Traditional marketing and static sales messages are no longer effective in a B2B landscape where customers complete 70-90% of the buyer’s journey before engaging with service providers. Digital tactics that focus on outbound marketing aren’t enough either.
To win in today’s marketplace, companies need a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that reaches prospects at every stage of the buyer’s journey. Here are three important steps your organization can take to begin making this important transition.
1. Use content to build trusting relationships
Outbound marketing (direct emails, telemarketing, advertisements) is about reaching out. Digital marketing also emphasizes content and inbound strategies – such as relevant articles, SEO optimization, and word of mouth – to draw customers in.
You need content to support each stage of the buyer’s journey – awareness, consideration, and decision – and to keep prospects engaged as they move from one stage to the next. The more targeted high-quality content you have, the more likely prospects are to trust your company with their B2B needs.
Trust is critical in a climate where 54% of buyers are suspicious of sellers.
2. Keep buyers engaged at every stage of the process
Before making a purchase decision, buyers consume around 11.4 pieces of content in various formats. At the awareness stage, you can use e-books, tip sheets, white papers, and other educational content to build interest and trust.
In the consideration stage, product-based content like webinars, case studies, and data sheets provides the details buyers need to continue the journey with you. Finally, decision-stage inbound marketing in the form of live demos, consultations, and free trials provides that final push toward a purchase.
In all formats and at all stages, your content must work together to create a complete and cohesive resource for the decision-makers who are likely to influence the purchase process.
3. Keep content in context
Just having a wealth of informative content is not enough to ensure a successful inbound marketing strategy, however. You need to provide the right message to the right person via the right medium at the right place and time. Hitting these marks requires a deep understanding of buyers and their needs, habits, and purchase processes.
Proper context requires not only creating content for awareness, consideration, and decision-making but also crafting sales funnels that draw this content together to seamlessly take prospects from visitor to lead to customer. It is equally important to keep current customers engaged with the brand using content such as surveys and social monitoring.
Final thoughts and next steps
While the buyer’s journey continues to evolve, digital marketing provides you effective strategies for reaching consumers with relevant and compelling content. An inbound marketing approach, which focuses on customers, builds trust while providing the information for narrowing choices and making decisions.
By applying both context and content to marketing in parallel, you can offer the answers new customers need as they progress through the awareness, consideration, and decision stages—while also maintaining positive relationships with existing customers. Only in this way can you expand your sales figures by reaching and engaging both new and current companies.
Learn more about SAP’s insight-driven marketing tools here. SAP partners can visit the SAP Marketing Academy homepage, choose SAP SME Academy Live Series and find Digital Marketing “Digital Tactics to Digital Marketing.”