Brandcast Chief Marketing Officer Chris Schreiber shared his thoughts on the digital customer journey during his presentation at the 2019 CMO Forum: B2B Marketing in the Digital Era in San Francisco on January 31. In his presentation, “How to Take Control of Your Digital Customer Journey,” Schreiber provided tips and recommendations to help B2B marketers optimize the digital customer journey.
Digital technologies have transformed the customer journey. Now, customers can engage with brands on mobile devices, social networks and other digital platforms. B2B marketers must adapt to digital technologies, and failure to do so could cause their respective companies to fall behind industry rivals.
“We’re not in control,” Schreiber said. “We’re all wrestling with the beast that is digital, and [digital] is constantly changing.”
There is no surefire solution to implement a successful digital engagement strategy. B2B marketers sometimes take a trial-and-error approach to determine which digital technologies can help them achieve the best-possible results.
“We have to operate at greater speed and at greater scale without sacrificing the integrity of our design,” Schreiber noted. “We have to figure out the right mix of tools and process that allows us to do [multiple things] well at the same time.”
Digital technologies are readily available for B2B marketers at companies of all sizes and across all industries. If B2B marketers consider their goals, they then can decide which digital technologies can help them accomplish their aspirations. Next, B2B marketers can track their progress over time and adjust their digital engagement strategies as needed.
Additionally, B2B marketers must deploy digital technologies that make it simple to engage with customers at all stages of the customer journey. If B2B marketers can consistently promote a brand to customers via informative, engaging and relevant content, they could help a company distinguish itself from the competition. As a result, customers can enjoy memorable brand experiences that ultimately lead to sales and revenue growth.
“We have to help make buying decisions, and our content and our production will have a big impact on the business,” Schreiber pointed out. “We have to be able to move across the entire [sales] funnel and create content for the entire customer journey.”
Web content fosters communication and collaboration as well. If B2B marketers produce web content that hits the mark with a target audience, customers will understand a brand’s value. As such, B2B marketers can use web content to lay the foundation for long-lasting customer partnerships.
There is no shortage of web content opportunities available to B2B marketers, either. White papers, infographics, case studies and other web content can be delivered across desktop computers, laptops and mobile devices. Meanwhile, B2B marketers can incorporate a variety of web content into their digital engagement strategies to drive brand awareness.
“We have to recognize the scale that we have to operate now,” Schreiber indicated. “We’re on a one-way street to everything being webified … and every form of communication now makes more sense to be online now.”
How B2B marketers design a company’s website and use it to engage with customers may make or break a business’ digital engagement strategy, too.
For example, B2B marketers can use a content management system (CMS) and templates to streamline a company’s digital engagement efforts. Yet B2B marketers cannot ignore usability relative to web design. Because if a company’s website is difficult for end users to navigate, it is unlikely to generate customer interest. This website may even lead customers to consider a business’ rivals.
“[Web] design means more than just pretty colors; it means usability and allowing people to figure out what’s on the page that they’re looking for quickly,” Schreiber said.
B2B marketers must identify the challenges and opportunities available with digital technologies. Customers now control the customer journey, but B2B marketers can use digital technologies to educate, inform and engage customers throughout this journey. That way, customers can find out what a brand has to offer and make informed purchase decisions.
“The buyer journey is becoming more self-directed,” Schreiber stated. “It’s putting a ton on our shoulders, and marketers need to be able to do more across the board.”
B2B marketers also must do everything possible to ensure customers can find a business across all digital platforms, at all times.
“Webification” is becoming exceedingly important to B2B marketers. With the ability to provide exceptional digital content that is easy to access, B2B marketers can help a company get the most out of its digital engagement strategy.
“We need to become more consolidated, and we need to bring things online and make things more discoverable,” Schreiber noted. “And we need to be able to get the most value out of the content that we are creating.”