How to make an effective B2B E-Commerce Marketing Strategy
There are countless ways to market a business. But are you marketing your B2B eCommerce correctly? If you are a B2B marketer or aspiring to be one, then here are 8 pointers providing recommendations on how to minimize your marketing budget whilst achieving KPIs and ROI by using the right marketing tools.
Visibility and Mobile Marketing
As a marketer, you have probably heard this countless of times – Make your website visible to others. B2B customers make specific and targeted searches and with increasing numbers of B2B businesses on the internet, the fight to the top is nothing short of challenging. The solution is “Link Building”, a way to succeed on appearing at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) to build brand awareness. Search engine algorithms highly favor shared content and by encouraging others to share the link to your content, it drives traffic towards your website which boosts your domain authority. The algorithms pick it up and it eventually increases your website’s visibility by pushing it up the ranks of SERPs.
Research and Knowledge
More than other marketers, a B2B marketer must have even more extensive knowledge about the products and services that their B2B e-commerce provides. This is because B2B buyers are insightful, experts in their field and most probably know about your products and services more than you do. If a B2B marketer is unable to convince the customer with proficiency and dexterity, there is no way the customer will trust that e-commerce store. B2B marketers are therefore responsible for familiarizing themselves with every part of the business and do an excellent job of convincing customers that the product, quality and customer service will be worthwhile.
Moreover, with the advent of technology and the fast-paced progression of e-commerce, B2B buyer preferences are always shifting and most existing business models are unable to keep up with the speed of progression. Marketers must thus conduct regular market research, continually keep track of their competitors’ movements, and be aware of how to differentiate themselves from the crowd.
With the ultimate goal of converting potential customers, B2B marketers need to focus on relationship building and positive communication from the start and right till the end of the customer journey. Marketing activities to build networks include tradeshows, webinars, e-mail campaigns and after-sales follow ups. Also, content is king for B2B marketing. Regardless of whether through e-mails, feedback surveys, white papers or media coverage, idea sharing between the customer and marketer should always be encouraged. With greater exchange of ideas, the B2B marketer would understand the customer better, offering a more outstanding customer experience.
Understand what the B2B customer wants
Unlike B2C, B2B focuses on very niche industries. This means that B2B customers have specialized needs and if marketers do not pay close attention to their customer needs, they face a high risk of alienating their potential customers. So how do B2B marketers capture potential customers?
A useful rule of thumb to keep in mind is to always address your customer’s needs and wants, and not fixate on promoting the product features. B2B customers are not in the least interested in “cutting edge technology”, “world-class manufacturing”, or “up-to-date systems”. They are not looking for a product or service solution but rather, they want YOU to solve their issues. To put it analogically, they don’t just want a fish, but to learn how to fish. Provide them with the tools and services that will convince them that your e-commerce business is of aid to them, communicate with them, and most importantly, emphasize on CRM and after-care services.
Know who your target audience is
One of the last few things that B2B customers have on their hands, is time. Sending irrelevant newsletters, messages, e-mails or cataloges will be deemed as intrusive and irritating. On the other hand, content targeting never disappoints. Make use of customer data and statistics that are available to you and put it into good use by understanding your customers’ needs so that you can position your product or service in an exciting manner that speaks to your customer. An example are personalized e-mails, which according to Campaign Monitor research, can increase revenue and CTRs up to an impressive 760%. For B2B marketers, personalization equates to greater efficiency and ROI. By targeting the right customers with the right content, marketing budgets will be transformed into profits.
The Mobile Experience
B2B marketers must realize that not having a mobile-friendly website poses critical risks – decrease in organic ranking, loss in mobile site traffic and increase in bounce rate. According to a study by Google, 42% of B2B customers use a mobile device during their purchasing process. Today’s B2B buyers increasingly prefer to interact and transact via online channels and will utilize multiple electronic devices to complete transactions. With the mobile experience now making a considerable impact on online sales, it is time to ensure your e-commerce site is mobile-optimized with a responsive design.
Real-time marketing automation
There is no point in marketing promotions and sales if your customers are no longer interested in the product or service and it is impossible to manually track and gather data and content for every potential customer. However, real-time marketing automation systems helps you stay relevant by providing B2B businesses the capabilities to offer the right content, individualized for the targeted customer, gather other alternatives that the customer may like and deliver automated responses in real-time. To prove its effectiveness, companies that used marketing automation have generated 50% more leads with 33% lower cost, and three out of four companies achieved ROI within the first year.
Switch to omnichannel B2B marketing
For B2B, omnichannel marketing is no longer just a catchphrase, it means business. B2B marketing is largely driven by ROI which is costly to manually monitor since the team generally doesn’t have the same extensive budgets as B2C marketing. With that, an omnichannel approach is the greatest solution to making your B2B commerce flourish.
Omnichannel management provides a seamless and unified experience across all channels, in addition to built-in systems that assist in measuring cross-channel performance and ROI. This system generates better and more accurate data, giving you infinite insights from inventory visibility, to internal department processes, to order overviews, and communication systems between each consumer touchpoint. This is why more B2B e-commerce businesses have chosen to integrate with omnichannel systems as there is already substantial evidence that these systems are, and will continue to be effective in the long run.
Resource information: Marketo 2018, https://au.marketo.com/lead-nurturing/