A lot of conversations about digital transformation today are
about B2C businesses. But it’s a mistake to assume things aren’t changing in
the B2B world too. It’s thanks to the constant churn of new technologies and
methodologies that make what we do — whatever we do — easier, smarter and more
Whether you call it “going digital” or something else, what we’re talking about is an investment. And investments come with opportunities as well as potential risks. Here’s a brief look at both.
Whenever we start a conversation about customer experience, it seems like it’s B2C that gets to have all the fun. But if 2019 and beyond is likely to tell us anything, it’s that there really isn’t a huge division between these two types of buying experiences — not when small businesses speak for about half the workforce and its buying power, and pretty much always has. In other words, there’s considerable overlap between your target market and the “C” in “B2C.”
Make 2019 the year your B2B company rediscovers how to create a great experience in order to speak to, and better serve, your B2B customers, no matter who they may be.
Two things might surprise you about mobile apps. The first is how variably useful they can be. The second is how many companies — even major companies — haven’t built a mobile app yet or haven’t added basic functionality or customer-requested features.
The truth is, it’s probably time to stop thinking about mobile apps as things we have to “deal with” and think of them instead as blank creative canvases. For the B2B company, mobile apps can be an especially appealing way to put your best foot forward and offer a set of tools useful in the real world for the people you’re trying to reach, retain, entertain, upsell to, convert or just stay in touch with.
Unfortunately, cyber-attacks and data breaches are an inevitable part of doing business in today’s data-driven world. With the right protections and preventative measures, you can both mitigate the likelihood of it happening and the damage that stems from a potential attack.
The first thing to understand is that most put emphasis on preventing attacks, which is necessary, but it’s not the only protective measures you should take. You should also have tools and processes in place to stop an ongoing attack, protect stolen or lifted data, block access to unauthorized parties and a veritable kill switch — something that takes your system offline during a major event.
Why give your potential customers information alone when you can create an experience for them? That’s the idea behind experiential marketing, which creates encounters that encourage people to interact with brands in real-world situations in participatory, hands-on ways. This strategy, also called engagement marketing, is popular with B2C companies, but it can also work for B2B companies.
No B2C — or business-to-customer — company could survive without some technological platform. Whether by utilizing social media or an interactive website, customers in the modern age want to be able to do everything on their phones if at all possible. B2B, or business-to-business, companies are finding themselves increasingly going directly to customers and are thus forced to leap into technology.
Technology doesn’t just help with marketing, either, as B2Bs are quickly learning. Utilization of technology can help the company run smoother and change how business itself is done. To get a grasp of what technology can do for B2B, here are a few examples:
SaaS or software-as-a-service platforms specialize in mass data processing in more ways than one. The content alone is stored remotely and streamed — as data packets no less — to a remote machine.
But the technology has also evolved to the point where entire systems are delivered via the cloud. Think a sales facilitation and analytics platform that handles everything from product invoicing to customer experiences.
B2B and B2C networking are two very different things. What works for one may not work for another. The prime time to network for B2B is at events, conferences and workshops, and they should regularly be frequented to make a strong network of like-minded entrepreneurs.
At events, you can showcase your skills and talents directly to prospective businesses. Events are good for everyone, and the popularity of them can make the networking world intimidating. Here are a few things to remember when considering rubbing elbows with B2B event veterans.
Business-to-business corporations, or B2B, don’t often focus on individual customers. A business-to-customer corporation, or B2C, is where the consumer usually interacts. As progress continues to move forward and people become more proactive with their spending and usage habits, B2B spaces are having to focus on customer appeal and approval more than ever before.
When a business interacts with another business, they don’t focus on the end product for the customer. Because of the oversight, customers with a problem have to relay their complaints to middlemen instead of the business. With their complaints not being seen to, consumers begin to use other businesses, and the B2B loses money.
When asked, 80% of business respondents admitted they are either already using or planning to implement chatbots by 2020. It makes plenty of sense why, too. Concerning customer service, always-on interactions and robust chat support bots are the way to go.
At any time during the day or night, users can reach out to a chatbot and receive answers, product and brand information, troubleshooting support or even kickstart service processes like returns and the like. It helps explain why 64 percent of Americans feel that 24-hour-service is the best feature of chatbots.