16 items tagged "B2B"

  • A closer look into B2B marketing personalisation strategies based on MI

    A closer look into B2B marketing personalisation strategies based on MI

    Creating effective B2B (business-to-business) marketing personalisation strategies based on market needs and behaviours

    What is marketing personalisation?

    Simply, personalisation in marketing is using data collected about a target audience to tailor content, products and services specifically to them. The quantity and richness of data collected determines the extent of the personalisation.

    Personalisation in marketing has clear business benefits

    Appetite for this marketing personalisation is still strong today. In the Gartner 2018 State of Personalisation Survey, 87% of surveyed marketing leaders said that their organisation is pursuing personalisation. This is due to the clear business benefits associated with personalisation, reaching the right person with the right message through the right channel at the right time. The Harvard Business Review states that personalisation can lift revenues by 5-15% and increase the efficiency of marketing spend by up to 10-40%.

    Various studies have shown that there is an increasing gap between customer expectations and the ability of B2B organisations to meet them. For example, 98% of consumers have chosen not to complete a purchase because of incomplete or incorrect content pushed to them.

    Over-focusing on demographics means B2B personalisation isn’t as effective as it could be

    Thinking of marketing personalisation solely as a marketing activity is the main reason organisations are not fulfilling their potential. Despite investment in customer data, predictive analytics, and marketing cloud solutions, marketers forget the role primary market research plays in creating an effective personalisation strategy, through the understanding of needs and behaviour.

    Personalisation in B2B marketing can be broken down into three categories that affect broad and large-scale marketing activities:

    • Segment-specific – personalised by demographics (such as industry, organisation size, age & job titles etc.)
    • Persona-specific – personalised for specific buyer types
    • Stage-specific – personalised for a stage of the buying process

    When asked about the effectiveness of types of personalisation approaches used, three out of four B2B organisations stated that segment-specific personalisation is very poor, poor or neutral. However, despite the poor returns the majority of B2B organisations employ this ineffective approach to personalisation.

    There is a need to capture more behavioural information around needs throughout the buyer or customer journey. Stage- and persona-specific approaches to personalisation are more likely to be rated well and very well in terms of effectiveness. Yet only a third of B2B organisations utilise behavioural and persona-specific information into personalisation strategies and only a quarter personalise information across the customers and prospects position in the customer and buyer journey.

    B2C organisation on the other hand have invested more heavily into research for their personalisation efforts. When marketers were asked about the data and insights they have available for personalisation, 61% of B2C companies thought they had sufficient information compared to only 52% of B2B organisations. This under utilisation of persona and stage-specific information presents strong opportunities for B2B organisations to better meet individual customer needs and capture a competitive advantage.

    B2B marketers value personalisation but are not supported by the wider organisation

    Marketers are not overly satisfied with their performance when it comes to personalisation; only 12% were very or extremely satisfied with their performance.

    The main reasons driving this dissatisfaction were identified in a following open ended question and can be grouped into three key themes: lacking information to connect with customers on a personal level, lacking dedicated personalisation roles and a lack of investment. When further considering investment and spend on marketing personalisation, B2C are outspending B2B. 53% of B2C organisation expected their personalisation budget to increase throughout his year, compared to only 25% of B2B organisation.

    As a result of this lack of organisational support, B2B marketers feel that they are ‘'barely scratching the surface of what could and should be done'.

    Author: Joe Boag

    Source: B2B International

  • B2B and B2C: Challenging the traditional paradigm

    We often - and quite rightly - talk about the very real distinctions between B2B and B2C markets, buyers and decisions. However, the traditional paradigm of ‘B2B as rational’ and ‘B2C as emotional’ is being challenged by an increasingly strong undercurrent of discussion about the thoughts, feelings and emotions of B2B buyers and decision makers as individuals – not just as representatives of the corporations they work for.

    A B2B buyer is not solely an agent of the business they work for, and they do not exist in a vacuum. They are a human being with emotions, preferences, and a life that exists outside of their workplace. And, outside of work, they are a consumer. It is inevitable that our expectations as B2B buyers are shaped, to some degree, by our experiences as consumers in the B2C world. Therefore, in addition to the space that is being carved out for the ‘human’ in B2B decision making, much can be gained by recognising the ‘consumer’ as an additional influence.

    The consumer, as I’m sure we can all recognise, is faced with an overwhelming choice of products and services; able to order for next day delivery, at the click of a button; familiar with the ‘personalities’ of our favourite brands through prolific social media presence. These three elements of the consumer experience – access to a wider than ever range of options, ability to quickly and easily acquire products, and exposure to a strong social media presence – are all relatively recent phenomena, but have become so prevalent that many of us can’t imagine our daily lives and purchasing experiences in any other way. As the bar has been continually raised by B2C companies in terms of the choice, access and exposure they offer – so too have our expectations as consumers risen exponentially. For many of us, these high expectations will be translated into our lives at work, influencing our expectations as buyers in a B2B context.

    In her article ‘Too Much Choice’, Eva Krockow uses the example of a coffee shop to illustrate the overwhelming amount of choice available to consumers – Starbucks, she says, offers a choice of 80,000 different drinks combinations. Disadvantages of such abundant options aside (decision paralysis, disappointment or self blame) freedom of choice and maximum product variety is still very much expected by consumers, due to the liberal belief that making our own decisions will lead to increased happiness and wellbeing. Taking into account the aforementioned importance of emotions in B2B buying, it makes sense that the same underlying motivation and desire for variety also applies here – particularly when buyers are used to this desire being met when they are operating as consumers, outside of work.

    Furthermore, in the consumer sphere, potential stress caused by an overload of choice is partially tackled through the use of numerous comparison and review services – usually websites – to aid the consumer in making a choice. These decision making aids are not always so readily available in B2B markets – mostly because, by definition, the target audience for products and services is much smaller. One particular area where we have noticed this in our own research is in the utilities sector. While it is very easy for consumers to compare a range of utilities offers from different suppliers on one web page, this is not always an option that is widely available to businesses. The utilities being sold are the same as in the consumer space, the suppliers are often the same, and B2B buyers are used to quick and easy comparison in their lives as consumers – it can therefore be disappointing when the expectations they have built up as consumers are not lived up to in their work interactions. The disconnect between the B2C experience and the B2B experience is apparent.

    Convenience – including next day, or even same day, delivery – may be the most important reason behind the rise in online sales. While experts tend to believe that physical shops will continue, the decline of the high street is difficult to ignore – in the first nine months of 2018, 1,000 retail businesses went into administration and 85,000 retail jobs disappeared from Britain’s high streets.

    B2B online sales are also on the rise, and are predicted to reach over $6.6 trillion globally by 2020. However, many B2B companies remain at least ten years behind where they should be in terms of digital transformation. While it’s true that running a B2B ecommerce channel is often more complex than for B2C – due to B2B’s higher value sales, wider range of payment methods, and complicated catalogues – B2B customers increasingly expect to be able to buy the products they need through multiple online channels, and for those products to be delivered more quickly than they ever have been before – just as they do in their lives as consumers. However, websites of B2B companies are often digital catalogues, containing product information but lacking the ability to actually make the purchase online. Features of successful B2B ecommerce websites include showing prices to signed-in customers who have individually negotiated terms, inclusion of a 24/7 online chat feature, and the ability for customers to save a custom order in order to easily repurchase it. Features like this allow the B2B buyer to replicate their quick and easy consumer experience when purchasing for their business, while the additional needs and challenges of B2B ecommerce are still accommodated.

    There has been a significant amount of commentary about the use of social media in B2B marketing, with a growing consensus that these channels do have a place within the strategies of B2B brands. There are numerous examples of B2C brands with successful social media strategies – one being the baking brand Greggs which has become known for its humorous Twitter feed, most recently handling the backlash to its newly-introduced vegan sausage roll. But it can be difficult for B2B companies to see a place for themselves in this playful landscape. Outside of LinkedIn, which is focussed specifically on business, many B2B companies have a relatively low social media profile. However, and especially considering the increased importance given to establishing emotional connections with B2B buyers, social media is important as it offers a forum for B2B companies to connect more closely and authentically with their target market. Examples of successful B2B social media campaigns include MarketStar’s ‘The Evolution of the “Zombie” Lead’, which uses graphics and storytelling to engage its Twitter followers. Storytelling on social media is one strategy allowing B2B brands to maintain their professional image, while engaging followers with interesting content that reflects the brand’s personality. The use of engaging visual content, particularly on image-based channels like Instagram, can also be very effective for B2B brands.

    The differences between B2C and B2B markets will always be important, but there is much to be gained from considering the similarities. All B2B decision makers have a not-so-secret double life as a consumer, and it is inevitable that experiences enjoyed in the B2C world will shape expectations of what can be achieved in a B2B context.

    Author: Lorna Finlay

    Source: B2B international

  • Back to the essence of human-to-human marketing

    Back to the essence of human-to-human marketing

    While multiple sessions at this month’s Cannes Lions international festival of creativity looked at harnessing data and artificial intelligence, B2B International has been conducting some pretty interesting research into the role of emotion in business decision-making.

    The surprising fact is that in the process of choosing a supplier, when it comes down to deciding between the two final contenders in a pitch process, a very significant 56% of the choice comes down to emotional factors.

    Clearly this means marketers need to think harder than ever about building a human connection with potential customers. So it was very interesting to see at least one discussion at Cannes looking at how to combine the benefits of automation with an increasing desire for a one-to-one, completely personal service.

    Called ‘Human-to-human marketing in a world of technology’, the discussion featured Elizabeth Rutledge, American Express’ chief marketing officer, talking about the brand’s global marketing journey and how they are balancing technology with humanity.

    ‘Tech can connect us but also push us far apart,’ Rutledge said. She called for a ‘focus on digital empathy’ that is, making things more personal and fusing marketing with a real human touch. ‘The more relevant tech becomes, the more we value true, human qualities,’ she added.

    Rutledge’s philosophy ties in with the findings of B2B international's ‘Winning with Emotion’ research, particularly our insight that business-to-business communication is human-to-human connection.

    Tracking the full decision-making process from research to appointment, although rational factors such as an acceptable price, viable product quality and effective distribution form the minimum requirements necessary to enter and rise to the top of the consideration set, generating an emotional connection is ultimately what counts when the final decision is made.

    It is critical for suppliers to have a strong brand in which customers feel emotionally invested. Not only does it impact on the final decision, but 95% of decision-makers stated that even before contacting a supplier, feeling a sense of connection to a supplier’s brand is as important as feeling confident about what they do.

    Whatever they might claim about their logical thinking, there is also the fact that business decision-makers don’t simply leave their experiences as consumers at the front desk.

    SME decision-makers in particular, rely on their experiences as consumers when choosing a supplier. While 26% of enterprise decision-makers reported to have been influenced by their consumer experiences, 34% within SMEs reported doing so. Suppliers who serve both businesses and consumers should be aware of the synergies between their B2B and B2C offers and ensure an excellent experience and consistency across both.

    So how can B2B brands form better connections with customers? Here’s the strategy:

    Create positive word-of-mouth by delivering an excellent customer experience. Recommendations are important, so this can give potential buyers confidence from the outset in the suppliers they consider.

    Strengthen thought-leadership positioning to connect with potential buyers. Business decision makers reported that a demonstration of expertise via content marketing was the third-most important factor in evaluating suppliers under consideration. For enterprise decision-makers, thought leadership was even more influential (ranking as the second-most important factor).

    Clearly communicate your point of differentiation and sell on value because although B2B buyers are not driven by price alone, the value they perceive a supplier can add to their business is crucial.

    Build connections with the influencer network because B2B decisions are rarely made unilaterally. In 80% of cases, more than one person is involved in the decision and for a third of purchase decisions, a team of four or more is required. So, do aim to connect emotionally with multiple stakeholders (often from different functions) rather than focusing all efforts on the one person traditionally considered 'the decision maker'.

    Elizabeth Rutledge’s final remarks at Cannes were worth repeating: 'Go out and find the empathy', she said. 'Create real human connections one customer at a time'.

    It’s really something to think about. Human-to-human marketing is going to transform what we do in the most positive way imaginable: a brave new world we can embrace in good faith.

    Source: B2B International

  • Competitive Strategy – 6 Ways to Enhance Competitive Intelligence from the Salesforce

    Heard-On-The-StreetWe have been developing a new competitive intelligence process for a client. The B2B company wants to better collect, analyze, and disseminate valuable insights on competitive strategy.

    As with many competitive intelligence systems, especially in B2B settings, much of the most timely and otherwise unavailable intelligence will come from the salesforce. Similarly, the salesforce is in one of the best positions to take advantage of competitive intelligence to better position products, value propositions, and offers to customers to stymie competitive strategy. It is vital, however, to ensure the competitive intelligence process is not simply asking for competitive intelligence from salespeople, and then giving it back to them without adding sufficient value.

    6 Ways to Enhance Competitive Intelligence from the Salesforce:

    • To combat this possibility, here are six enhancements to competitive intelligence that originates with the salesforce to deliver new value:
    • Aggregate information from multiple people to provide a view no one individual has in order to see patterns or spot trends.
    • Perform additional and deeper analysis on the raw information to create new understanding.
    • Communicate information to senior leadership that salespeople feel intently, but that is typically lost in the corporate shuffle (i.e., a regional or niche competitor who is not big enough to get corporate-wide attention).
    • Disprove or verify early rumors salespeople have reported to address the word on the street.
    • Exploit the availability of non-sales sources to enhance the raw intelligence and deliver new information to them.
    • Make if more efficient for sales to gather and especially share competitive intelligence with a process that funnels competitive intelligence to them when they need it.

    Source: Brainzooming

  • Digitale transformatie van B2B bedrijven: tips voor een roadmap

    Digitale transformatie van B2B bedrijven: tips voor een roadmap

    Het opzetten van een digitale roadmap en het kiezen van technologie zijn al een uitdaging op zich. Maar de echte vraagstukken verschijnen pas wanneer je aan de slag gaat. Waar begin je? Hoe overtuig je de directie? En hoe krijg je de organisatie mee?

    Digitale transformatie gaat verder dan het opzetten van een e-commerce kanaal en het streven om alle omzet online te laten lopen. Bedrijven waar tachtig procent van alle omzet via de fax ging noemden we vroeger immers ook geen ‘faxbedrijven’. Het gaat om een nieuwe manier van zakendoen, en de klant en zijn beleving staat daarin centraal. De eerste vraag is dus:

    Hoe bepaal ik de klantbehoefte?

    Als ingrediënt zijn klantinzichten cruciaal. Dus spreek vooral je klanten en ga met de accountmanagers en vrachtwagenchauffeurs op pad. Maar daar begint het pas. Je eigen visie over de toekomst is net zo belangrijk, zo getuige dit bekende filmpje van Frans Bromet waarin consumenten in 1998 worden gevraagd of ze een mobiele telefoon nodig hebben. Je klant verandert niet altijd door technologische ontwikkelingen. Leeftijdsdemografie speelt ook een rol bijvoorbeeld. De adoptie van online bestellen gaat in veel branches sneller bij de jongere generatie dan bij de oudere generatie. Daarnaast hebben je klanten zelf natuurlijk ook plannen en ambities. Bedenk je daarom goed: wie is je klant nu en straks?

    Hoe maak ik mijn digitale ambities haalbaar?

    Aan ambitie ontbreekt het doorgaans niet. De uitdaging is om deze te vangen in haalbare en kwantificeerbare doelstellingen. Op korte termijn zijn er vaak binnen het bedrijf pijnpunten en quick wins die om digitalisering vragen. Grote ambities, zoals: wie wil ik zijn? waar staan we maatschappelijk?, zijn voor de lange termijn maar vragen wel om regelmatige, doelgerichte stappen.

    Elke ambitie zal ook een andere oplossing nodig hebben om te verwezenlijken. Het opbouwen van een IT-infrastructuur is geen klein traject. Over vijf jaar zul je misschien wel een hele andere markt of doelgroep bedienen. Dat vraagt om een adaptieve aanpak waarbij je sneller kunt inspelen. De zogeheten evolutionary architecture kan die vraag vervullen doordat incrementele, gestuurde verandering als uitgangspunt wordt genomen.

    Hoe overtuig ik de directie?

    Bijna elke directie gelooft wel in online, maar weet vaak nog niet hoe en wát. Voor het succes van de digitale roadmap moet er echter meer gebeuren dan alleen mondelinge sponsoring; je hebt mensen en budgetten nodig. In B2B leeft vaak nog het idee dat de markt nog traditioneel werkt. Als de verkopen nog goed gaan, ziet niet iedereen de noodzaak tot veranderen. Kijk daarom of je de volgende insteken kunt gebruiken om de directie te overtuigen:

    • Geef tastbare voorbeelden. Thuis kun je nu ook je nieuwe wasmachine online bestellen, net als je boodschappen bijvoorbeeld. Omdat iedere zakelijke inkoper ook een consument is, wordt digitalisering de norm.
    • Maak een business case. Onderbouw je digitale strategie met cijfers. Welke kosten gaan omhoog en welke omlaag? Laat ook zien wat er gebeurt als je het plan niet uitvoert.
    • Benoem de schaalbaarheid. Met een pilot haal je ook de techniek en vaardigheden in huis die vaak schaalbaar zijn. Wat je klein begint kan groot groeien. Een deel van de kosten kun je rechtvaardigen door de potentiële groei te benadrukken.
    • Data geeft inzichten. Kijk welke data je kunt verzamelen en wat je vervolgens hiermee zou kunnen doen. Zelfs verliesgevende projecten kunnen waardevol blijken wanneer je nieuwe klantinzichten kunt opdoen. Let wel: data is altijd een middel, geen doel op zichzelf.
    • Bewijs met een simulatie. Test eerst je hypothese in de markt met een simulatie voordat je gaat bouwen. De 'Build-Measure-Learn' aanpak met een minimum viable product (MVP) is hiervoor zeer geschikt. Het gedrag van klanten kan direct aantonen of je voorstel daadwerkelijk effect zal sorteren. Dit leidt op korte termijn al tot besef binnen de organisatie.
    • Externe experts overtuigen. Wil je gewicht geven aan je business case? Dan helpt de ondersteuning van een gerenommeerd bureau of expert. Dat laat zien dat bepaalde ideeën ook buiten de organisatie spelen. Een externe partij brengt ook een frisse blik en helpt met de interne politiek.

    Hoe krijg je de organisatie mee?

    Je hebt een visie op de markt die je wilt bedienen, de digitale ambities zijn gesteld en de directie staat volledig achter je plannen. Dan kom je pas bij het moeilijke gedeelte: de organisatie meekrijgen. Daar zijn drie praktische handvatten voor.

    Betrek stakeholders per fase en niveau

    De directie is een goed begin. Op strategisch vlak kijk je breed naar de bedreigingen, kansen, concurrenten en disruptors. Voor de volgende fases betrek je vervolgens de mensen die aansluiten op de processen die je digitaliseert. Dat hoeft dus niet altijd het afdelingshoofd zijn, want juist de mensen op de werkvloer kunnen je inhoudelijk ondersteunen. Door multidisciplinaire teams samen te stellen uit verschillende lagen en van verschillende afdelingen, voorkom je de ivoren toren én mooidoenerij. Werk je met afdelingen of landen die verschillen in digitale volwassenheid, dan kun je die ook samenvoegen in werkverbanden per niveau.

    Voorkom kanaalconflicten

    De introductie van een e-commercekanaal vraagt om enig tact, zeker wanneer vestigingen en verkoopmanagers worden afgerekend op hun omzet. Wanneer e-commerce leidt tot minder bonussen dan weet je zeker dat de webshop niet gepromoot zal worden. Een goede oplossing kan zijn om alle verkopen onder te brengen bij één verkoopdirecteur. Die zal vervolgens merken dat e-commerce zijn accountmanagers en binnendienstmedewerkers ontlast en daarop aansturen. Daardoor gaan het serviceniveau en de klanttevredenheid vervolgens vanzelf omhoog.

    Breng competenties in kaart

    Hebben de mensen wel de juiste competenties om de digitale ambities waar te maken? Zitten die ook op de juiste plaats in de organisatie, of is er nieuw talent nodig? Met deze vragen kijk je feitelijk naar de gewenste digitale organisatie. Technische zaken kun je onderbrengen bij een centraal digitaal team. Het uitdragen en promoten van nieuwe functionaliteiten naar klanten toe hoort bij de verkoopafdeling en klantenservice. En door mensen te plaatsen tussen IT en de business kun je praktijkproblemen vertalen naar praktische oplossingen. Daar zit ook een stuk begeleiding van de werkvloer bij. Een accountmanager die gewend is alles voor zijn klant te regelen, zal moeten leren dat selfservice via de website zijn klanten sneller kan helpen. Daardoor komt er weer tijd en ruimte vrij voor activiteiten die waarde toevoegen.

    Hoe blijf ik op het goede spoor met mijn digitale roadmap?

    Met alle aandachtspunten om je digitale roadmap in de praktijk te brengen, kan het gebeuren dat deze stil blijft staan. Daarmee loop je het risico dat de digitalisatie niet meer goed aansluit bij de praktijk en uiteindelijk, de organisatie. Kijk daarom regelmatig naar je digitale roadmap. Idealiter vertaal je de strategie naar een jaarplan en breek je die op naar een kwartaalplan. Verifieer elk kwartaal met de directie, het digitale team en de verschillende afdelingen of je nog op koers ligt. Vooral in jonge markten met nieuwe digitale producten of traditionele markten met disruptie zul je vaker de digitale roadmap moeten aanpassen. Houd je digitale roadmap dus levend, dan focus je vanzelf op de gewenste outcome en niet op een gestelde output. Bovenal gaat een digitale roadmap over impact.  

    Auteur: Roy Machielsen

    Bron: Emerce

  • Hoe zorg je voor succesvolle digitalisering als B2B bedrijf?

    Hoe zorg je voor succesvolle digitalisering als B2B bedrijf?

    Binnen B2C is digitaal de gewoonste zaak van de wereld, voor B2B geldt dat minder. Veel bedrijven tonen naar de buitenwereld een digitaal gezicht. Bestaande ERP-systemen laten zich echter moeilijk koppelen met leveranciers die andere systemen gebruiken, of zij die nog helemaal geen B2B gebruiken.

    Nederlandse bedrijven kampen met een bestaande IT-infrastructuur die nieuwe e-commerce ontwikkelingen tegenhoudt vanwege onbegrip en tegenwerking. Het management stelt wel een budget beschikbaar, maar hoe is dat nuttig te besteden?

    B2B-digitalisering: waarde toevoegen

    Een meerderheid van de werknemers blijft liever ´werken zoals vroeger´. Telefonisch, op bezoek bij klanten, zelfs de fax is nog niet overal naar het museum verbannen. Bovendien kan ver doorgevoerde afhankelijkheid van ERP een remmende voorsprong opleveren. Grote bedrijven gebruiken vaak een ERP systeem dat niet altijd aansluit op wat hun klanten gebruiken. Partners, leveranciers en klanten zien ook lang niet altijd vanzelf de toegevoegde waarde van B2B-digitalisering, waardoor ERP eerder een remmende voorsprong is dan een goede basis voor B2B.

    Digitale omzetgroei: twee modellen

    Er zijn in principe twee modellen om te beginnen met een digitale transformatie: van binnenuit of iets opbouwen volledig naast de bestaande organisatie. Er zijn bedrijven die deze laatste strategische keuze maken om snelheid te bereiken. Op die manier is de Pacombi Group bijvoorbeeld van 2% naar 63% digitale omzet gegroeid. 

    Een nieuwe digitale tak oprichten binnen het bedrijf kan lonen. Als je dat goed aanpakt, is het niet concurreren met jezelf. Bedrijven kunnen bijvoorbeeld een corporate start-up of nieuwe digitale afdelingen ofprojectteams oprichten die nieuwe diensten ontwikkelen.

    Een tweede model is om de digitalisering volledig te integreren in alle haarvaten van de organisatie. Er zijn dan veel details om in de gaten te houden. Alle bedrijfsonderdelen moeten dan tegelijkertijd mee, zodat een centrale IT-afdeling vaak een bepalende rol speelt. Alle applicaties moeten tegelijkertijd worden aangepast, het IT-landschap gaat volledig op de schop. De nieuwe architectuur moet worden getest. Kortom: dit gaat ten koste van de snelheid, zeker bij multinationale bedrijven, en er is een enorm budget nodig om alles goed werkend te krijgen. 


    Zonder ervaring in digitale transformatie is een externe partij onvermijdelijk. Houd de regie echter altijd in eigen handen. Creëer een proeftuin met een focus op digitaal georiënteerde klanten, waarvan je de resultaten later kunt uitrollen bij klanten en interne afdelingen die er nu nog niet aan toe zijn. 

    Laat interne medewerkers daarna zo snel mogelijk opleiden binnen het team, zodat je zelf het stuur kunt overnemen, want je kunt niet blijven hangen op een externe partij. Uiteindelijk moet je specifieke rollen creëren binnen de eigen organisatie. Denk aan operations, conversie-optimalisatie en een solutions architect.

    Spoedcursus digital voor management

    Investeren in digitale transformatie kost natuurlijk altijd geld voordat de baten binnenlopen. En digitale transformatie is echt niet alleen een kwestie van nieuwe software installeren. Processen en operationele modellen moeten ook mee veranderen. Deze visie moet je duidelijk uitdragen met een goed en consistent verhaal. Dit kost tijd, en dus FTE’s. 

    Dus, neem de board mee buiten hun eigen wereld, zodat ze snappen waar digital commerce om draait. Laat simulaties zien van nieuwe werkwijzen en toon tastbare resultaten. Bereken de omzetverhoging die mogelijk is. 

    In het ideale geval staat het management achter het e-commerceproject en draagt het ook uit hoe belangrijk het is binnen de gehele organisatie. Digitale transformatie begint vaak klein, of in een bepaald deel van het bedrijf. Een voorbeeld van een succesvolle transformatie, inclusief virtual reality-opleidingen voor training van personeel, is uitgevoerd bij Perfetti van Melle. Na dit succesvolle project zagook de board in dat dergelijke transformaties bij andere bedrijfsonderdelen mogelijk zijn. Een ander voorbeeld is Postillion, dat reserveringen van events laat doen door een AI-bot. Nu blijkt dat die een veel hogere conversie opleveren, kijkt Postillion hoe het een dergelijk systeem kan invoeren in de rest van het bedrijf.

    Begin klein, laat successen zien 

    Een transformatiemanager moet accepteren dat niet iedereen in hetzelfde tempo meegaat. Je kunt als een evangelist in de woestijn blijven staan, maar het is ook nuttig om mensen van buiten te halen om je plannen te verkopen. Organiseer bijvoorbeeld inspiratiesessies met experts uit het veld. Maak onderscheid tussen mensen die niet mee willen en zij die niet mee kunnen.

    Digital commerce sexy maken

    Zorg ervoor dat het digitale team leuk is, maak het een beloning om daarvan deel uit te maken en vier successen met de hele organisatie. Vertaal digital naar ieder niveau binnen de organisatie. Laat benchmarks zien, toon klanttevredenheid, groei van de longtail omzet, of andere resultaten en gebruik bijvoorbeeld gamification om collega’s te stimuleren hun doelen te bereiken.

    Degenen die verantwoordelijk zijn voor digitale projecten dienen bovendien voldoende macht en autoriteit binnen de organisatie te krijgen. Het helpt al om het te benoemen als ‘digitale transformatie’ in plaats van het iets te smalle ‘e-commerce’. Want ze gaan silo’s doorbreken en andere disciplines bedreigen. Daarom moet het ´sexy en aantrekkelijk´ zijn om voor het digitale transformatieproject te werken. 

    Vind ambassadeurs per afdeling en geef workshops om mensen uit hun comfortzone te trekken. Een gelikte presentatie in de boardroom is goed voor het budget, maar pas daarna begint het. Zelfs met een prachtig budget kun je beter beginnen met kleine experimenten, waarin je continu resultaten kunt delen en verworven inzichten verwerken. 

    Kansen creëren

    Want er zijn ook kansen: in de groothandel kan een distributietak zich afsplitsen en sneller leveren, bijvoorbeeld ook voor andere opdrachtgevers. Consumenten, maar dus ook inkoopmanagers, zijn inmiddels gewend dat hun bestelling de volgende dag voor de deur staat en wie dat voor elkaar krijgt, bouwt een klantvriendelijk profiel op. Ook B2B-klanten willen midden in de nacht bestellen, of op zondagochtend. Er is niet één klantprofiel meer. Een omnichannel-benadering is noodzakelijk. Tot slot: zet feiten en cijfers op een rij voor aandeelhouders en bestuur, zodat ze zien wat de voordelen zijn voor de organisatie.

    Auteur: Kees de Koning

    Bron: Emerce

  • How successful is your content marketing strategy? 4 tips to help you measure

    How successful is your content marketing strategy? 4 tips to help you measure

    Is there a marketing discipline with more variables than content marketing? For one, content marketers have so many different formats and types of content to play around with. The benefits of producing marketing content are proven, but unlike other marketing initiatives, content is difficult to connect to your typical revenue metrics. Simply put, marketers often have a tough time knowing how to measure content marketing success.

    Two-thirds of the average marketing budget is spent on content marketing. If you’re going to sink time and energy into content creation, you should know how to measure your results, right? 

    We can track ROI, lead generation, web traffic, sure. But marketing content has a big impact on less tangible performance indicators too. Sometimes it’s the more under-the-radar metrics that give you a bigger picture of what’s resonating with your audience. 

    In this article, we’ll bring to your attention to a few less obvious metrics for measuring content marketing success. Let’s get started!

    Under-the-radar content marketing performance metrics

    These are just a few guidelines you can use to tell whether your content is hitting the mark. As your campaign continues, you’ll likely find more quantitative ways to determine the success of your content. 

    1. Track social media engagement

    Move over, ROI. ROE (return on engagement) is taking the spotlight. Since 30% of web traffic is driven by social media, measuring shares is a great way to determine what type of content is king. 

    Even if social engagement doesn’t directly result in traffic, it’s still a valuable metric for monitoring content performance. If your audience is sharing, liking, and commenting on your posts on social media, it’s proof that your content is helping to strengthen your brand. And today, brand awareness and recognition are more important than ever.

    Tips for improving engagement

    • Share visual content: On social media platforms, visual content is more eye-catching than posts that are 100% text.
    • Add hashtags: Using relevant hashtags when you share your posts will allow you to reach new audiences who might not have discovered your content yet.
    • Promote discussion: Produce and share content that gets your audience talking. Lists, polls, debate-worthy topics, and other fun concepts will boost engagement by inspiring your audience to participate rather than simply consume your content.

    2. Measure your scroll depth

    Scroll depth is a metric that tracks the place on a page where your visitors stop reading. This is a valuable and perhaps under-appreciated metric, as it gives you a more accurate picture of how much of your content your audience is really reading. The deeper the scroll, the more likely it is that a reader enjoys your content beyond the initial click.

    Tips for improving scroll depth

    There are a number of causes for lackluster scroll depth. It could be that your content isn’t resonating with your target audience, but more often than not, it’s indicative of a poor user experience on the page itself.

    If users are abandoning your content early, examine the page experience. Is the page user friendly or is it difficult to navigate? Are you front-loading your content so that only the first few sections offer value? Is your content aesthetically pleasing?

    Consider using a heatmap, a software that tracks on-site actions and tells you where users are clicking and which parts of the site they’re spending more time on. The more heatmap data you manage to collect, the more you can fine-tune your content and keep them scrolling. 

    3. Analyze your exit pages

    The last page a visitor checks out before they leave the site is known as the exit page. Some pages, such as contact pages, act like bookends and naturally have higher exit rates. But in general, content pages like blog posts should have lower exit rates, because you want the reader to be so engaged with the content that they dive deeper into your website.

    High exit rates result from a number of problems, from confusing information hierarchy to a lack of CTAs.

    Tips to improve exit rates

    Keep the user’s journey in mind every time you create a piece of content. For example: what next step do you want a reader of a specific blog post to take? Obviously you don’t want them to leave your site, but do you want them to visit a different content landing page? Do you want them to sign up for a newsletter? With a little planning, you can guide your target audience to the exit page of your choice. 

    4. Track backlinks to your site

    Backlinks to your content from other publications is another clear indicator that your content strategy is gaining momentum. Here, pay attention to quality over quantity. A backlink from a website with a high domain authority is much more valuable than a dozen links from low-quality websites.

    Tips to increase backlinks

    Creating high-quality, valuable content will enable you to increase backlinks to your website organically. But, you should also prioritize link building as part of your overall content strategy. Reach out to other websites and publications within your industry and arrange content exchanges, guest post swaps, etc.

    Mutually beneficial content exchanges won’t cost you anything, but will help boost your authority and search rankings over time as you receive more backlinks.

    Final thoughts on measuring content marketing success

    Normally, we’d tell you to take it easy and focus on the big fish. But this time, sweat the small stuff! Metrics that you usually overlook could give you vital clues as to what your audience is paying attention to. Plus, they’re just plain fun to keep track of. 

    Whether it’s too early in your journey to track bigger metrics or you want a more granular look at how your content is performing, tracking these metrics can help you out in the long run.

    Author: Morgan Messick

    Source: Zoominfo

  • Identifying and monitoring your target audience as a B2B brand

    Identifying and monitoring your target audience as a B2B brand

    We often make the mistake of not using proper data-driven insights to connect the dots between our business and consumers.

    How well do you know your brand’s target audience?

    Or, how well do you think you know your target audience?

    We find that many brand managers in Europe assume they know their audience very well indeed. They might even have a very clear image in their head of the type of individual they are trying to target with all of their advertising and marketing strategies

    What is often the case, however, is this image in their heads isn’t always completely correct. When it comes to targeting your audience in Europe and motivating them into making a purchase, you need to ensure that your understanding of this group is bang on. Any slight differences between what’s in your head and your audience could result in some of your targeted work falling flat.

    If you know that you have this problem in your business currently, here are steps to take to understand your target audience better. If you follow them through, you’ll know how to discover your target audience and start fine-tuning your aim for them in all your campaigns.

    Brainstorm your target audience

    The first thing you should do is sit down and brainstorm what you already know about your target audience. Think about the characteristics that all of the individuals who are most likely to buy your products will share. Are they in the same age group? What is their job title; what kind of salary do they earn? You should also look at the common challenges, needs, and objections that this group of people might face in their life.

    One great tip is to take a look at the audience that your competitors are targeting. How does that group differentiate from yours? Examine the data-driven insights using the right tools to understand the entire funnel, and how you can leverage this data to incorporate your USP to retarget.

    Take advantage of brand trackers

    Use a brand tracker to get measurable and actionable data on your audience. This data can give you various, but specific insights. For instance, tracking brand awareness will tell whether or not your ideal target audience actually knows about you. As well as that, tracking brand consideration will show if they would consider using your brand. You can also track this data for your competitors and compare how your brand fares against them. 

    In addition, you might even discover that this isn’t actually the best audience for you to be targeting. By digging deep into all of this brand tracking data, you might see new audiences appear that you had never previously considered. Just make sure to choose a brand tracker that caters to niche audiences.

    Develop a persona for your target audience

    Now it’s worth creating a persona of what the quintessential member of your target audience is like. There are so many benefits from audience personas, so why not use it?

    For example, if you target the millennial generation, go beyond a generic idea of a millennial and think more closely about who you are selling to. If you find that millennial females who live in urban areas and work in the tech sector buy your product more than anyone else, then their defining features and characteristics should also be those of your audience persona. 

    Once you have made a persona, it’s important that you inform everyone on your team. To keep everyone on the same track with all their strategic work, you all need to be targeting the same persona.

    Start targeting

    Now that you know who you are aiming at, it’s time to start trying to reach them. In order to target your audience, focus your efforts on the channels they use most often. 

    If you know that your target audience spends a lot of their online time using Twitter, then it’s worth starting a campaign on that social media platform. However, if you are targeting an older audience who might prefer to spend their evenings in front of their TVs than tweeting, think about running some TV adverts.

    Researching the channels that your audience use really can help you immensely, not doing so could end with you shooting blindly and completely missing. 

    How does running marketing campaigns help find your target audience, you may ask. Well, how can you be positive that they are the audience for you unless you see if they work? And don’t forget...

    Continue to monitor

    So you research your target audience well and then start to target them using suitable methods and channels. Job done, right? Not quite.

    Sure, you’ve taken the right kind of steps so that the right kind of consumers will see your brand marketing. But how do you know whether that’s really happening once your adverts and promotions are out there in the wild? How do you know that they are helping your sales?

    Keep your eye on the ball and monitor how your marketing efforts are doing. You can do this by tracking your brand guidelines and campaigns to make sure that they are hitting the spot. 

    It’s also worth noting that target audiences can change or shift over time, so monitoring them is a continuous task for every brand manager. As long as you do make monitoring a habit of a lifetime, then there’s no risk of you ever being left behind by competitors

    Those steps don’t sound too difficult, right? If you follow through with them, you should discover new things about your target audience that you might never have realized. And those nuggets of wisdom could help you polish up your marketing campaigns like never before. 

    Not only that, but you can now carry out all of your campaigns confidently, as your target audience shouldn’t be even easier to reach. 

    Author: Steve Habazin

    Source: Entrepreneur Leadership Network

  • Market Intel in B2B: Grasp intelligence directly from the source!

    Market Intel in B2B: Grasp intelligence directly from the source!

    In Market Intelligence all kinds of different secondary sources are used to generate market insights. Secondary sources are providers of (self-reproduced) data that tell you something about a specific market. Providers can be commercial data brokers, governmental statistical offices or customized consultancy services using other kind of sources. In a B2C environment, because of the use of checkout data and loyalty cards, these secondary sources are often sufficient for the purpose of strategic or tactical decision making. In B2B this data, in almost all cases, is not or limited available.

    Collecting solid and effective Market Intelligence in B2B, for different reasons, is challenging. These markets often are experienced as massive black boxes. To whiten this black box companies are confronted with lots of limitations. OSINT is less available, commercial brokers and other secondary sources are scarce, and in case data is available it needs to be modelled and customized to make it actionable. There are specialized boutique consultancies who are very professional, almost artisanal, producers of adequate and tailor-made market insights using not only OSINT but also HUMINT, MASINT, IMINT etc. However, the quality of their work can increase significantly when consulting primary sources as well.

    As marketeers know ‘the market’ is a generalized concept in which ‘the customer’ at the utmost is known by division into different segments. However, in reality each customer is unique. This unique customer is approachable as a source for generating both specific and more generic market insights. However, in B2B this source is unfortunately seldom utilized. Whether this is because of a perceived lack of traceability and approachability of the customer is not clear. Another possible explanation might be the overestimation of related costs. At Hammer, it is our experience that both reasons are not valid.

    For both companies active in for instance animal nutrition, vegetable seeds, medicines, smart farming hard- and software and ERP applications we globally organized representative surveys among (dairy)-farmers, craftsmen and for instance installers. These cost efficient surveys provided very detailed insights about market shares, brand awareness, customer loyalties, consumer needs and also packaging or delivery requirements. Intelligence which is priceless for the use of marketing strategies, product innovation and delivery concepts. Compared to secondary sources, direct access to the customer as a primary source enables the market analyst to produce far more detailed info per product category and segment about market shares, brand awareness, innovation requirements, the effectiveness of marketing efforts and route to market preferences. Insights, which in most cases, cannot be deducted from secondary sources and are valued by client companies as a goldmine.

    Using data collected from hundreds of semi-structured interviews with customers provide companies with unique market insights that enable them to make differentiating (marketing) strategies. These unique insights support companies in comparing different (global or European) markets on attractiveness or actual performance. But the insights can be used as well for specific country deep dives which intended use is to support market entry strategies. In both cases these unique insights proved to be very complementary to what can be generated by the artisanal craftmanship of market intel professionals using OSINT.

    In this perspective, it remains amazing and questionable why so few B2B companies use these cost-effective methods to acquire appropriate market intel.

    Author: Egbert Philips

    Source: Hammer, market intelligence

  • Market sizing in B2B markets: relevance and challenges

    Market sizing in B2B markets: relevance and challenges

    Markets come in all sorts of shapes and different dimensions to segment, and there are many variables to take into account to successfully operate within a market. One important aspect you should be aware of, in any market you want to operate in, is market size. The market size can be either expressed in value: the total value of all sales, or volume: the total number of products sold. In this article, we are diving into the uses and challenges of market size, especially for B2B markets. In B2B markets we are not looking at the end consumer products everyone is familiar with, but at ingredients or raw materials, processed to be used later as part of those end products. In the next paragraph, I will explain why the market size is an important piece of market intelligence.

    Why is market size relevant?

    Being aware of your market size can have several uses for an organization. First of all, you can estimate your market share by comparing your sales data to the market size. One step further, market size can be used to assess sales performance. The more accurately you are able to estimate market size and label your sales data for market segments, the better you can assess where your sales are doing well and where there is room to improve. Speaking of room to improve, being aware of market size will also help you to estimate growth potential. You can see your market as a pie you and your competitors all want to eat from. The larger the market size, the larger the pie. It is up to you to ensure get the biggest possible piece of it. In order to find out which part of the pie you should try to eat, it is once again useful to estimate market size as accurately as possible for different market segments.

    Any segment with a large gap between your current sales and total size could be worth putting more effort into. Try to find a segment where this is the case, and where you are able to gain a competitive edge over your competitors and you may end up eating a bigger part of the pie! An analysis like this will help you decide how to allocate your resources and competences, and it may also reveal opportunities that are worth developing new competences for.

    Even though market sizing has many uses, it is not always easy to estimate market size. Next, I will describe the main challenges that come along with estimating market size, especially in B2B markets.

    What are the main challenges in B2B market sizing?

    The first challenge is defining your market. This may seem simple, but it is not always easy to narrow down exactly which geographical regions and which product categories are included and excluded in your market.

    The second challenge is the low data availability regarding B2B products. There are many sources that keep track of consumer data, however, it is rare to come across a reliable source with data on B2B markets.

    This immediately takes us to the third challenge:calculating the market size based on business rules. Often one will encounter that there is only data available about market value, rather than volume. By segmenting the market into regions and product categories, accounting for the prices of the different product market combinations, and accumulating the data for all the segments, one can estimate market volume. Another challenge within this exercise is estimating the proportions of different market segments within a total market. As market value data is often only available for B2C markets, estimating the market volume for B2B markets often requires an extra step. This step requires business rules to calculate the B2B market based on how the B2B product relates to the B2C products they are part of.

    The final, and probably the most difficult challenge is to find out that reality differs from your expectations. It is great to come to a confident estimate of the market size after facing all these challenges. Now imagine that you compare your sales data with the outcome and it seems that you have a much different actual market share than you thought you had. Or finding out that you are missing opportunities in certain segments. This has led (and will lead) to many strong discussions between market analysts, product/marketing managers and sales teams. These discussions may be challenging, but they are invaluable to a company.

    What is the most important advice regarding market sizing efforts?

    Act on it! Very often market analysts do great work in order to estimate a market size as accurately as possible. However, the outcome may imply that a sales team is underperforming, a strategy should be altered, or opportunities are being missed. This might not be the desired outcome, but if it is the truth a company is better of going in a different direction, one should not overlook the next steps. Basing decision making on data-driven insights will always lead to better decisions than basing decision making on gut feeling or existing routines!

    Author: Jasper Reintjens

    Source: Hammer, market intelligence

  • Marketing attribution in B2B: What's going on?

    Marketing attribution in B2B: What's going on?

    It’s no surprise to see more and more marketers explore and invest in attribution modeling in 2019 and beyond. After all, the B2B buyer’s journey has become increasingly complex, as each prospect engages with a number of digital touchpoints on their path to becoming a customer. It’s imperative for marketers to understand their customers’ journey and the role that each touchpoint plays in an eventual purchase, and marketing attribution is the one tactic that helps them do so.

    In today’s blog post we take a look at the current state of marketing attribution, and the latest marketing attribution trends you should be aware of. Let’s get into it!

    What is marketing attribution?

    Before we get into the latest attribution trends, let’s review the definition and main objectives of marketing attribution.

    Marketing attribution refers to a system used to determine how each touchpoint in a customer’s journey contributes to an eventual conversion. From there, a marketing attribution model will assign a specific percentage of attribution to each touchpoint. By assigning credit to each touchpoint, marketers are able to better assess and optimize the various campaigns and channels they use to engage their target audience.

    Here’s where it gets a little more complicated. There’s no singular model for successful marketing attribution. In fact, there are more than a handful of attribution models marketers use to track their customer journeys. 

    The three main types of marketing attribution are as follows: First-touch attribution, last-touch attribution, and multitouch attribution. First-touch attribution assigns 100% of the credit to the first touchpoint in a prospect’s path to conversion. Last-touch assigns all the credit to the last touchpoint. Multi-touch attribution models disperse credit among the many touchpoints in a prospect’s journey to converting.

    Trend 1: Multi-touch has become the most common form of attribution model

    As we stated above, there’s some debate over which marketing attribution model is best. Given the variety of options, it’s easy to see why only 22% of marketers believe they’re using the right attribution model (LeadsRX).

    Many businesses have stuck with a first-touch or last-touch attribution model, but they’re no longer in the majority. Over the past year, multi-touch attribution has become the predominant form of attribution modeling (eMarketer):

    • Of B2B marketers who have adopted marketing attribution, 45.3% use a multi-touch attribution model. Comparatively,  43.2% use first-click attribution and 24.% use last-click attribution.
    • 44% of marketers say they plan to implement multichannel attribution within the next year or two. 

    Make no mistake about it, the increasing reliance on multi-touch attribution is a good sign for the future of B2B marketing. One-touch models (first-touch and last-touch) have certain benefits, but they don’t paint a wholly accurate picture of a multi-faceted buyer’s journey. Multi-touch attribution models are much more realistic. They recognize every channel and piece of marketing content a prospect interacts with. 

    Compared to first- or last-touch, the only drawback to multi-touch attribution is its complexity. In other words, it’s easy to assign 100% attribution to a blog post that started a customer’s journey. It’s also easy to credit the webinar they attended right before conversion. But, assigning credit to each touchpoint in between is a more complicated process.

    The good news is, modern technology has simplified the process of implementing a multi-touch attribution model. Free tools like Google Analytics enable marketers to track multiple touchpoints and even create custom attribution models that let users assign attribution to individual channels. Considering that 41% of marketers say custom attribution modeling is very effective (Econsultancy), we’re likely to see more and more marketers embrace a multi-touch attribution strategy.   

    Trend 2: Attribution technology has impacted marketing budgets

    In a recent survey, marketing leaders were asked how attribution technology has affected their marketing spend across the channels they use. While responses varied, the survey results showed a general increase in spending on channels like content marketing, paid search, and organic search. Conversely, paid social and display advertising saw a general decrease in spending (Clickz).

    What do these results mean? For one, they show that attribution modeling has helped marketers develop a better understanding of SEO/SEM and content marketing ROI. But on a broader level, surveys like this one point to a trend in how marketers will allocate their budgets moving forward. 

    Marketing attribution is paving the way for more strategic allocation of money and resources. By optimizing their spending based on attribution metrics, marketers are able to ensure that every dollar they spend is actively driving conversions. 

    Trend 3: Cross-device attribution moves into the spotlight

    While the rise of multi-touch attribution is promising, there’s much more progress to be made. Modern customers don’t just use multiple channels to engage with a brand before the point of conversion. They also use multiple devices. In fact, Google reports that a majority of online consumers who use multiple devices start their purchase on a smartphone and complete it on a PC or tablet (Clearcode).  

    Marketers who implement an attribution model are beginning to recognize the importance of tracking customer behavior across multiple devices. To illustrate the value of cross-device attribution, let’s look at a hypothetical scenario:

    A person clicks on a paid advertisement for a security software on their smartphone. They’re intrigued, and later they visit the company’s blog and social media feeds while using their tablet. The next day, they use their laptop to visit the company’s website and submit a free trial form.

    In the above scenario, a standard attribution model may only recognize the final touchpoint of the prospect’s journey: they went to a website and filled out a form. Meanwhile, cross-device attribution would recognize the prospect’s previous actions on their smartphone and tablet, which led them to the point of conversion.

    The question is: How does one identify and track users across different devices? As you might expect, there’s no easy answer. But, there’s been a strong push among marketing software providers and data management platforms to solve this cross-channel conundrum. As technology becomes more adept at tracking users across devices, we should expect to see cross-channel attribution become the norm in the coming years.

    Trend 4: Attribution has driven more businesses to consolidate their sales and marketing technology stacks  

    Attribution modeling provides more insight into the buyer’s journey and allows for more accurate, comprehensive reporting. But, marketers fail to fully realize these benefits when their technologies do not integrate with those used by their sales department.

    For example, let’s say your marketing team uses a specific tool to track your various channels and assign attribution. If that tool does not integrate with your CRM, important prospect and customer data become siloed, making it more difficult to analyze and create comprehensive, accurate reports.

    Consolidating your sales and marketing technology stacks yields a number of benefits that contribute to better marketing and sales alignment. As marketing attribution becomes more ubiquitous, fully integrative technology stacks will become even more prominent among sales and marketing organizations. 

    Trend 5: More job titles include 'attribution'  

    Marketing attribution is not a minor undertaking, nor is it a simple set-it-and-forget-it tactic. In fact, it’s on its way to becoming one of the most essential components of a data-driven marketing strategy. As businesses recognize this development, the demand for employees with specific expertise in the realm of marketing attribution rises.

    Unsurprisingly, there’s been a recent surge in job titles related to marketing attribution. Search any online job board, and you’re likely to find a number of open positions calling for a 'Marketing Attribution Analyst' or 'Attribution Specialist'. It’s likely that over the next decade, marketing departments across all industries will include entire teams dedicated to marketing attribution. 

    Final thoughts on marketing attribution trends

    Marketing attribution is far from a fully-realized concept. It’s a tactic that continues to develop and improve, as marketing technology advances towards the idea of a 'perfect' attribution model. But, the trends we discussed today prove that the buzz around marketing attribution is much more than flash-in-the-pan industry hype. 

    If you have yet to explore the value of marketing attribution, now’s the time to start. A word to the wise: The benefits of marketing attribution aren’t always immediate. It’s likely that you’ll experiment with a number of attribution models before you find the one that works for your organization. Work out the kinks now and you’ll stay ahead of the curve as marketing attribution continues to evolve into a vital business strategy

    Author: Sam Holzman

    Source: Zoominfo

  • Ruimte voor verbetering in B2B lead generatie in Nederland

    Ruimte voor verbetering in B2B lead generatie in Nederland

    B2B leadgeneratie laat nog veel te wensen over. Dat blijkt uit de nationale B2B leadgeneratie benchmark 2019 van Prospex. Hoewel meer dat de helft van de respondenten een omzetgroei noteerde van 5 procent, zijn nog veel wensen onvervuld.

    De grootste uitdagingen voor B2B Nederland zijn het in contact komen met de doelgroep (36%), het verkrijgen van een voorspelbaar aantal leads (38%) en het opzetten van succesvolle marktbewerkingscampagnes (31%).

    Om betere verkoopresultaten te behalen noemen de deelnemers de noodzaak van een onderscheidende waardepropositie, een duidelijke contentstrategie en een effectieve samenwerking tussen marketing & sales.

    Vergeleken met 2018 noemen directies nog vrijwel dezelfde top drie aan prioriteiten. Met stip bovenaan staat: groei, nieuwe klanten werven en betreden van nieuwe markten. Dit geldt voor maar liefst 74%van de deelnemers, gevolgd nieuwe productintroducties (36%) en een hogere productiviteit van mederwerkers (34%). Bij groei en het werven van nieuwe klanten speelt leadgeneratie een hoofdrol. Opvallend genoeg geeft men dit punt slechts een mager zesje als rapportcijfer.

    Zeker 18% van de deelnemende organisaties heeft naar eigen zeggen geen zicht op het aantal contactmomenten dat nodig is om met succes een verkoopdeal te sluiten. Ruim 60% van de bedrijven vindt daarbij dat de fase van suspect naar lead het minst succesvol is.

    En ook al is de nodige kennis over content marketing aanwezig, dan wordt deze nog te weinig effectief ingezet. Met name het maken van unieke en onderscheidende content die leidt tot conversie wordt hier als uitdaging genoemd.

    Het voeren van een actieve dialoog op sociale media, ook wel audience engagement genoemd, zorgt voor een waardevolle stroom aan nieuwe contacten. Slechts 30% van de respondenten is daar mee bezig. Veel bedrijven delen nog vooral product- of referentie materiaal. Relevant zijn op het juiste moment voor de juiste mensen blijkt voor veel bedrijven nog een uitdaging.

    Wel past ongeveer 40% social selling toe. De nieuwe generatie is opgegroeid met content en dit wordt steeds belangrijker. Veruit de belangrijkste uitdaging is om het een onderdeel te laten zijn van de dagelijkse routine van sales. Voor een deel komt dat ook omdat accountmanagers er nog onvoldoende de toegevoegde waarde van inzien en omdat het management het niet omarmt.

    De verwachting is dat social selling de komende jaren zijn plek zal veroveren tussen de andere traditionele manieren van verkoop in B2B als bellen, emailen en klantbezoek.

    Bron: Emerce

  • The questions that help you find out why market research reports are often not that helpful

    The questions that help you find out why market research reports are often not that helpful

    It’s always easy to blame someone else.  It’s far more difficult to do an honest self-evaluation and see the extent to which you may have contributed to a problem. On November 5, in a GreenBook Blog post by Mike Sherman and Neil Gains, Do Market Research Agencies Produce Poor Quality Reports?, the authors present clear evidence that research vendors often think more highly of their reports than end clients do. Reports are too long, lack practical answers and recommendations, and don’t address business problems.

    In multiple decades in the insights business (both as a client and a vendor), I’ve produced hundreds of reports and seen many, many more. Mike and Neil are entirely right: research reports too often just aren’t helpful to the end client. They present data but not actual insights.

    But there are two important questions:  

    1. Why is this?  
    2. What are the solutions?

    Whether you’re the writer or the recipient of reports, I’m going to ask you a really critical third question:  How much of this is your own fault?  

    Questions for the report writer

    Let’s start with the folks actually producing the research reports.

    1. How did you start the project?

    When you began the project, did you start with the methodology, timeline, and budget? Or was your first question, 'What is the business problem you’re trying to solve?'

    Let’s be blunt: that’s why you exist. If you’re not helping clients solve business problems, you have no reason to be in business.  

    2. Are you by nature curious?

    If not, then you have a serious obstacle to becoming an effective report writer. Hmmm… the data shows long-term customers are less satisfied than newer customers with customer service. Many report writers stop after pointing this out, thinking their job is done. But aren’t you curious why this is? Certainly, your client will be curious! What else in the data would provide some insight into the issue? Just reporting the facts without attempting to understand and present the meaning behind them is inexcusable for a report writer.

    3. Is your report produced for your company or your client?

    Is your reporting customized to each client’s needs and company culture? Or do you simply use your standard template and hand over the results?  

    Every client is different. I’ve had clients who want just a one-page summary, and others who want to wring every last bit of data from the study, so there’s no such thing as a report that’s 'too long'. Some value visuals; others want a narrative. This shouldn’t just be the preference of the individual client, but the client’s knowledge of how the information will be most useful within the organization. If you haven’t discussed this, you’re missing out on a chance to produce something that will actually be used, making you more valuable to your client.

    4. Is there a broken link in the communication chain?

    Especially in large research agencies, the account manager and the actual report writer may be entirely different people. The account manager gets to know the client; the report writer looks at a bunch of data in a vacuum and just writes based on what the data says. It’s no different than a caterer learning about the client’s food allergies and preferences, but the chef just cooking whatever dishes can be made from whatever’s in the fridge. Are you fully involving the report writer in client communications? If not, the person who most needs the knowledge isn’t receiving it.

    5. Do you have clients or partners?

    My company has multiple clients we’ve been serving since the 90s. We seek clients with whom we become partners; solving problems together.

    If you as a vendor are nickel-and-diming clients, complaining when the situation requires last-minute changes, being unresponsive when they have needs, pushing them toward more profitable 'solutions', and basically treating the client like a bother or a paycheck, you’re not building partnerships. If you’re not in a true partnership with your clients, how can you expect them to provide you with all the background, detail, and insight you require to address their needs effectively rather than just providing the data?

    Questions for the Client

    Okay, you’re not happy with the reports you’re getting. I hear it all the time: It’s hard to find good market research vendors! But maybe it’s time to do a challenging self-evaluation: Are you as the client creating some (or maybe even much) of the problem?

    1. What drives your vendor decisions?

    In any purchase, your decision factors determine what you get. If your choices are driven by cost, you’ll be sure to get the lowest-cost vendor.  But that may not be the vendor who can best understand and help solve your business problem.

    Sometimes it’s not even cost. We pitched a client and they gave us an RFP with little detail beyond their business problem. We designed a proposal to address that problem. Their response was both exhilarating and depressing. Exhilarating: 'This is fantastic! You captured exactly what we were looking for, far more than any other vendor. You obviously understand our business problem, and the pricing was great!' Depressing: 'We’re giving the project to someone else because you’re not in our vendor system.  The report is due in six weeks and it’ll take longer than that just to get you registered'.  

    Whatever drives your vendor choice will be the determining factor in the product you get.

    2. Are you choosing vendors or creating partners?

    The more we treat each other as partners, the more I can know you and your organization and the more helpful I can be.

    But the more you try to whittle down my pricing, fail to respond to my questions, take forever to pay invoices, miss deadlines (and then expect me to work overtime to stay on track), refuse to consider my suggestions, and otherwise treat me as 'just a vendor', the less I’ll ever be your partner. I’ve had clients who regularly joked about how much they abuse their vendors. Tell me how that helps me perform at my highest level for you?

    A partnership also involves two-way communication. When you start with: 'We want to do six online focus groups among our customers to test new logo options', you limit me to being an order-taker. When you start with: 'We need to evaluate some new logo options', you allow my experience to collaborate with your knowledge to make the project better.

    3. Are you giving your report writers what they need to succeed?

    I can’t tell you how many times clients start a research conversation by discussing the methodology, timeline, or budget. Or get offended when I offer alternatives or different ways of thinking about the project. Or become frustrated when I ask deeper questions about their business needs. Or how many times clients can’t even express a clear business need.

    We were bidding a project for a large bank. I asked questions about how they planned to use the data, what existing customer and transaction data we could pair with the survey data, etc. The client became quite exasperated and demanded, 'Why are you asking all these questions? The other vendors didn’t have these questions!' Right then, I knew we had no chance at the project, and that (other than financial implications) I didn’t actually want it.

    If you expect me to help solve your business problem, you need to share the background, information, and detail to allow me to do that. You can’t withhold information and then blame the vendor when the report isn’t helpful.

    4. Do you really know what you want?

    I’ve given a short, succinct summary to a client and been told:  'We paid a lot of money for this study, where’s all the detail?' The next time I provided a detailed report to the same client and was told:  'No one is going to read all this, just give me a three-page summary!'

    So how do I provide you what you want when you don’t know what you want?

    It’s a two-way street

    From the research Mike and Neil did, it’s obvious that many report writers feel all is good while their clients think otherwise. Unfortunately, it also appears that many clients simply blame their vendors for less-than-helpful reports, while report writers shift blame to uncooperative clients.  

    Until both sides take a good, hard look at the possibility of their own contributions to the problem, it isn’t likely to be solved any time soon.

    Author: Ron Sellers

    Source: GreenBook Blog

  • The struggle of B2B companies to find customized Market Intelligence

    The struggle of B2B companies to find customized Market Intelligence  

    As a company operating in a B2C environment, life is easy. More explicitly, acquiring the right market information is a rather direct process. Countless reports filled with rich consumer insights are available at your fingertips. These reports, which cover topics like market size, consumer profiles, competitors, and trends, are easily accessible through sales and marketing professionals. With the right approach, available information can also be directly translated into clear insights on a strategic level. In the boardroom, market intelligence serves as a reliable sparring partner, setting the direction for strategic actions.

    Unfortunately, the opposite is the case for B2B companies. Their markets can often feel like a massive black box filled with blind spots. Also, the majority of leading market research companies focus on producing market reports for B2C companies, because the required data is significantly more convenient to obtain and more widely available. Besides, B2C companies are more willing to invest in market intelligence reports, due to the better overall quality of the data and insights.

    However, possessing the right intelligence is also vital for B2B players, especially in the fast changing and dynamic business environment they are operating in. Having access to information about market size, competitors, and industry trends can make the difference between staying on top of your league or to be disrupted.

    Existing market reports for B2B companies are difficult to put to direct action, as they are extremely standardized and frequently based on extrapolations of historical figures. Aside from the inaccuracies, these reports, in general, only provide you with insights about the past, whereas trustworthy market intelligence also helps you to be proactive instead of reactive, with respect to the near future.

    Another issue with these reports is the phenomena of 'information overload'. Decision makers drown in huge research reports filled with endless pie charts and tables. By the time they reach page 299, any actionable insight is definitely lost, and the reader is left behind frustrated.

    Sounds familiar?

    Luckily, there are several methods through which professionals in a B2B environment can start creating their own customized market intelligence.

    Today’s world offers one enormous advantage: the availability of rich and infinite open-source intelligence (OSINT). Endless bits and pieces of information are available on the open web; hidden in databases, social media content, trade journals and news articles. Connecting all the pieces of the puzzle in a smart way leads to better understanding of your market.

    Another method of creating tailor-made market intelligence is through (predictive) modelling. Key factor is defining which variables affect the topic you want to clarify. Take for example market sizing. Some variables might be less obvious than others. Illustrative for B2B companies is that they often act as a shackle in the middle of a value chain. Also, B2B products and their applications are more multifaceted compared with their B2C counterparts. It can be necessary to count back from end volumes of a product and combine this with market characteristics to estimate the market size of a specific commodity.

    The illustrations mentioned above are just two plain examples of techniques that can be valuable. Obviously, many more methods and tools are available. The trick is finding the right combination of methods and tools. As well as in depth understanding of how to determine validity.

    However, the bottom line remains unchanged: by combining outcomes of different techniques proper market intelligence can be gathered, even in a B2B environment. Aside, it is important to periodically update your data and insights with new figures and trends. Check and double check your data model with industry experts and internal sources. By doing this

    By building market intelligence in a systematic (and continuous) way, insight in your market keeps increasing, and the black B2B box can be whitened step-by-step.

    Author: Egbert Philips

    Source: Hammer Market Intelligence

  • Why B2B marketers shouldn't neglect B2C data

    Why B2B marketers shouldn't neglect B2C data

    Companies don’t buy goods and services, people do. And people buy for emotional reasons first. So, understanding what motivates people to buy is at the heart of learning why and how they consume. If you are focusing solely on B2B data, then you’re missing a critical piece of the equation.

    In the “age of the customer” where customers are in control, B2B marketers need to understand their prospects in new, sophisticated ways. This requires utilizing data about your buyers at work, but also outside of work.

    Typically, B2B data focuses on role and firmographic information. While B2C data can reveal information providing clues to the emotional reasons and process your customers use when making buying decisions. By combining B2C and B2B data, marketers can develop more relevant content and experiences that meet individual buyer needs. This is proven to increase the ability to contact and engage B2B buyers.

    ‘Integrated’ customer journey

    Customers know when they are being targeted, and often they don’t like it. Let’s say you have an insect problem, and you mention it to a neighbor. Next day a pest control salesman shows up at your door. While it’s convenient that the product arrived right when you needed it, you are naturally skeptical. You feel targeted. Modern day targeting strategy must be natural and non-intrusive. And data-led insight and context is required to achieve that.

    Meeting B2B sales objectives requires thinking big picture, beyond the business, to consider what’s happening in your customer’s life. Real people shift personas and uniforms throughout their day. From 9-5, B2B buyers assume their work persona. From 5-9 they assume their home, friends, family, and general B2C persona. Despite these shifts they are all integrated. What motivates and inspires, but also what scares a customer is essentially the same across work and personal life personas.

    How and why someone buys a specific car, house, vacation or clothing brand is directly related to how a person will acquire a server, services, or consulting.

    Let’s say your customer is passionate about a certain sports car brand. This could indicate that they have a more adventurous and aggressive attitude, which often translates to the same attitude at work. These insights can help B2B marketers craft messaging and offers that connect with these attitudes and leverage them toward their product.

    Cybersecurity for example may not seem like an exciting topic, but marketing it in a clever way can show the more adventurous consumers (who also make B2B decisions) that it’s worthwhile. HP’s campaign of movie shorts parodying the TV show Mr. Robot starred Christian Slater educating people about the importance of cybersecurity. It was a bold move that brought a lot of attention.

    Combining B2B and B2C data attributes are key to understanding the emotional and philosophical nature of your customers. When this is accomplished, messaging and creative and entices buyers to act can be created.

    Data-driven marketing

    Modern customers interacting with a company through different channels (store, website, social media, app) want it to be personal. Marketers who accomplish this across platforms will increase loyalty and trust.

    Data about your costumers must inform what you do. It’s not about applying B2C techniques to B2B marketing. It’s about using more data to become a better, more relevant marketer.

    Combining predictive analytics and machine-learning models with the millions of B2B and B2C data attributes we can collect about prospects nowadays provides the tools to connect 1:1 on a human level. Even better, we can use this data to increase B2B marketer’s ability to expand their reach.

    Connecting with customers is more complicated than ever and reaching them in a modern omni-channel world can be challenging. If you’re a B2B marketer, the first step is to use data to create a 360 degree view of your customer. When you manage to do so, you can reach more buyers with more relevant content and messaging in more mediums.

    Steve Jobs was probably right with this quote: “You’ve got to start with customer experience and work back toward the technology, not the other way around.” Incorporating B2C data attributes in B2B marketing gets to the heart of understanding your customer, creating tailored customer experiences and reaching them in more relevant media. And that’s definitely a good thing to keep in mind as you strive to improve ROI.

    Author: Collin Dayley

    Source: Insidebigdata

  • Why do B2B companies struggle to find customized Market Intelligence?

    Why do B2B companies struggle to find customized Market Intelligence?

    As a company operating in a B2C environment, life is easy.

    More explicitly, acquiring the right market information is easy. Countless reports filled with rich consumer insights are available at your fingertips. These reports, which cover topics like market size, consumer profiles, competitors, and trends, are easily accessible through sales and marketing professionals. With the right approach, available information can also be directly translated into clear insights on a strategic level. In the boardroom, market intelligence serves as a reliable sparring partner, setting the direction for strategic actions.

    Unfortunately, the opposite is the case for B2B companies.

    Their markets can often feel like a massive black box filled with blind spots. Also, the majority of leading market research companies focus on producing market reports for B2C companies, because the required data is significantly more convenient to obtain and more widely available. Besides, B2C companies are more willing to invest in market intelligence reports, due to the better overall quality of the data and insights.

    However, possessing the right intelligence is also vital for B2B players, especially in the fast changing and dynamic business environment they are operating in. Having access to information about market size, competitors, and industry trends can make the difference between staying on top of your league or to be disrupted.

    Existing market reports for B2B companies are difficult to put to direct action, as they are extremely standardized and frequently based on extrapolations of historical figures. Aside from the inaccuracies, these reports, in general, only provide you with insights about the past, whereas trustworthy market intelligence also helps you to be proactive instead of reactive, with respect to the near future.

    Another issue with these reports is the phenomena of ‘information overload’. Decision makers drown in huge market research reports filled with endless pie charts and tables. By the time they reach page 299, any actionable insight is definitely lost, and the reader is left behind frustrated.

    Sounds familiar?

    Luckily, there are several methods through which professionals in a B2B environment can start creating their own customized market intelligence.

    Today’s world offers one enormous advantage; the availability of rich and infinite open-source intelligence: OSINT. Endless bits and pieces of information are available on the open web; hidden in databases, social media content, trade journals and news articles. Connecting all the pieces of the puzzle in a smart way leads to a better understanding of your market.

    Another method of creating tailor-made market intelligence is through (predictive) modelling. Key factor is defining which variables affect the topic you want to clarify. Take for example market sizing. Some variables might be less obvious than others. Illustrative for B2B companies is that they often act as a shackle in the middle of a value chain. Also, business-to-business products and their applications are more multifaceted compared with their business-to-consumer counterparts. It can be necessary to count back from end volumes of a product and combine this with market characteristics to estimate the market size of a specific commodity.

    The illustrations mentioned above are just two plain examples of techniques that can be valuable. Obviously, many more methods and tools are available. The trick is in finding the right combination of methods and tools. As well as in-depth understanding of how to determine validity.

    However, the bottom line remains unchanged: by combining outcomes of different techniques proper market intelligence can be gathered, even in a B2B environment. Aside, it is important to periodically update your data and insights with new figures and trends. Check and double check your data model with industry experts and internal sources.

    By building market intelligence in a systematic and continuous way, insight in your market keeps increasing and the black B2B box can be whitened step-by-step.

    Author: Kees Kuiper

    Source: Hammer Intel

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