Steve Jobs once stated, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
This couldn’t be truer for business-to-business (B2B) marketers. In the rush to innovate and garner share for products, B2B marketers are now finding themselves in the same boat that B2C (business-to-consumer) marketers are in.
They need to figure out how to design their infrastructure to manage the data dump they are being confronted. Many of the tools in-house do not talk to each other. So, B2B marketers are spending time cobbling pieces together.
Even after these pieces are put together, is the picture being displayed really how things are? Plus, many of these marketers are not adept nor can they accurately analyze all of the data. Couple with all of this, the buying cycle has become elongated. The path of discovery for products under consideration is fostering a variety of possible solutions to discover along with many more decision makers to close the deal.
So, what’s a B2B marketer to do? Technology is driving many changes in the ways we manage proprietary data and merging it with third-party data. Use of predictive marketing analytics can provide B2B marketers the ability to show value in the marketing programs being execute and forecast revenue.
Consider changing your business’s existing metrics of success to conversion rates, customer retention marketing (CRM), or category share as a means to measure future ROI. Then, take a page from B2C marketers’ notebook and consider partnering with third-party research companies that can assist with analyzing purchase intent, customer satisfaction, awareness, and preference of your product. These are all orthodox performance metrics that assist in evaluating your brand influence against current and potential customers.
On the B2C side, marketing is driving the ship to forecasting business potential. Engagement metrics are just as valuable on the B2B side as they are with B2C. After all, customers still take themselves to work. Behavior doesn’t really change just because they are in the workforce.
Consider best practices for your industry. Here’s where “design” comes to the forefront. As many companies adjust to the changing patterns of consumers and the variety of channels present, make sure you are designing the best internal practices to produce the desired results.
Adele Lassere is a marketing/advertising consultant, freelance writer and author of “Elements of Buying” (a self-help advertising guide), available at Amazon.com. Adele was listed as Black Enterprise’s 2016 Women of Power in Advertising & Marketing and 2013 Top Women Executives in Advertising & Marketing. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org