Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "Brand Building Grows B2B Marketshare," encapsulates how long-term B2B brand building generates more significant market share growth in comparison to consumer channels. Before we dive in, we would like to wish all mothers a wonderful Mother's Day celebration. Mothers around the globe have consistently contributed, oversaw, and directed the growth of our children, including their safety, education, health, happiness, well-being, and of course, their dietary needs. We thank all the mom's around the world for their tireless work and commitment to raising and protecting our children.
For several years, the most common perception among marketing experts has been the idea that B2C short-term sales conversions are the transactional model, while brand building, in part, relies on sales generated over the course of a marketing campaign. This mindset has led to a prevailing notion that brand building can take a backseat as long as sales meet their target. This type of short-term selling, of course, is all wrong, and the notion can be misleading, especially as B2B conversions require a more extended sales funnel, and thus short-term sales strategies, while somewhat important, are not the game changer for B2B efforts.
Our Quote of the Day: "You can waste your lives drawing lines. Or you can live your life crossing them" — Shonda Rhimes
Jon Lombardo, Global Lead for LinkedIn B2B Institute, engages in the conversation with the following statement: "B2B marketers do not have to be any less creative, but the structure of their businesses could be holding them back. Typically product-and sales-led, B2B firms often value marketing less; as a result, there is not always the same level of investment in the function. However, the research shows that when you invest in brand building, you get more market share growth in B2B than you do in B2C." That statement is the new paradigm.
Sales Reps on the Back Burner
Several years ago, the automotive industry began to notice prospects being more informed than the sales staff. Internet access was and continues to be the motivator behind expansive consumer knowledge, so much so that it has changed the game. The infamous sales funnel was often a strategic reference point for marketing campaigns that followed a predetermined path and probable timeline. In short, an approach that imparted enough information led the prospect to a purchasing decision. The sales funnel concept still exists; however, when it comes to an understanding the sales process value, that age-old sales funnel is being tossed on its head.
Further, a report put forth by E-consultancy is not only surprising but startling on its face. The report states that prospects complete 80% of a B2B purchase decision before contacting a sales representative. Consequently, the sales rep must codify the exact point where the well-informed buying prospects are in the funnel. And there's more. This brand-new shift of informed B2B buyers is also looking for and demanding the same personalized customer journeys and experiences they enjoy as B2C consumers.
The Buyer Shift Continues
When change takes root for anything in our world, we must all decide to adapt and embrace it or forgo it and face the inevitable consequences, either good or bad. That said, these shifts in B2B buyer expectations represent both challenges and opportunities for B2B organizations. We also contend that while B2B brands must make time to keep abreast of new digital technologies, in reality, B2B brands are falling further and further behind the proverbial digital eight ball. The business model for all brands and, most notably, B2B organizations should focus on discovering and harnessing new and forthcoming technologies.
Smaller-sized organizations are more nimble and agile when it comes to harnessing technological advancements. Their size allows them to disrupt the marketplace, convert market share to their brand(s), and change the game from the status quo. In short, mastering digital transformation is an ongoing part of any business today, and most notably, B2B organizations need to step up and understand this technology advancement cycle.
Digital Transformation Helps Change
It's no secret that B2B organizations are on the hunt to harness digital transformation. However, it's all too commonplace to see B2B businesses focus on technology and then move on to processes. Regrettably, the very element that the technology and improved processes should help the most, the people, tend to fall to the wayside. Therefore, when looking to achieve digital transformation opportunities, it is critical to realize that the best digital transformation strategies must help people change to bring about change. The challenge here is what happens when an organization alerts its staff with something along the lines of, "We are now in the process of transforming our business model to be more customer-oriented and will focus on efficient and improved customer experiences." In most of these situations, the staff hears, "We will be cutting people and replacing them with more automated software and computer systems." In short, this creates fear, uncertainty, and mountains of doubt. Leaders who fail to inject their staff with confidence and the excitement that accompanies better sales opportunities and brand building will suffer from the outset when trying to accomplish digital transformation.
Brand building through digital transformation is a huge task to undergo. It's also a long-term prospect. Equally important is that the staff needs to be included in the journey through education and nurturing. Engaging employees early on should help to negate any fears or concerns about job security. Lastly, a B2B brand-building undertaking can deliver better sales results than short-term sales tactics. The essential ingredient to achieve better sales is through a digital transformation that provides B2B buyers with the same experiential personalized journey that they already know and enjoy as consumers. Thanks for reading "Brand Building Grows B2B Marketshare!"
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