With so many unknowns under Covid-19, we need to identify the potential paths forward. What will this crisis look like for our people, our businesses and our lives? Maddie Moran interviews Steve Zakur on how businesses can avoid the panic and guide their way through the unknown.
B2B lags in digital. In some places more than others.
Some B2B companies love their tried-and-true strategy. They have always gone to market with big trade events, airport advertising, and field sales reps to follow-up on all those leads. If a client needs something, an account exec gets a call, whips out their cape and flies over to the client to solve the problem or make the sale. Industrial marketers especially follow these strategies. So, where’s the need for digital?
Improving Customer Engagement for Industrial Marketers
Marketers working in machinery, chemicals and other heavy industries have long been behind the digital curve. For many companies, digital hasn’t become part of your repertoire as quickly because of the complex distribution channels and analogue ways of engaging with clients. B2B, especially industrial marketers, have been lagging.
I had a conversation a while back with a large data company, discussing behavior-based personalization. The VP of Marketing heard me out for a few minutes, and then said “Woah, wait a minute. So it’s personalization? I already have that.”
So I said “Oh, how’s that going? What are you seeing?”
And he said, “Well, we haven’t turned it on yet.”
There’s an old joke about two guys walking through the woods. All of a sudden they see a bear, and the bear starts moving towards them. The first guy sits down, pulls a pair of running shoes out of his backpack and slides them on. The second guy says, “What are you doing? You’re not going to outrun that bear.” And the first guy says, “I don’t have to outrun that bear. I just have to outrun you.”
In high stakes competitive chess, there’s a gaming style called “Freestyle” which is just as “ditch-the-rulebook” as it sounds. The best players are called “centaurs” and although these particular centaurs aren’t half-human/half-horse, their makeup runs along the same logic.
I was at the Marketing Analytics Summit a while back, and I remember talking to a lot of people who felt that:
- Measurement was really important
- Measurement was really, really hard
The eternal struggle for B2B marketers seems to be connecting marketing actions to business results. But this can’t be a reason to give up on marketing analytics.
What do customers want, and are you delivering?
Ask a business executive and they’ll tell you that everything they do is for their customers. Which is all well and good, but how many B2B companies are really paying attention to the changes in what customers want?
Let’s view personalization through your visitor’s eyes
Anyone who has kept up with me on just about any social media platforms knows I’m all about music, and my guilty pleasure – always – would be investing in a new guitar. Or, y’know, guitars. More is better. And if I were to visit a music store that collected data on visitors, they’d know I like a certain make of guitar (I do) and that, for example, I bought two last year and have only bought one so far this year. Maybe, the bright salesperson thinks, “this guy needs need another axe.”