digital pipeline, beginning with brand awareness and continuing through nurturing, personalization, and conversion. Once the funnel process has begun, you can decide whether to add traditional marketing channels to bolster your campaigns. Traditional marketing channels are still effective in many contexts.
Don’t Let the Seismic Shift in B2B Marketing Destroy You – It Can Empower You
Many B2B companies that have experimented with entirely digital pipelines have seen an increase in sales as a result of the pandemic’s resultant push towards digital communications. It seems peculiar that many of our tried-and-true marketing strategies have become blunted, but it appears that the restrictions and difficulties caused by the pandemic have had a lasting impact on humanity. Many of us have reevaluated how we want to live our lives and what a genuine work-life balance entails after being forced to spend so much time working from home.
Direct mail becomes complicated if you work from home a few days per week or more, as most people do not receive work mail at home. Events, trade fairs, and exhibitions will soon be able to accommodate larger crowds in indoor venues, whereas the travel industry is still recuperating from shutdowns. As the pandemic has not subsided and travel to in-person locations has become prohibitively expensive and difficult, not everyone is willing or able to participate.
Digital Is a Rocket Into the Pockets, Hearts, and Minds of People
Digital media consumption has skyrocketed as a result of this transition to digital communication, which is fortunate for marketers given the evolutionary nature of humans. Almost everyone carries a mobile phone with internet and social media connectivity. As we spend more time online, online content is being produced in vast quantities, rich digital media is readily accessible, and our trust in digital platforms has increased rapidly.
A stronger B2B digital marketing strategy is required, and a focus on commencing this funnel from the top via digital results in the ability to reach a large audience that, if interested, can be nurtured down the funnel towards the all-important conversion. It is comparable to conventional marketing, so there is no need for concern.
Our work with AWS Training and Certification is a prime example. We created a series of HTML display and video advertisements for top-of-funnel awareness. Our advertisements ensured that the sales funnel remained full of prospects who were then directed down a personalized path by targeting both technology-focused websites and mainstream media sites and applications.
Using both brand awareness campaigns and personalisation to engage prospects through digital channels may seem counterintuitive, but it has been proven effective. Prospective consumers continue to develop a level of familiarity with the brand, which aids them in their pursuit of a click. Finally, at the business end of the journey, the power of personal data gathered along the way is leveraged to generate authentic human communications with which individuals can connect on a personal level. This includes account-based marketing, which is demonstrating an increasing ROI for large businesses.
Storytelling is an integral part of human existence. Enter Digital Storytelling
As with traditional marketing and branding strategies, never underestimate the power of storytelling. Consider the narrative of your existence. It contains narratives, chapters, dream sequences, films, episodes, podcasts, articles, and poetry. When marketing online, you must tell distinct stories about your product or service to immediately set yourself apart from the competition. People will perceive your brand as being more distinctive, valuable, and significant if you tell an engaging story.
Why tell tales? If you can captivate someone’s attention, ignite their imagination, or arouse their curiosity, they are more likely to experience an emotional connection with you than with traditional fact-and-benefit communication. A compelling story goes far beyond the elevator speech and leverages the credibility of third-party endorsement. Due to its efficacy, this medium is extremely prevalent in the B2C marketing space, but many B2B organizations continue to overlook it.
Displaying customer testimonials to lend credibility
Here is a sample of the pudding’s substantiation. The Walk and Amazon Web Services (AWS) produced a series of SMB client story videos to demonstrate the value of the AWS Cloud to smaller enterprises. Many SMBs believe AWS Cloud is only for large enterprises, so we sought to humanize the brand narrative by showcasing real people discussing how the service contributed to their success. These video case studies highlighted cloud successes in a variety of industries, including retail, healthcare, and agriculture, demonstrating its adaptability, agility, and scalability – all of which are essential for the growth of SMBs.
We were interacting with a technological service that is frequently incomprehensible to those who do not consider themselves tech-savvy. It was difficult for SMBs to envision how the cloud could be utilized for their specific business application. For these lesser entities, the concept of cloud innovation was also deemed unattainable. This is why these authentic consumer testimonials are so powerful.
With the ability to view these videos from any location on the planet, B2B marketing teams can connect target audiences with real-world examples of businesses similar to their own – a highly humanizing approach. They can identify with the struggles of others and visualize themselves achieving success in the same manner as their peers. Planting an image in a person’s consciousness is analogous to sowing a seed. Now, we will tend to the sapling.
We delivered readily relatable messages about a normally complex technical capability, enabling AWS to interact on a more personal level with prospective customers. Online videos are being viewed at a rapid rate, and as this form of media continues to expand, a compelling customer story could be the ideal method to attract your next client.
Making Digital Sales Possible
Digital sales enablement concentrates on equipping a company’s sales team with the resources necessary to effectively market its product or service to consumers. The optimal alignment between sales and marketing ensures a seamless consumer experience by establishing trust through consistent messaging.
Despite the fact that the relationship between sales and marketing has historically been one of competition, 87% of sales and marketing executives believe that collaboration between the two is essential for business growth.
When working on the Lenovo campaign to help deliver ROI for CSP Managed Services, The Walk assisted internal and channel resellers in ensuring the continuity of the sales process from brand awareness through sales and enrollment. Lenovo has a vast network of reseller business partners who collaborate and share knowledge to promote Lenovo’s products and services to their own customers using these sales enablement tools. We developed for them a variety of digital sales enablement assets, including:
- Salespeople will be able to comprehend how the program functions from both the customer and administrative perspectives thanks to training videos.
- A campaign leaflet familiarizing consumers with the messaging to which they would respond
- Sales guides to ensure the offering was fully comprehended
- Conversation guides to assist sales teams in presenting consistent communications to customers, ensuring the correct topics (those that lead to a transaction) are discussed.
- Sales email templates to facilitate fast and consistent follow up communications
We conducted consistent marketing outreach to channel partners with co-branding opportunities. This allowed them to utilize the collateral as if it were their own, augmenting the consistency of brand messaging across a broad market. All digital sales enablement materials could be accessed from a single location within the Lenovo Partner Hub, ensuring materials were always up-to-date and could be accessed from anywhere by the expanding community of remote employees.
Digital’s Importance in a Distributed World
Hopefully, we’re nearing the end of this pandemic, but it appears that its effects have altered the world; therefore, B2B marketing strategies must incorporate digital marketing more than ever. Due to increased complexity and competition, it may be difficult to know where to start. You must implement omnichannel digital strategies, communicate with consumers through digital narrative, and redesign the marketing funnel from awareness to conversion in a digital context. B2B organizations must enhance their consumers’ online experiences or be left behind.