It seems there is no shortage of happenings in 2020 that add up to a year to forget. But all is not lost thanks to glimmers of hope ranging from adopting a pandemic pet or learning how entire businesses can operate in a virtual environment. One silver lining for B2B marketers is the renewed opportunity to gain data-based insights from customer interactions with digital and social listening.
EVOLVING TRENDS IN DIGITAL LISTENING
Sean Cowan, executive vice president, digital experience, Fahlgren Mortine, explained that in the past most B2B marketers could certainly answer “yes” when asked if they have access to their digital analytics. However, there wasn’t always a full understanding of the true value within that data.
The situation is evolving – and accelerating because of the COVID climate – as demonstrated by an increased desire to understand the mechanics of digital analytics tools and platforms, as well as the ways data can be used for insights about B2B customers throughout the lead-generation and sales processes.
A COMMON MYTH ABOUT B2B DIGITAL MARKETING – BUSTED
True or false: B2B Marketing, Communications and Sales should focus more on reaching their customers in a desktop digital environment than a mobile one.
The answer? False. Sean explained that many B2B marketers don’t think of mobile devices as an important access point for their customers. However, both desktop and mobile should be considered in the holistic buyer journey process, as each experience brings unique opportunities for listening.
Often, customers use mobile when they’re searching for something specific and want the answer immediately. Particularly for B2B products and services, it’s true that customers may not necessarily be in a purchasing mindset while searching for information on their smartphone, but being digitally present for your customer in a mobile setting helps advance the likelihood your brand is part of the consideration set when more disciplined, in-depth research takes place in the desktop environment.
LISTEN TO THE RIGHT DATA
There are certain digital customer behaviors that B2B marketers should listen to more than others. For website analytics, it’s about the value of the traffic and not the volume of the traffic. Analysts should take note of the action visitors take and the time they spend on the site more than how many visitors the site receives. It’s better to have a small group that’s deeply, meaningfully engaged with the content than a large group that doesn’t make it past the homepage. Then, ensuring valuable resources are part of the site visitor experience should be part of the content marketing strategy.
TOOLS FOR DIGITAL LISTENING
Merriam-Webster dictionary’s definition of listening has multiple parts, one of them being that listening is about ensuring you are in a position to hear an anticipated sound. What should B2B marketers prioritize in their digital customer experience to ensure they’re always ready to listen?
Many brand or product sites feature several channels for communication between the customer and the brand, such as live chat widgets, automated chat bots, SMS channels, contact forms or even phone calls. Perhaps surprisingly, what’s often overlooked by both B2B and consumer brands alike is establishing the infrastructure and processes behind those communication channels to provide a clear definition of responsibilities across marketing, communication and sales departments.
A few questions to ask when establishing these communication channels are:
- Where does automation make sense and where is human interaction required?
- What is the response protocol when a message is received?
- How long do we expect the customer to wait for a response?
- What is the process for passing along insights from customer interactions in these channels to the appropriate teams?