Digital Marketing offers a valuable opportunity for growth to your B2B business. Are you ready to take the leap ?
As a marketeer, your task is to keep the image of the brand you work for alive and the revenues and profit increasing. In a fast-changing world, adaptability is key, especially in marketing. It is important to grow with the world’s technological expansion as it is impacting the way you do marketing, like they are telling us at The Marketing Folks.
There are still many players in the market that are strong advocates of traditional marketing (you, perhaps?) and they are not totally mistaken. It is what they have been used to, worked with and gained astonishing results through. Why leave it behind?
Our goal with this article is not to have you turn your back completely on what you are used to but answer your questions on why digital marketing is the necessary next step for your b2b business.
Are you feeling overwhelmed by thousands of ideas, but you can’t figure out which ones will be successful?
Don’t worry, there is no need to fall back every time on the same traditional marketing tools: what you need is to fill gaps to create the best value for your customer, understanding the highest prospects for success in the new digital environment.
If you are reading this, you might be surrounded by a small marketing team, likely without a digital expert and you don’t know where to start and how to navigate these new waters.
Source: Take Back Your Temple
That is why we are here! To walk you through all the stages of the marketing process of strategic planning and value creation and help you see how you can make the most of digital marketing.
“That’s it? Thank you for your effort, but what you are telling me is definitely not something new…”
In building your marketing strategy, you have started with identifying your value through analytical marketing. You research and analyze your market to understand the behavior and decision-making journey of consumers to identify the value they are looking for. Then, you have likely moved on, through strategic marketing and our beloved S-T-P formula, to creating this value for them through your offer. The third step has been marketing development and the delivering of your value: you set a marketing mix coherent and consistent with your findings and the strategy you have set up in the previous steps. The final step is about sustaining your value. Everything is in place and seems to be working, that’s great! But the world is still changing so you need to stay up-to-date, keep investing in tests and marketing experiments and update your strategy and objectives.
And you are completely right! What we just explained here are the main pillars of traditional marketing and now the world is changing and disruptive innovations are taking place, so what can you do about that?
We are here to tell you that, of course, your B2B business needs to be readapted to digital transformation, but you don’t have to forget about your knowledge and the experience you gain with traditional marketing. Traditional marketing, when created and executed well, can produce great results. These rules are valid, but have some limitations and need to be shaped according to the latest trends.
Traditional marketing limitations are strictly linked with the advantages of digitalization. It can be more expensive than digital marketing, considering the extra costs of production and the media buy on traditional channels. It is often not as measurable as digital marketing: all the measurement tools related with non-digital channels will never reach efficiency and accuracy levels of the digital metrics along the entire marketing funnel.
Traditional marketing can take longer to execute and refine than digital campaigns. In addition to that, once the ad is done there is no going-back, real time editings or A-B tests as on digital ads to improve effectiveness.
Finally, when it comes to the audience, traditional marketing has a lack of abilities on targeting levels and it is gradually losing its audience: the way people of all ages consume news and media is changing.
But do not lose heart, your marketing can be adjusted and rebalance.
The undeniable advantages of Digital Marketing
- Data, Data, Data
We live in a time where data has tremendous value for B2B businesses, and we don’t want you to miss out on that. Tools like Google Analytics can help you pinpoint precious details about your customers and their behavior towards your business. With this information, put yourself in their shoes! Build a better, more accurate buyer persona that will help you design a more tailored offer to your customers and content that speaks to them on a higher level.
But data is not only valuable in this framework. For example, you can use it to better assess the success of your campaigns and on which channels they work, therefore spending more efficiently in the future.
- Reduce your costs
Talking about spending, digital marketing costs less than traditional marketing ventures. Lots of digital marketing tools require a lot of effort from your part but can be implemented for free and yield the same or even better results. Even the paid advertising is cheaper on average when compared to traditional advertising. Trust us, you will be able to get the most of your budget.
- Think Global
With your newspaper advertisements and your billboards, you were quite limited, in terms of reach, to a locality. It was not a problem before because your customers were right here, around you. But today, allow yourself to think global: through digital marketing, you will be able to reach potential customers across the street as well as across the world. The world is your playground.
- Think Younger
If you want to target a younger demographic, digital marketing is a must. The younger generations are called digital natives for a reason: this is their world. They are set to become the biggest demographic as customers and if you want to reach them, it will not be through your ad in the local newspaper or before the 8pm news on TV. You need to be online so that they can find you.
- Interact with the world in real time
A digital presence, especially through social media, allows you to interact directly with your audience and build a stronger relationship with your customers. Moreover, it gives you a platform to connect your brand to different things happening around the world: you can hop on viral trends and capitalize on these moments to promote your products. One example is when IHOP, the American pancake restaurant chain, decided to change their name to IHOB leaving many to speculate what the B stood for. This allowed other brands to promote their products that started with a “B” like the brand Chiquita Bananas who suggested “International House of Bananas”.
Source: The Manifest
All of this to say that a lot is happening in the fast-moving digital world and we do not want your business to miss out on it. The shift from traditional to digital marketing doesn’t have to be total and painful, on the contrary, you will be able to implement your digital strategy in the framework you already know and work with.
Let’s see how Digital Marketing is integrated in your Marketing Strategy
1. Identify your value!
Research! Obtain data of customers and potential customers, you may need both quantitative and qualitative data to deeply know your customers, this can be easily done thanks to the internet, as you can reach vast quantities of people with low expenses. If you are following a digital approach, you can identify what your customers want in a really short amount of time as contrary to the traditional approach. They will post on social media, leave comments, send emails… Letting you know instantly what they like, and they don’t like about your products.
2. Create your value!
With digital marketing you can attract a lot of customers and target them with tools like Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). These tools will help you get into the top positions in search engines such as google, where you can attract a lot of people to later analyze their behaviors and identify patterns Also, don’t forget about mobile devices! Everyone carries one and they can be a good approach to get new customers. Thing as SMS and Apps are also ways to do digital marketing that can reach high volumes of people with really small investments
3. Deliver your value!
Provide exposure to the right audience. That is the good thing of going digital, you can get to your target regarding their location while at the same time being able to target by gender, ages, job… The traditional approach tried to change the perceptions of the customers, with digital marketing you can get guidance from your customers to deliver what has more value to them, this is also thanks to the connections things like social media provides. All of this connectivity lets us have a more customer-centric approach. This is the way marketing is done nowadays and digital marketing lets us have a mutual communication between the company and the customer, achieving much higher customer loyalty.
4. Sustain your value!
Always create different content for different platforms and test your results! This is much easier in digital marketing than in the traditional way, as you can have instant data about your campaign. If your efforts are working, think about expanding your channels to scale your company. And remember, never forget about your competitors. Look at others! You should always keep track of what their companies are doing and take notes of what is and what is not working for them.
In conclusion, making the shift to digital marketing doesn’t necessarily mean killing traditional marketing completely. On the contrary, for your B2B business, digital marketing can be the missing tool in your toolbox to fill in gaps in your message to customers and complete your marketing strategy. For this reason, it is important for you to know how these approaches can work together.
This article is the first of a series in which we aim to help you make the most of digital marketing for your B2B business. So stay posted, you will enjoy the ride!