There’s no denying it—today’s B2B marketers have their work cut out for them. In 2012, Forrester indicated that buyers could be up to 90 percent through their buyer’s journey before even reaching out to a vendor. Given the wealth of information, research, and reviews out there with which buyers can educate themselves, this statistic isn’t too surprising. But what can marketers do to actually overcome this challenge?
As you’ll see from our latest infographic done in partnership with Eloqua, there are plenty of opportunities.
For one thing, marketers are realizing that branding is a strategy not just for the Coca-Cola’s and Nike’s of the B2C world. Branding does indeed matter in the B2B buying process. Because prospects are waiting longer before engaging with salespeople, marketers need to use branding to get their companies, products, and services out there as early as possible in order to earn a spot on the evaluation shortlist later on. This means getting in front of the right people before they even realize they have a business challenge to solve.
Marketers are also beginning to see how combining technologies such as display advertising and marketing automation brings the idea of “right message at the right time” to an entirely new level. Email nurturing has done much over the past few years to help marketers build relationships with their existing contacts. By adding display advertising into their email nurture programs, savvy online marketers are now witnessing incredible jumps in engagement and conversion rates. And when it comes to converting more anonymous website traffic into known leads, marketing automation has found a friend in display ad retargeting, which essentially gives marketers a second chance at every online conversion.
Sure, the B2B buyer may be in the driver’s seat when it comes to the buying process. But marketers now have more of an opportunity than ever to influence this journey.