The changing relationship between buyers/consumers and sellers demands that brands and messages are shared in real time, all the time, and in the right ways — and it’s not a passing trend. Digital marketing, which facilitates this always-on, relevant dialog, is growing rapidly, and it’s here to stay. With buyers at the helm, demanding targeted, recent, and relevant content, sellers no longer have the power to dictate the sales process or how their buyers obtain information. The traditional sales model is gone, as buyers driving key decisions and are more informed than ever. These buyers have decided if they will buy from you before they contact you. They are making decisions based on your digital presence and what information is currently out there today.
“More than a third of customers pass through the first stage of the buying cycle with no vendor engagement, and 40% of buyer/seller interactions are self-guided, largely digital interactions.” (Sirius Decisions)
Combined with the data above, we know that fewer than 30% of B2B companies have an integrated company-wide social strategy, and best practices are rarely shared.
To deliver the right messages in the right places, you need a solid digital strategy, backed by the right resources, execution, and delivery, with measurement tools in place to replicate what works. But what does this solid digital strategy look like? Where does an organization begin to assess, and then complement, what they are (or are not) doing online today?
How to get the digital marketing edge: You can hire an expensive consultant, or a marketing team, to revamp your marketing plans. That’s costly, though, and even if they are on board, they too would start with taking an inventory of your digital strategy before they map out the plan. Knowing that many organizations aren’t taking this route, we are extending a simple way to help you plan and get you going right away.
SAP and SiriusDecisions have developed the Blueprint for Digital Marketing Success tools. It’s comprised of an easy-to-use 9-question survey, a customized analysis of digital readiness for your organization, and a handful of tools that help you succeed. These tools include training materials, a personalized action plan, and even best-practices you can leverage immediately. Three critical digital areas are monitored: Digital Process, Digital Mindset, and Buyer Knowledge. You enter what you know/have, and then we measure and score to see how you currently rate compared to industry averages and other survey-takers.
You aren’t in charge — but you can be. Remember you aren’t driving the sale; your prospects are. It’s time to market your services and products in today’s digital world to make the sale. Using the Blueprint for Digital Marketing Success with dynamically recommended resources, you’ll know how to start building a digital presence, understand how to refine your digital strategy, and discover just how simple a digital marketing strategy really is.
Jennifer Schulze (email@example.com) is vice president of cloud partner marketing at SAP. She leads a global team of marketing experts to ensure partner demand generation, awareness, and go-to-market success. She has more than 20 years of experience in consumer and technology marketing, with expertise in software, services, and consumer and business products.