10 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

  • 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. 

    Outsourcen-insourcen

    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

  • 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 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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