For B2B businesses, the gap between digital trailblazers and laggards has never been greater. Digital experiences and expectations continue to advance, and B2B businesses need to improve their digital footprint quickly to deliver better customer experiences.
At B2B Online 2022, marketing practice lead Mary Schneeberger covered the most important tactics for B2B businesses to improve customer experiences in her track “Creating and Delivering Customer-Centric and Quality Experiences.” Missed her session? Here are the top three takeaways.
Customer Journeys Start – and End – Online
B2B buyers are interacting with businesses on more channels than ever before. And regardless of your digital maturity, your buyers expect flexibility and seamlessness every time they interact with your brand. And the risk of delivering sub-par digital experiences is high: 90% of B2B buyers said they’d turn to a competitor if a supplier’s digital channel couldn’t keep up with their needs.
More and more customer journeys start online, and it’s becoming common for buyers to complete entire purchasing journeys online without making contact with a salesperson. Whether your buyer’s attempting to book a meeting, make a purchase, subscribe to your content or contact support, your buyers need to feel like their digital interactions are simple and intuitive.
Pain Points in the B2B Buyers’ Journey – And How to Overcome Them
There are four steps that businesses must optimize in the buyers’ journey to deliver superior digital experiences.
- Awareness: Get the right people to your site with relevant global content and strategic marketing tactics. Optimize your paid ads and organic search to deliver the right message at the right time and push leads through the funnel.
- Interest: Once your buyers are on your site, keep them engaged by personalizing your site to their needs. Suggest relevant articles, products, or FAQs to ensure they have all the information they need as they browse.
- Decision and Transaction: Make online purchasing easy and remove roadblocks on the path to purchase. Provide up-to-date, accurate product information to build buyer confidence. Give buyers self service options to view past orders, track shipments, and view warranty information. And for those who need additional assistance, make it easy to contact customer service with streamlined contact forms and chat options.
- Advocacy and Repeat Purchases: Keep in contact with your buyers post-purchase to ensure they’re satisfied with their products. Automated surveys delivered through your email marketing platform can make gathering feedback quick and simple. For product businesses, make sure buyers can reorder easily through a self-service portal for easy recurring revenue.
For a deeper dive into B2B buyer pain points at every step of the purchasing journey – plus tactical steps to make improvements right away – check out the Digital Guide for Manufacturers.
Marketing and IT Collaboration
Traditional business practices dictate that the CMO serves as the creative visionary and the CIO is the nuts and bolts person. But today, with the customer squarely at the center of any organization’s success, these power players both have to embrace technology and customer data in order to provide the digital experiences their customers demand.
Each leader’s role is expanding to include some of the qualities and responsibilities of the other. CIOs aren’t just in charge of managing technology—they are stepping into a more strategic role, leading organizational change and fostering a digital-first culture. CMOs aren’t just managing the marketing department—they’re also charged with being visionary, innovative, and tech-savvy.
Accelerated by the need for digital transformation, CMOs and CIOS are teaming up to achieve their shared goals across business development, customer experience, and more. In the process, they have discovered the power of their complementary skills and expertise. With a CMO’s deep understanding of marketing and the customer journey, and a CIO’s ability to integrate systems and utilize data, this alignment puts the customer’s digital experience at the center of it all.
We dive deep into the CMO-CIO connection in our latest white paper, “Solutions for the C-Suite: How CIO and CMO Collaboration Drives Digital Innovation,” which you can download here.
Where to Go From Here
Looking to learn more about optimizing your B2B experiences across marketing and commerce? Marketing practice lead Mary Schneeberger joins digital transformation lead Mousumi Behari in an on-demand webinar covering quick wins for B2B buyers. Check out the recording here.