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Connecting with B2B Buyers: Where to Start?

Brent Teiken  |  February 4, 2016

Earlier this year, Ad Age published an article entitled “Seven B-to-B Marketing Trends That Will Shape 2015.” In the article, Adam Kleinberg, CEO of Traction, said, “We need to realize that B-to-B customers are people. They go home and watch American Idol and they sit in traffic on the way to work. They have the same humanity and cultural insights you see in consumer work.”

B2B = Business to Buyer

In other words? Every B2B buyer is a real person with specific needs and human emotions.

That means marketers need to focus on the individual, holistic experience for each user – and understand how to deliver the right message, at the right time. No easy task. Plus, it requires the CMO, CTO and CIO to collaborate and work together. So where to start?

The Beginning: Your Brand Strategy

In my experience, too often marketers try to solve this problem by starting in the middle of the process. They look at marketing automation tools, social strategies or insight strategies before they really consider how it all connects back to their brand strategy and promise.

The Importance of a Holistic Experience

To drive individual user experiences, or create singular markets, every growing business must establish a framework that brings together leadership – from not only marketing and technology, but also sales, support and HR.

Delivering a consistent, holistic experience requires that systems of record, engagement and intelligence are connected. It’s also vital for all team members to collaborate across functional boundaries and fully understand the promise of your brand within a highly competitive marketplace. Consistency is key.

As Eduardo Conrado, Senior VP of Marketing and IT at Motorola Solutions, says, “Marketing will focus on the user experience. It will be a mission between marketing, the CIO and the CTO of the company, looking holistically at the user experience. We are working together on this front with these three teams, developing strategies and getting user experience experts to collaborate – not just on the digital experience, but on product design and the entire user experience, across hardware and software. This will rise in importance for marketing teams.”

Creating Brand Consistency

So rather than start in the middle, go back to the brand promise of your organization. Then, bring together leaders from every department. Start a discussion on how your company can – and must – deliver a branded consistent experience to your customers.

How does all of this work together in the real world? Take a look at Sundog’s marketing maturity curve below.

Buying Journey

While delivering a fully integrated experience to your customers isn’t easy, it becomes much harder, if not impossible, when starting in the middle or at the end of the curve.

Need advice for getting started? Send us your questions, or tell us about your biggest brand challenge right now. We’re here to help.

Posted in: B2B, Brand Strategy, Customer Experience, Marketing, Strategy, Brand, Audience, Message

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