Two of the most compelling issues facing B2B marketers today is how to not only reach buyers but how to get buyers engaged. Adding to the complexity of these issues is the fact that buyers today are increasingly seeking experiences more than just a sale. Buyers are no doubt looking to engage in ways that provide an enriching experience that has the elements of problem-solving, creativity, and offers real-time solutions.
B2B companies that put a premium on differentiating from their competitors through buyer experience innovation will have the edge. With the economy still sluggish and new investments limited, B2B companies may be left with little choice but to focus on the experience they offer their buyers. It matters now more than ever since it is the one area where B2B entities can keep potential prospects engaged long enough to convert into buyers.
Keeping buyers engaged throughout the entire buyer journey and sales cycle is no easy feat to figure out. The mix of available ways to achieve sustained buyer engagement is literally exploding these past few years. I’m sure it makes B2B marketer’s heads spin just trying to assess if and how the constant evolution of digital marketing, social networking, content marketing, demand generation, marketing automation, and sales enablement fits into strategies to keep buyers engaged throughout.
The link to keeping buyers engaged and from defecting to competitors is buyer experience innovation. The better the experience for buyers the longer they stick around. If they stick around long enough and longer than with your competitors, the higher the conversion rate from prospect to buyers. The place to start is getting an understanding of what makes buyers stick around.
What are the types of interactions, channels, and experiences that will keep buyers engaged over the entire buyer journey and sales cycle? In essence, the mix of designing the buyer experience. To get this mix right, a key investment B2B marketers should make is doing enough buyer research to understand what buyers’ value to stick around. Without this understanding, any efforts to reinvent the buyer experience are going to be extremely difficult and become a game of hit or miss.
B2B marketers, in many ways, have to be concerned beyond buyer engagement. The more significant challenge may be with buyer stickiness. Getting to stickiness with buyers is what is going to make buyer experience innovation matter today. If buyers are not getting the experience they demand and expect, they just will not be sticking around very long.