Look up from your desk and take a look around your business. How many of the people around you are responsible for purchase decisions?
According to Harvard Business Review, the number of people involved in B2B purchases has climbed to 6.8, with the stakeholders coming from a roster of roles, functions, and geographies.
According to the article: “The resulting divergence in personal and organisational priorities makes it difficult for buying groups to agree to anything more than ‘move cautiously,’ ‘avoid risk,’ and ‘save money.’”
Sounds like a challenge for marketers who are working in B2B businesses.
That’s where Marketo Engage comes in.
It’s enabling businesses to prime potential customers and nurture their decision making. And as part of Adobe, Marketo Engage is able to reach new verticals, geographies, and a larger customer base.
Adobe understands the committee of people B2B brands need to appeal to, and Griffith says, “they all need to be nurtured, influenced, and engaged in different ways to come together to make the final decision.”
It’s this kind of thinking that allows marketers to tap into emotions which ultimately drives decisions, he says.
“If you are engaging, you are going to unlock emotion, and if you can unlock emotion, you can do all kinds of wonderful things with your marketing objectives,” says Griffith.
B2B + B2C = B2E
While Marketo Engage can help marketers navigate a business’s decision-makers, its clients are also operating in the B2C space.
But despite the two different labels – B2B and B2C – they don’t need to be treated as different.
Griffith says its important marketers bridge the divide between their B2B and B2C customers as some businesses may serve both audiences.
He gives the example of Marketo Engage client Optus – an Australian telecommunications company – that has customers on both sides. What if the influencers and decision-makers Optus is targeting from a business perspective are also purchasing Optus services as an individual consumer?
“We need to make sure there isn’t a gap in the experiences,” Griffith says.
“Let’s step back and think about overall as a brand how we are marketing to everyone, everywhere.”
On this, he says marketing should be less about B2C and B2B, and more about B2E – business to everyone, everything, everywhere with experience at its core.
The relationship between sales and marketing
Griffith’s advice doesn’t stop at bridging the gap between B2B and B2C customers, and neither should the efforts of marketers.
“Not everyone is ready to buy when you are ready for them to buy, so you need to listen to how they want to be engaged, and nurture them over time with the right message at the right cadence,” he says.
He says marketers need to read the digital body language of potential customers as this will serve as an indicator of when it’s time to pass the baton over to the sales team.
Again, Marketo Engage can help to manage this lead process.
“You don’t want sales wasting their time,” Griffith says. “You want them working on the best, warmest, and readiest leads.”
Kae Hum and Will Griffith
Uber for Business puts theory into practice
Reiterating this point, Uber for Business head of sales, Kae Hum, joined Griffith on stage, saying: “The partnership between sales and marketing is absolutely critical for Uber for Business – we couldn’t do our job without them.”
Hum says the 6.8 decision-makers in a respective business make for a complex and scary task for marketers and salespeople, and on top of this, comes a long sales cycle, with decisions taking between one and three months to be made.
Because of this, he says it is important that marketing and sales align themselves and are on the same page from a day-to-day perspective but also when looking at long-term goals.
Looking at how his own business operates, Hum says that given Uber for Business is still relatively young, the marketing team still has to raise awareness. To do this, it uses billboards, digital advertising, and events.
On top of this, the marketing team is also working to analyse the digital activity to ensure it is reaching the right audience in the right way so that they can identify potential customers to nurture.
“We release meaningful content, so by the time marketing hands a lead over to sales, the [potential customer]is warmed up, they’ve had a great experience, and hopefully that increases my team’s activity and overall revenue,” Hum says.
Helping in this is Marketo Engage’s assistance, he adds, which is particularly important for Uber for Business because unlike other tech companies like Google and Facebook, that don’t communicate face-to-face with customers, Uber does.
“At Uber for Business, we have a very unique opportunity to directly have face-to-face interactions with organisations, so there’s a great responsibility to make sure we are customer-obsessed, and we understand their needs and pain points so we can add value to them. That’s where Marketo Engage comes in,” Hum says.
“They help us create those insights into who those target audiences are and then market to them, so they are warmed up by the time they get to sales.”
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