Nowadays, most of the content consumption occurs in the digital environment. To remain relevant and to keep pace with the technology, your company needs to have a strong digital presence. And to achieve sustainable growth, you must have a successful digital b2b marketing strategy.
In this short guide, we’ll give you an overview of the first steps that you need to take to create your long term digital strategy and reach your objectives.
1. Set SMART goals to know what you want to achieve
Digital marketing campaigns can accomplish a lot of things: improve customer relationships, increase brand awareness, boost sales… But to do it right you must know what you want ! The more precise your objectives, the most efficient your strategy will be.
When a company starts to build a digital presence, they tend to go straight to the tools – Should we do Facebook ads or Google ads ? What SEO keywords are the most relevant ? These are crucial questions for a good digital marketing campaign but they will come in future steps. Your strategy will be much more profitable if you start it with clear goals.
To do this, you can apply the SMART criteria – a tool used by a lot of managers to set their ambitions. It is a mnemotechnic way to remember that your goals should always be :
For example, having more people subscribing to your newsletter is not a SMART goal. Instead you should set something like “Gain 15% new subscribers in the next three months”.
2. Understanding and developing the sales funnel in a digital marketing b2b strategy
A sales funnel is the process a consumer has to go through starting with awareness of a given brand all the way to retention or -depending on the consumer and the product- Advocacy or both. In this article we will be going through each of the various steps of the consumer journey, how one is optimized to lead to the other and how we can pinpoint the major spots in the sales funnel that we are losing customers at and try to optimize it.
Pre sales funnel assumptions:
- You need to have a clear understanding of your digital marketing b2b strategy
- You need to know your consumer and understand how they behave.
- You need to understand our product and its functions
- You need to have a deep understanding of why you do what you do.
- You know how you are different from other products within the same market.
Step # 1: Awareness
This is when the consumer is first exposed to the product or service. This is also called the Zero moment of truth (ZMOT). At this touch point you can assume that the consumer does not have the deep knowledge of the need for the product or service but is in some way interested in it. Enhanced through: social media ads, google ads, SEO’s.
Step # 2: Active evaluation/ consideration
This is when the consumer has gained some initial knowledge of the product/service through constant exposure to Awareness and research efforts. This is also called the First moment of truth (FMOT). At this touch point you can assume that the consumer understands their need and has already considered more than one alternative.
Enhanced through: clear added value , competitive edge, well established brand (what, how, why), sales team and support.
Step # 3: purchase/ commitment
This is when the consumer has chosen your product/ service from the pool of the initial consideration set. This is also called the Second moment of truth (SMOT). At this touch point it is essential to make sure that the consumer had a relatively good experience during the buying process and is now in full knowledge of the benefits and usage of the product/ service.
Enhanced through: customer service, account managers, POS optimization.
Step # 4: post purchase experience
This is when the consumer has now experienced the product/ service and now has a conclusion on the said product/ service. At this touch point if the consumer had a good overall experience then the consumer is satisfied and could potentially repeat the purchase (retention) and/or advocate others through WOM to use the product/ service. If not then it is very important to understand where throughout the funnel did the consumer have a bad experience so you can work on improving that specific part.
3. Determine your Buyer Personas
If you want to start saving time and of course money, you need to know your buying persona. Defining which kind of person is behind your product will help you to communicate better with your ideal customer. The idea is to create someone who will represent your target audience.
Following our model will prevent you from having a panic attack and will help finish your target profile in one day. You can find the template below to help you build it.
First you need to start with some demographic details: Is it a woman? Is it a man? Is she 25 years old? Is he 50 years old? Married or single?… Once you have a clear idea of who that person is, think about their interests, goals, motivations, pains… The idea is to work with this model customer as if they were a real person. If you want you can imagine them by using a photography. It is impossible to collect all your customers in one buying persona. So, you will need to do one for each segment.
Probably, you already listen to this “in order to understand the thoughts and behaviors of the others you need to wear their shoes”. So, if you want to be more efficient with your communication it is time to finish all your buyers’ personas. Because wearing your customers shoes will allow you to focus on their priorities instead of yours.
4. Understand where and how to connect with your audience using the Funnel
So far, we have described the funnel model layer by layer and now you have your typical target audience portrait, the only thing left is to use certain tools to accurately reach them and convert them into valuable consumers with long LTV (lifetime value).
For awareness, the objective is to get more people to know about your brand or the competitive advantage of the product. The content needs to be coherent with your value proposition. You could always choose a media format with high traffic like sponsored social media ads, but assure you aim your TA right in the spot. If you are in b2b, the public place with authority in your industry will also be an ideal place for you to do advertisement.
For the potential customers that are already considering you, they need just one more push to lean to your brand. What you need is to emphasize the added value and competitive edge about your brand or product. Try to also communicate clear benefits and costs with them. The right format for this step should have more accuracy and really convey all the information they need to make the decision.
For the purchase and post purchase experiences phase, the customers are closer to the company so that it should be easier to control. The product quality and its competitive advantages play an important role here. Proper customer service or loyalty programs in CRM (consumer relationship management) could also be helpful.
Now, you have seen some initial steps of marketing strategy in the digital world. If you want more information or even specific advice, do not hesitate to contact us, you are at the right website to ask for help !
Ahmed Tayel, Anna Ramos, Alex Wang, Romane Ponroy