With the advent of digital attribution in marketing, B2B marketers have coveted the ability to measure the effectiveness of their online efforts and tying any correlations back to ROI. However, there are occurrences in B2B marketing along the customer journey which cannot be tracked; these are perhaps key contributing moments in the decision-making process by prospects.
In fact, many parts of the B2B buyer behaviour can’t be tracked because the B2B buyer journey isn’t always as linear as it is in theory. There are parts of the B2B buyer journey which are subjective that occur in places away from all the measurable aspects of online marketing, for example, a meeting that takes place between decision-makers who discuss whether they prefer “Solution A” over “Solution B”. It also depends upon whether a prospective customer is in the problem awareness stage or has progressed through to being solution aware and is on the verge of making a buying decision.
Nevertheless, there are actions that can be taken to gently, and continually persuade prospective customers of the results that one brings to their problem. After all, it is about bringing a solution to help them to help their businesses. The key here is to keep prospects aware of your entity by maintaining an online presence and staying front of mind.
Second to referrals and word of mouth, content marketing is an effective tool in the B2B marketing arsenal, especially when it is used to educate and inform prospects about topics surrounding the problems solved, as well as about the solution itself. Business decision makers prefer to do their own investigation and find information through articles rather than having an ad foisted upon them. Customers are focused on ROI and expertise and turn to the internet to do research and gather evidence to support a decision in ‘micro-moments’. It is a business’s responsibility to produce supporting evidence and information that will positively influence the mind of decision makers within these ‘micro-moments’.
Although difficult, companies must contemplate how different decision-makers within their prospective customers’ businesses may have subjective moments along their customer journey. Another example can include directors who have started their own research asking other management staff to do further research. Businesses need to harness the cumulative effect of the sum of all the ‘micro-moments’ of each decision maker, management, and others involved in the customer journey.
It’s not just blog posts that can be educationally effective, but there are other means that can be leveraged that also contribute to a positive outcome, including whitepapers, case studies, webinars, and testimonials. Each having their place along the journey to help prospects make the comparison between your solution and your competitors.
Additionally, having a social media presence on a platform that allows a business to take advantage of the opportunity to educate audiences, and that plays to a company’s creative strengths, would also help them to stay front of mind.
Businesses must account for unmeasurable, subjective moments that occur along the customer journey, and although they can’t obtain data from these moments, they must still positively influence the purchasing decision, despite the data being ‘incomplete’. When implementing these additional means of content such as whitepapers and case studies, entities should use the ‘incomplete’ data obtained from marketing efforts to support future campaigns and to help their company stay at the front of prospects’ minds.
We know that B2B relationships can be beneficial for both parties, where businesses can support clients from the beginning to the end of the customer journey. At SQN, we’re fortunate enough to work with a number of B2B clients, helping them to achieve their objectives.
Need support with maximising the benefits you can achieve with B2B marketing? Get in touch with our team today.