How to Improve Your B2B Customer Experience In 2019

What happened to the B2B customer experience? An inordinate amount of attention has been paid to the evolution of retail consumer marketing, the adoption of digital advertising, social media marketing, and other new media.

In many cases, B2B businesses have fallen behind in adoption of cutting-edge technologies and techniques. Websites have fallen into disrepair, even neglect. And no one notices, that is, except for the prospects and customers.

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Even if the B2B business has just launched a new website, that site may not be designed with the customer experience in mind, optimized to facilitate discovery, planned to leverage content marketing initiatives, or infused with inbound marketing processes to nurture leads and convert to sales.

Considerations for Improving the Customer Experience

1. A Website is No Longer Just a Website

Congratulations on your shiny new site. But now what? The game has changed. the shift has happened. Today’s consumer arrives at your site already educated through web search and armed with remarkable intelligence. And regardless of your business sector your customer has expectations of how your business enables and responds to your community.

Are you engaging your prospects and customers across all platforms – not just the website? Are you creating valuable content that binds the website and the marketing messages together? Are your customers compelled to share this content in their respective networks?

2. Customer Engagement Begins with a Digital Strategy

A well-conceived and properly developed digital strategy is absolutely critical to most every successful B2B marketing plan. When executed, it will leverage all your internet, social, and content marketing initiatives in a way that will generate leads and result in new revenue incredibly fast.

A digital ecosystem schematic will illustrate how internet traffic (demand) will be generated and how it is commandeered and routed between web site, blog, audio, video, ebooks, eNewsletters, as well as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other social sharing platforms.

3. Inbound Marketing Converts Leads Into Customers

Inbound marketing is based on the concept of earning the attention of prospects, making yourself easy to be found, and drawing customers to your website by producing content that customers value.

This process facilitates and hastens client discovery of your offerings, increases web traffic, generates leads, facilitates sales conversations, and builds loyalty with consumers.

  1. Generate more traffic
  2. Turn visitors into leads
  3. Convert leads to sales
  4. Turn customers into repeat higher margin customers
  5. Analyze, refine, and repeat

Inbound marketing is especially effective for those businesses with long research cycles and knowledge-based products. In these areas prospects are more likely to get informed and hire those who demonstrate expertise.

Given that the average B2B purchase is often many multiples of those made by retail customers, the stakes are high. Investment in customer acquisition strategy and tactics are critical to long-term success.

Your digital marketing agency partner will help you create multiple paths to revenue and give you the technology and consultation that will positively impact your bottom line quickly, this quarter.

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Five Keys to Inbound Conversion For B2B Marketing

There are a myriad of reasons why it’s getting harder to sell. It’s not your imagination. Your sales prospect is not interested in taking your call. Culturally they are increasingly incensed by the uninvited approach.

Like a man on a hunt for a tool in Home Depot, your prospect doesn’t want your help. They cannot tolerate interruption. They want to discover you on their own – because your service will seem more credible that way. That is, if, and only if, your business has mastered Inbound Marketing.

The Five Keys to Inbound Conversion

1. Understand that Content Drives Discovery – 82% of prospects begin with a web search. You need to be found. Your company needs to generate and proliferate high quality content regarding your offerings. The more, highly focused, high quality, and user-centric pieces of content you offer the higher your business will rank in search returns. Organic Search results convey legitimacy. The goal is to create the perception (which is true) in the mind of the prospect that your business is driven by industry experts. Therefore your business will immediately occupy a superior position in the mind of the buyer versus your competition. You are now selling on quality not price. And you are receiving the lead, not banging your head against a brick wall trying to create one.

2. Develop a Game Plan and Calls-to-Action – Keep your Content Strategy top-of-mind. Your digital agency will develop a digital ecosystem schematic to visually illustrate for you how all of the paths to discovery will drive traffic to specific calls to action. Every opportunity will be used to convert the contact to prospect, to lead, and then most importantly to customer, with specific calls-to-action.

3. Employ Marketing Automation. In the days of traditional advertising, the key to message penetration lay in frequency of message. In the early days of digital, marketers individually built all of the campaign assets such as webpages, landing pages, and emails and managed them using disparate platforms. Powerful marketing agency software now exists that cuts the production time –and expense- to a fraction of the former cost. This allows your agency to highly format and schedule your inbound marketing efforts, spending more time on messages that create action and assessing results. The software will also track the prospect as they flow through your sales system to close.

4. Refine and Repeat. You must measure all your efforts and adjust tactics every 30 days, at minimum. Automation, expertise, and service are a critical combination of services that are most effectively delivered by your agency.

5. Get Started Right Now. The “we’re too busy taking orders” to do new things attitude will bite you in the ass. All businesses have cycles and you will need to be ready for the next lull in production. Because when you go to dust off your phone to make new calls you’ll realize that the old way is gone. And so too is your pipeline.

Creating and improving inbound conversion is a very specific expertise and is predicated on choosing a great agency partner who will take the time to understand your business and customers. They will develop a content strategy and develop engaging content and calls-to-action that are proven to deliver higher quality leads that are much quicker to close than other old school tactics like cold calling and yellow page ads. Let’s get started!

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Fuzzy Brand: Rebuilding Brand Equity

In our work as a digital marketing agency, one of the most common declarations we hear from prospective clients is:

“I’m spending the same marketing dollars yet my brand equity is increasingly diluted.”

Every time we hear this phrase we hurt a little for the client. But we smile on the inside because before us is a client that we can help. We can help them overcome the cumulative effects of changing consumer behavior that are driven by technology, the resulting fracturing of the media marketplace, and the ages old issue of “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”

The brand message becomes diluted resulting in reduced brand equity – a widely suffered malady known as Fuzzy Brand.

Here’s why some brands are experiencing diminishing awareness and significance as well as some prescriptions to cure fuzzy brand and rebuild brand equity:

1. Media use has fractured. The same money spent in the same places is most likely producing diminishing results. Television used to be the de facto mass reach medium. First the networks, then cable television and the 1000-channel universe. Terrestrial radio was followed by satellite radio and then internet radio. Add online and mobile smart phones and there are infinite programming possibilities and platforms of distraction for consumers. Brand activity must now happen across the right mix of platforms and aggregate audiences that use each medium in a unique way.

2. Interruptive marketing is not an effective stand-alone strategy. Television is still relevant. But how it is used and extended in order to continue brand engagement off-platform is critical. For instance, a portion of each campaign could include an interruptive message that includes a clear call to action. The same campaign could include video content that the user is invited to view based on his or her preferences. This is usually facilitated through social media and inbound online discovery. A common faux pas would be to use paid interruptive techniques to deliver content marketing initiatives.

3. All media should be measurable. More than just ratings points, creative, where appropriate, should include calls to action that can be validated and lead to solid paths of monetization. Read: Impact the bottom line. Every channel can and should deliver measurable results.

4. Traditional should coordinate with Digital. Multi-platform campaigns should consider in-program and content initiatives that promote interaction of the audience with the brand, offer strong calls-to-action, collect data, and allow conversion to sale, and create traffic to bricks and mortar stores, where applicable.

5. Engagement for engagement sake is B.S. Engagement is a buzzword among coffee shop social media experts. But the truth is that engagement is only worthwhile if it’s leading somewhere. Furthering the brand conversation is nice, but how does this activity convert to a sale? The brand benefits from engagement, with a purpose.

6. The media mix is probably out of alignment. Every marketing strategy is different. However, if you are spending the same proportions of your budgets in the same places as five years ago, your media mix needs immediate assessment.

Avoid the effects of Fuzzy Brand.

If your customers are asking you where your brand went, it’s time to make some changes. Your strategy-driven digital marketing agency will help you understand the environmental changes that have challenged your product or service. They will help you coordinate all of your media activity. And they will work with you to realign your marketing strategy and tactics in a way that will dramatically improve your campaigns and rebuild your brand equity.

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The Naked Truth About Shiny Object Syndrome

How the ‘Latest and Greatest’ Can Leave Marketers Exposed

With the pace of change in the world of marketing and advertising, it’s very easy to get blown off course by a mass email solicitation or sales person flogging the latest and greatest marketing solution. You’ve seen the random pitches:

  • We can deliver Likes! (even if the user has no affinity for your brand)
  • QR codes are the future (even though you’ve never seen anybody use them)
  • Your website is not optimized properly for your industry (even though it is)
  • You need an on-site video (even if you are in waste disposal)

We can debate the merits of any particular tactic. And the prospect of impressing the C-Suite with the latest cutting edge marketing widget may seem intoxicating.

However, unless a particular tactic is central to supporting your marketing strategy, it is utterly useless and not worth a minute of consideration. Furthermore, if the shiny object presents itself mid-way through a campaign or budget cycle, the odds are even greater that it will detract from the overall marketing efforts.

The marketing strategy is the roadmap for success. It must be carefully constructed in order to address organizational goals and revenue objectives. And every tactic employed – from traditional media to leading inbound marketing techniques – must be deliberately on-strategy and be directly tied to revenue production… and ultimately measurable.

Let’s face it. If the ‘latest and greatest’ would help achieve the marketing goals, it would already be a part of the plan. If someone on the team darkens your doorway flogging the latest and greatest, perhaps the underlying reason is because the marketing strategy is not as strong as it should be. Send them back to plan.

Great tactics ought to be preconceived – not knee jerked into the marketing plan. Proactive rather than reactive always wins the day.

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What Is Inbound Marketing?

For more than a century, marketing and advertising have been defined by interruptive marketing techniques such as print, radio, and television commercials, cold-calling, sales flyers, and telemarketing.

However, a new era is upon us where the populace is consuming media on their own terms, eschewing commercials, initiating their own search, and embracing social discovery of the products and services they need and want.

It’s no surprise then that marketers are left wondering why it’s getting harder to sell!

Inbound marketing is based on the concept of earning the attention of prospects, making yourself easy to be found, and drawing customers to your website by producing content customers value. These blogs, audio, video, eBooks, eNewsletters, white papers, SEO articles, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing are considered inbound marketing.

Therefore, the process of Inbound Marketing facilitates and hastens client discovery of your offerings, increases web traffic, generates leads, facilitates sales conversations, and builds loyalty with consumers.

1. Generate more traffic
2. Turn visitors into leads
3. Convert leads to sales
4. Turn customers into repeat higher margin customers
5. Analyze, refine, and repeat

Inbound marketing is especially effective for those businesses with long research cycles and knowledge-based products. In these areas prospects are more likely to get informed and hire those who demonstrate expertise.

In the words of an accomplished marketing professional and new client who found Momentum as a result of our own inbound marketing techniques…
“I need to know enough to know who to hire to get the job done.”

Inbound Marketing will allow you to out maneuver your competition, and be regarded as the expert in your field at the moment of interest.

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What is a Digital Strategy?

A well-conceived and properly developed digital strategy is absolutely critical to most every successful marketing plan. When executed, it will leverage all your internet, social, and content marketing initiatives in a way that will generate leads and result in new revenue incredibly fast.

Every business is different. The only common denominator is that all business –regardless of industry – is evolving at an exponential rate. For this reason, it is critical that marketers access the best expertise available to design and create an effective ecosystem that is optimized to deliver the desired results.

The digital ecosystem schematic will illustrate how internet traffic (demand) will be generated and how it is commandeered and routed between web site, blog, audio, video, ebooks, eNewsletters, as well as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and other social sharing platforms.

All internet marketing, social media, and content initiatives must facilitate discovery and inspire social sharing across all appropriate platforms. All content should be shaped specifically for the venue in which it is deployed. And above all, clear rules of engagement must be implemented to avoid public relations disasters.

When working with a good digital agency, it’s not necessary that you have all the answers. Your digital experts will guide you through the process and begin delivering results your business needs and deserves.

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How Associations Can Harness The Power Of Social

Associations, whether national, regional, or local, are essentially communities. They are comprised of groups of tribes or individuals who are united by shared goals, interests, or preferences. Associations are, by their very nature, social.

This presents a unique and especially prescient opportunity for associations to leverage the power of new social communication, marketing, and media techniques to achieve their goals like never before. Whether they are professional, charitable, trade, political, cultural, or otherwise, associations may need to fulfill multiple mandates: advocacy, awareness, fund raising, education, communicating, lobbying, among others.

Chances are your association’s key initiatives include:

• Communicating with members
• Demonstrating value to the membership
• Advocating on behalf of consumers at large

What Social Can Do

Utilizing social marketing can open a community of engaged advocates, both members and non-members, who are willing to share your message across their respective social networks, generate awareness, and solidify your associations mandate with the public at large. However your association will have to engage with those advocates and leverage the power of social channels effectively. Here’s how.

Three Key Factors In Harnessing Social Channels

1. Be In The Community

Your association needs to be an active participant on all of the obvious networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. This means you need to go where your members are, and they are everywhere.

2. You Need A Plan

Simply signing up for an account on any given social platform does not mean your association has fulfilled its obligation. Social connections via your chosen networks are not obligations but opportunities to engage directly with your members. This direct connection requires a clear plan with regard to infrastructure, integration, and most importantly a set rules of engagement policy. There is nothing more important than a planned and coordinated process for responding to negative comments.

3. Content

Well-crafted and professionally produced text, audio, and video that clearly communicate your organization’s message are core to a great content marketing strategy. Content is the essential asset that will drive readers to your association via online and mobile. Since many associations are in the enviable position of having a business model based on providing information to their members, the raw materials for stellar content is often at their fingertips. Niche by definition, associations that create well crafted, shareable, and SEO friendly content can effectively push their message online.

Harness The Power Of Social Channels

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