There is no denying that in the last 18 months, the world has changed, and there is no going back. Businesses all over the globe have seen dramatic shifts in demand and purchasing habits as many of us adjusted to working from home (or living at work!). Are these changes here to stay, and how do these changes affect how businesses prospect and sell their products and services?
What some of us used to see as a positive break from the office has now become the new norm, seeing people working in bedrooms, kitchens, conservatories or even garden sheds. Opinion polls seem to suggest that anywhere between 30-50% of businesses will give employees the choice between working from home and working in an office building, so how has this shift to a significant number of people home-working changed B2B marketing?
Working from home
Most people now are spending their time on the same computer and are not switching between work and personal laptops or desktops when searching the internet. Why is this interesting or significant? Most importantly, it means that browsers are processing and learning more about each individual, each time they search or browse. With browsers gaining more qualitative data this also brings more insight into people’s searching and purchasing behaviour. All this data can tell us about a prospect’s needs and preferences, which can be used to better target ads, create more focused and relevant content, and ultimately make marketing campaigns more successful.
A word of caution though… if you’re using or experimenting with IP based marketing for digital advertising or prospecting, your results might take a hit. This gets a little techy, but simply put, big companies that reside in office buildings use what’s called ‘static’ IP addresses – it’s the online equivalent of a physical address. Everyone browsing the internet in that building will be linked to this ‘address’. There are services that can provide the IP addresses of these big companies and allow you to use targeted and personalised digital ads, or online ‘listening’ software to flag up when someone from one of these corporate IP addresses reaches your website, giving you the heads up.
These campaigns can be very successful but they rely on the static IP address being correct. If people are working from home they will be on their home network which will have a different IP address, so this kind of targeting might not be as effective with the current shift to working from home.
The pandemic has sadly seen many people furloughed or even permanently displaced from their jobs. This has led to a lot of movement in recruitment, with people changing jobs, sectors or even making total career changes. All these changes mean that your database of prospects may now include some obsolete data. If your product or service uses a subscription or licensing model then you may start to see an increased churn rate as people leave a company or sector and move to another.
In any normal year, business data can decay by over 40%, and with the effects of the pandemic, this will be significantly higher. This is where B2B data specialists like us come in handy. Our specialists can check for incomplete, illegal and obsolete data, as well as check for errors or spelling mistakes that will be having an impact on the quality of your B2B data that you want to use for outreach or follow up. After the year we’ve all had, running a database cleanse will give your information a health check and provide you with the new data that you need to reach your customers or new prospects. Learn more about cleaning up your data. With a clean set of data, consider running a re-engagement campaign with lapsed customers to reel them back in!
Digital marketing has never been hotter! With people staying home and online businesses booming, businesses of all kinds have had to ramp up or get set up with their digital marketing channels. Especially for those who may be new to finding customers online, one of the most important aspects is measurement. If you’re not measuring each of your digital campaigns and channels, you won’t be able to understand what’s bringing you your business, or where to focus more attention or budget.
Measuring doesn’t have to be complicated. One of the best activities to complete is to make sure your Google Analytics environment is set up effectively so you can monitor key metrics and set up goals to track your campaigns…and this is FREE to do. Once your tracking and measurement are set up you can plan and prepare your campaigns. Whether you’re starting from scratch and building out a prospect pipeline, or want to grow your targeting list, we can advise you and give you access to all the information you need to get set up for successful digital campaigns.
Value-driven, personable marketing
The pandemic has made us all re-evaluate a lot of areas of our lives and realise what is important. The experiences of the past 18 months have also meant that our perspective on life and work has changed; what once used to resonate might not seem so important now. Attention spans have shrunk further still and we’re a lot more sensitive to what information we consume, so marketing messages need to be adapted with this in mind. With the high street reopening, there will be an inevitable initial surge of consumerism as shops welcome us back in. Bearing this in mind, B2B marketers need to be ready to make sure their messages get heard amongst the noise.
Being at home has reminded us of all of our values, and companies that lead with their values have been the ones that have thrived during these trying times. Personalisation in emails, ads and landing pages will always catch attention and taking the time and using your insights to create relevant and purposeful content will drive prospects to continue engaging with you.
It’s been a turbulent time, but not all negative. We’ve all been forced to reflect and adapt, which for businesses presents new opportunities and the potential for growth. It’s a time for embracing new narratives, new technologies and new approaches. We know this can seem daunting, so please contact us for advice and guidance and we’ll only be too happy to help.