Research company Forrester’s Principal Analyst Lori Wizdo instructed B2B marketing professionals a couple of years ago this way: ‘B2B marketers, keep calm and carry on. There’s been no fundamental disruption in your world.’ So in essence, it’s business as usual!
Marketing channels undergoing drastic changes only has a minor impact on marketing professionals’ day-to-day work. The essentials – capturing attention, inspiring engagement and influencing – remain the same. It’s undeniable that Finnish companies are just waking up to this fundamental feature of marketing – on the level of management too.The unchanging core of marketing – capturing attention, inspiring engagement and influencing.Click To Tweet
Inbound marketing has emerged as the go-to solution for many companies. I won’t touch on the numerous definitions given to the term here, suffice it to say that many use it to refer to engaging with buyers at a stage when they have been guided closer to the purchase decision with active and even aggressive methods. But is this tactic a wolf in sheep’s clothing?
Marketing consultancy company Fronetics has noted that:
Today’s B2B buyer’s journey involves more research, more internet searches, and more social media.
Therefore, the buyer’s journey consists of several stages – and takes time, factors which are often ignored. I claim only a small proportion of the buyers are ready to buy at the desired time, when an effective in-bound method would offer them support.
I believe that the main shift in focus must be towards supporting the buyer’s journey systematically in all stages. When I browse the websites of Finland’s largest companies, what strikes me is that they still primarily concentrate on
A) attracting interest using blogs and other articles and
B) introducing products.
However, the most critical stages take place between these two steps!
Few companies create content, such as comparisons or calculations, to support the customer throughout the consideration stage, even though this is a critical phase when the buyers can be guided to adopt positive views of the value you can create for them. A fitting analogy could be a situation in which a sales professional calls a client once but fails to follow up on this chat. We all know that such tactics won’t bring results.The consideration stage of the customer’s purchase process must be supported with content such as comparisons or calculations.Click To Tweet
Good guidance for the buyer in the initial phases of the decision stage involves a combination of content marketing and social selling so that your customers feel that they are being listened to, assisted and guided in a way that meets their needs. At this stage, collaboration between sales and marketing is critical!
Do you want to offer emotionally intelligent customer service?
If you want to offer your customers an emotionally intelligent, informative buyer’s journey and ensure the creation of a relationship – even before the purchase decision has been made – we are more than happy to help! Start by reading these: