The key pillars of any successful digital marketing strategy — whether for B2C or B2B — are acquisition, conversion and retention. The approach for B2B will be significantly different from the approach for a traditional customer-facing business, but the guiding principles are true for both markets.
As a B2B business, it’s vital to benchmark your digital marketing strategies and outcomes against local and global best practices. One way we have found to be extremely successful for our merchants is to develop a 100-point self-assessment card for each of the three pillars that can be reviewed every quarter to measure progress. This technique can prioritise areas of focus and aid both financial and staff resource allocation.
In many B2B businesses, the marketing focus is geared heavily towards conversion and retention, largely due to the high customer lifetime value and yearly revenue generated from this champion customer segment. For example, we frequently see B2B merchants take their 10–100 key customers and focus solely on delivering them a superior experience (conversion) and optimising business processes, value adds, reorders, cross-sell up-sell (retention) to immediately show the difference in the bottom line.
It’s important to remember that no matter how seemingly satisfied a customer is, they will likely at some point consider engaging with a competitor. The customer could be drawn to superior digital experiences offered elsewhere, regardless of how much they already spend with you and how long they have been with you. That’s why your acquisition strategy absolutely can not take a backseat.
When it comes to B2B acquisition strategies, over the last five years we’ve seen a seismic shift of marketing budgets from traditional sales and marketing channels like TV, radio, brochures, face to face sales resources move towards digital channels such as paid search, SEO, digital advertising, LinkedIn, affiliates, mobile and SMS marketing. Digital platforms offer an incredible mechanism for offering personalised approaches to marketing to a B2B customer based on their profile/account. You’ll have so much information at your fingertips that can be used to create a personalised marketing approach per customer.
Something to Consider: B2B Marketing Pillar Activities
Each of the B2B marketing pillars have specific activities that can be undertaken to bolster their effectiveness. Each business will use a different mix, depending on their internal and outsourced resources.
B2B acquisition strategy
- Traditional advertising
- Digital advertising
- Paid search
- Socail media
- Mobile marketing
- Affiliate & network marketing
B2B conversion tactics
- Excellent site performance
- Transactional optimisation
- User experience design
- Mobile optimised site
- Rich product data
- Trust and reviews
B2B retention tactics
- Loyalty and rewards program
- Superior customer service
- Returns management
- Customer relationship management
- Marketing automation
- Content marketing
Enjoyed our B2B marketing highlight? Download our whitepaper ‘How to Succeed at Digital Transformation in B2B eCommerce’, to read the full ‘Marketing Strategy’ chapter.