Who moved the goal posts?

in Brand Campaigns Gilroy Social Technology
by Kevin Sleap

The B2B marketing revolution is here. After decades of gentle evolution, decision making for B2B customers is changing at a scale and pace never seen before. And it’s all down to digital. Broad adoption of the internet as the definitive means of researching, sourcing, comparing and selecting products, services and solutions has fundamentally changed the way that businesses need to market themselves.

An estimated 83% of business decision makers now rely on the web or social media to help them in the early stages of the buying cycle. They will also view at least three pieces of content in the process. In addition, 98% of professionals now regularly visit at least two business websites to secure information, whilst 63% visit over six.

Peers are no longer regarded as the number one source of recommendation. Instead, business decision makers are seeking out like-minded people and connecting with them online to hear or share experiences, views and opinions. This is not simply about downloading the latest industry analyst report or visiting a recognised thought leader’s site. Blogs, forums and user groups are rapidly replacing calls to colleagues and conversations over coffee.

Thanks to social media, reaching out to customers and gaining a unique insight into the challenges they face and how they view them has never been so easy. But there are pitfalls: Business and consumer social media channels are also a global platform for disgruntled customers to voice their displeasure or to share bad experiences.

With an estimated 60-70% of purchase decisions being made ahead of any direct sales engagement, the emphasis has moved to understanding how your customers and prospects view the tasks they face, and where and how they will search online for a solution. You must grow your digital footprint and place your content in context.

You must be perceived as distinct and credible and enable a connected customer journey from initial research, through information and engagement; ultimately to something you can monetise.

The potential pitfalls are many, but then so are the opportunities and rewards.Welcome to a brave new world of B2B marketing. To find out how it could help you click here: http://www.gilroy.co.uk/knowledge/changesinb2b/