Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2022-03-09
The expression “less is more” has no place in B2B marketing in 2022, at least according to recent research from McKinsey. A survey of nearly 3,500 decision makers found that customers want “more” from omnichannel—more channels, more convenience, and a more personalized experience.
After the rollercoaster of the past two years, many B2B brands may be settling in, feeling like they’ve figured out the best sales and marketing methods to win over their buyers. Especially brands that have built a solid omnichannel strategy and think they are delivering on everything a buyer could want. McKinsey says the survey results are a “wake up call” and the truth is that new disruption is on the horizon. Because while it may seem like omnichannel outreach has reached a perfect balance, rising customer expectations are ready to tip the scale and customers are more likely to take their business elsewhere if their needs aren’t met.
The good news is that the B2B companies that are living up to customers’ expectations are seeing a return on their work—and a growth of market share. Here are four of my top takeaways from the article along with my thoughts on how B2B marketers can make moves now to keep from falling behind tomorrow.
Find a more personalized balance.
B2B customers prefer omnichannel, no matter their industry, country, size, or customer relationship stage, according to McKinsey. Buyers today are much more likely to conduct research on their time on various channels. The right combination and coordination—campaigns working together seamlessly for a truly omnichannel experience—will drive a better customer experience for buyers. McKinsey says that marketers need to become “journey orchestrators” to ensure the right channels deliver the right message options to the customer. While some buyers prefer one-on-one interactions for complex and high-value deals, others are comfortable using digital self-serve for major purchases. It’s about finding the right balance for the buyer.
Leverage more channels.
The number of channels that B2B customers use has doubled in the past five years, according to McKinsey. B2B customers interact with sellers through 10 or more channels, up from an average of 5 channels in 2016. Buyers today are more likely to conduct their own research and there are more options, including webinars, social media content, review sites, industry experts and peer recommendations. According to McKinsey, 72% of B2B companies that sell via seven or more channels grew their market share.
Don’t fall short at the end of the buying journey.
B2B buyers want options. B2B marketers need to think in terms of omnichannel for every stage of the buying journey from the educational phase to purchase. The “rule of thirds” is holding strong. McKinsey says buyers want all three of the general buying methods—traditional in-person, remote (such as video conference or phone calls), and self-service e-commerce options in “equal measure throughout the purchasing journey.” When considering various options for B2B buying, it shouldn’t be an “either/or” situation but “and”—traditional and remote and self-service options.
Customer experience demands personalization.
B2B marketers looking to deliver on CX should consider how to deliver great omnichannel experiences. Buyers expect digital experiences to meet their high standards. Intuitive interfaces, transitions across channels, and speed, transparency and expertise are major market differentiators according to McKinsey research.
B2B companies must make omnichannel a priority to stay competitive and secure customer loyalty in today’s market. In the end the data says it all: the more channels a sales organization deploys, the bigger the market share gains.
Thanks for reading…how are you evolving your omnichannel strategy?
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