As 2020 started, the accelerated pace of change with markets, buyers, and technology was already putting tremendous pressure on B2B marketing teams to become more agile and dynamic in developing their plans. Then COVID-19 hit, causing unforeseen changes and disruptive events that created additional complexity.
As a result, many teams found themselves ill-prepared to respond. All of a sudden, they needed to continue accelerating their digital initiatives while also reimagining their buyer engagement models to develop a new breed of hybrid experiences. And at the same time, as reported in ClickZ, COVID-19 decimated budgets and lengthened B2B sales cycles.
To take on these challenges, businesses can adopt best practices recommended by Forrester Analyst Isabel Montesdeoca that will be highlighted in an upcoming webinar co-hosted by R2i an Adobe. In the webinar, Montesdeoca advises B2B marketing teams to focus on buyer enablement while realizing buyer expectations are changing. Montesdeoca also emphasizes that meeting buyer expectations requires deploying marketing programs that reflect four key attributes:
• Open—provide visibility and easy access to relevant information such as pricing, business practices, policies, and market feedback.
• Connected—deliver support using multiple communication channels throughout pre-sales and post-sales experiences.
• Intuitive—identify who buyers are and what they want during every interaction throughout the relationship lifecycle.
• Immediate—respond proactively at every moment of each buyer’s journey, using their preferred channels and touchpoints.
By deploying marketing solutions with these four attributes, marketing can ensure their business delivers clear value in a shorter timeframe. This approach also provides trusted information that is easy to consume, which leads to long-term relationships that generate more revenue.
Tactics for Online Customer Interactions
At a tactical level, Montesdeoca recommends B2B marketing teams follow these best practices when interacting with prospects and customers online:
• Combine virtual events and dedicated digital spaces that emulate and extend in-person event experiences.
• Enable sales teams to use online virtual meetings to visually engage prospects and clients in casual conversation while building a human connection.
• Develop conversational playbooks for common questions and scenarios for each audience segment and use a live intelligent virtual assistant to respond to questions quickly.
• Turn tactile product information and demos into augmented experiences by using 360-degree video, interactive literature and assessments.
By applying best practices like these to address the challenges the “new normal” that COVID-19 has created, your business will be better equipped to envision the type of buyer experiences you need to deliver. You can also strategize more effectively on how interactions will meet buyers’ raised expectations and plan programs that allow for experimentation and testing.
Learn More About Driving Buyer Enablement
To find out more about what Montesdeoca recommends to drive a stronger focus on buyer enablement, R2i and Adobe invite you to attend the complimentary webinar we are co-hosting on September 24 at 2 p.m. Eastern: Adapt and Accelerate: Elevating Cloud Offerings to Optimize the Customer Experience.
Digital marketing experts from R2i and Adobe will join Montesdeoca to discuss the current state of the digital landscape, evolving industry trends, and how to build value through scalable cloud solutions that attract new customers, reinvent customer loyalty, and connect new ideas with business realities. You will also learn how the arrival of COVID-19 has elevated new strategic priorities such as agility, communication and virtual aptitude, which have proven to be even more critical as marketing reshapes, pivots and strategizes for what’s to come.
Even more important, your marketing team will hear about aligning and coordinating their shared learnings and best practices so they can deliver real-time, frictionless experiences that streamline buying activities for your customers. This will enable continuous improvement in marketing’s performance so that the next time unexpected events occur, your business will be ready.
Sign up for the webinar today!