Master an evolved buyer journey
The buyer journey continues to be one of the most discussed topics in B2B marketing.
It’s quite polarising, with many different views being shared particularly around the marketing funnel. Some believe that the traditional funnel is dead, replaced by a complex, ever-changing ecosystem where customers are in control. Others say that it’s very much alive, just disrupted, with today’s customers jumping in and out of it at will.
One thing we can be sure about is how buying groups spend their time. Only 17% of a typical buying group’s time is spent meeting with suppliers, with the remaining 83% used on independent research and validation activities*.
Distribution of buying groups’ time by key buying activities:
The journey has evolved
The B2B buyer journey is no longer the linear, box-ticking process that people once thought it was. In reality, it’s quite complex, involving a diverse set of buying ‘jobs’ that need to be completed by a diverse set of individuals, critically, at the same time.
This means we need to think differently as marketers. These activities need to be intertwined to make sure that we’re helping people identify problems, explore solutions, build requirements and ultimately make it easy for our solution to be selected.
Let’s look at each of the four key buying jobs in more detail and how you can approach each one in a way that will help you win the hearts and minds of your buyers.
How to master an evolved B2B buyer journey
Help by being helpful
If your prospects don’t understand the problems they face, they won’t be won over by the solutions.
This creates a real opportunity in the buyer journey to help by being helpful. Produce genuinely helpful educational content and experiences to help to help your buyers understand landscape and identify a problem that they might have within their business.
It’s also the first step in presenting your business as the solution to that problem.
61% of customers prefer being taught how to solve a problem independently.
Helping businesses identify their ERP challenges
Boomi’s ERP Benchmarking Tool enabled prospects to compare themselves and their organisations to peers within the industry.
By building this tool, Silver helped Boomi’s prospects understand where they sit in the ERP landscape compared to the competition and helped them identify any problems that they may have in achieving a fully integrated ERP solution.
This is a great example of how we as marketers can support the sort of problem identification needed within the evolved B2B buyer journey.
Simplify the complex
The B2B space is known for its complex and often esoteric products, services and solutions, so communicating the benefits of these can often be a challenge.
With multiple stakeholders from all levels in the buyer journey, it’s essential that you have a clear story that showcases the true value of your solution and articulates the context in which the value comes into its own, addressing multiple buyer pain points and taking the audience on a journey.
People are 22x more likely to remember a story over a list of facts.
Source: Stanford Graduate School of Business
Showcase the true power and impact of your solutions
Digital experiences offer simple, engaging ways to tell your story and fulfil the solution exploration part of the buyer journey.
Scandit was typically perceived as just a barcode scanning solution. However, with our interactive Smart Store experience, Scandit could show the transformational power of its solution and demonstrate its benefits across an organisation.
Get personal when it matters
Today’s buyers have all the power and expect much more personalised and relevant experiences throughout the buyer journey.
By surrounding your buying group with a personalised campaign strategy, you can break down barriers and stay ahead of the competition.
The typical buying group for a complex B2B solution involves 6 to 10 decision-makers.
Source: Gartner ‘The B2B Buyer Journey’
Use ABM to personalise the experience
An excellent way to get personal within your buyer journey strategy is ABM. Show what your solutions can do in context to your prospects and build up those requirements.
By building two bespoke interactive 3D cities for Telefónica, they could showcase the range of solutions that were relevant to two carefully targeted clients, demonstrating that they are far more than a telecommunications provider.
Stand out with creativity
Saturated by an abundance of content across a range of channels, customers have become accustomed to uniform and generic experiences.
Any brand able to successfully engage and captivate customers effectively, repeatedly and creatively has a tremendous opportunity to gain a competitive advantage and be the chosen supplier along the buyer journey.
B2B decision makers are using more channels than ever before to interact with suppliers.
Source: McKinsey ‘B2B Pulse’
Catch the eye in a sea of sameness
Engaging and impactful, creative content is the key to rising above the uniform and winning customers.
Adopting a character-based, playful and humorous creative concept to showcase Dell’s technical differentiators allowed us to create a simple and memorable story that also demonstrated Dell’s understanding of their audience – resulting in staggering business and award-winning success.
It’s still about the people
It’s clear that the B2B buyer journey has evolved, and our marketing approach must evolve with it.
The process is a complex one, but essentially, we’re people selling to people. Those companies that can make the journey easier for buyers will be the winners.
- How can you be with prospects when they’re not with you?
- How can you use creativity to drive memorability?
Let’s win your buyers’ hearts and minds
If there’s one thing Silver loves to do, it’s to tell our clients’ stories to the world.
At Silver, we know that ‘Business to Business’ marketing success is really all about ‘People to People’ and our team has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities presented by this ever-evolving landscape.
By weaving compelling storytelling, incisive business intelligence and data-driven insights together, we can help you successfully navigate the evolving buyer journey landscape.