7 B2B Customer Experience Tactics That Work (Includes COVID-19 Survival Tips)
The global pandemic caused by COVID-19 has upended many of the assumptions marketers made about generating demand. Rather than dwelling on the well-documented negative consequences of the pandemic, I’d like to note that we have even more incentive to accelerate digital transformation and rethink marketing strategy than we’ve ever had before.
In light of that, what marketing tactics can we apply as B2B marketers to navigate change while creating demand?
Here are 7 near-term tactics and long-term strategies that will help you boost conversion rates, improve lead generation, and maintain relationships with your target audience during this volatile time.
Digital Strategy & User Experience
Before making tactical adjustments to your demand generation, check your underlying approach to customer experience. This should help you filter out the noise and find the tactical changes that will make the biggest improvement in your digital marketing plan. Here are some examples:
Update each of your buyer personas according to their experience with COVID-19. How has the pandemic and the resulting economic recession changed their needs? (This is a quick win.)
Re-map your customer journeys through both in-person and digital channels. Your potential customers are making profound and probably permanent changes to their digital behavior. Take the time to research those changuse-ajaxes and tweak your demand generation strategies accordingly. Even if tradeshows and in-person events come back, what aspects of digital-first behavior do you think they’ll retain? Don’t forget to recalibrate your content marketing efforts as you restrategize. This is a long-term investment that will pay off.
A Word to the Wise – Remember that the growing importance of the digital experience may intensify the dynamics of your B2B2C demand model. Every one of your B2B buyers is also a consumer. And as they become more experienced digital consumers during the social isolation of 2020, they will pass those expectations on to your brand.
Marcom Channel Selection
Clearly, B2B demand generation marketers have cut in-person channels such as tradeshows and seminars from their demand gen models. Now that we know that face-to-face marketing experiences may be significantly reduced for a year or more, in some cases, consider the following:
Try a variety of live, virtual event types – webinars aren’t your only option for inbound marketing. Schedule no-agenda “office hours” video calls with customers you cannot visit in-person. Or try a live event on a social media platform such as LinkedIn or Facebook. Mixing up your virtual event types may prove to be a quick win, because of the new demand for online experiences.
Offer “video makeovers” to your staff. Most of us do not have home office setups designed for professional video meetings. Providing your staff with suggestions for setting up camera-ready lighting, for example, is a quick win. First impressions matter and you may find more high-quality leads converting when your staff (especially sales reps) are confident and video-ready as they talk to leads from home.
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Optimize your mobile app. And if your brand has a business case for an app but has not invested in one – now’s that time to start! This is a long-term investment that requires a strategic technology partner. The investment will pay off in spades as a center for high-quality customer experiences.
Encourage your audiences to subscribe to your content. Start a podcast or regularly scheduled YouTube Live broadcast. Subscriptions make it easy to connect consistently – even when your email marketing campaigns promoting events get lost in overloaded inboxes. Creating a content marketing plan that is mature enough to merit subscriptions is a long-term investment in staff, training, testing, and market research.
Add chat to your website. Now more than ever, you must increase your website visitors’ time on site. Phone calls and emails are not the best options for certain use cases – chat expands the channels feeding your lead funnel and ensures high-quality customer engagement. It takes time to select the best chat technology and create an effective chat experience for each of your use cases, so this tactic also is a long-term investment.
A Word to the Wise – Customers need an integrated experience– not just a new channel to consume your content. As your marketing team applies the tips above, consider asking TA Digital’s experts for help redefining your digital strategy, and gaining new customers.
Also, check out Part 2 of this series, where we’ll discuss some tactics for improving your content production in 2020. How Digital Marketers Can Generate Demand in 2020’s ‘New Normal’ (Part II)
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