Evolving B2B Buyer and Advertising Automation [Video]

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B2B buying has changed, and everyone knows it.  Although lengthy sales cycles, complex value propositions, and multiple decision-makers are still integral components of the process, it’s important to remember that contemporary buyers are also informed, impatient, and sales-savvy. Watch this video to learn how buyers are evolving, and what you can do to overcome these challenges.

Here’s a quick recap of what we covered:

  • Buyers are waiting longer to engage sales teams.

  • Buyers conduct more research before engaging sales teams.

  • Advertising automation can help overcome these challenges

Here’s a transcript of the video. Note that portions may be edited for readability.

Introduction: What’s changed in B2B buying?

Today, we are going to discuss B2B display advertising and the ways in which marketers have been forced to adapt in order to nurture and convert the rapidly evolving  B2B buyer.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which the standard B2B buyer has changed. Buyers have begun to engage in their own research, finding relevant information on Google and clicking through a wide array of forums, support documentation, and online videos. They are conversing with one another on social media channels like LinkedIn and Twitter. They are also visiting review sites in order to better understand whether or not the software in question solves the problems that they are experiencing.

It shouldn’t be surprising that the modern buyer has about 10 browser tabs open at any given time, actively comparing features for different competitive solutions. For B2B marketers, it has become a race to determine which vendor can educate that buyer, fill available mind-share, and educate them about their specific problem in a way that is most advantageous to the vendor.

Marketing teams are investing massive amounts of money in order to drive traffic to their websites, only to see the vast majority of their visitors bounce. About 95% of website visitors leaving without providing their emails. Even when they do, 80% of those people who have supplied their contact details are not opening your marketing emails. The returns gained through these processes are minimal, indeed.

Exploring your B2B display advertising strategy

Your B2B display advertising strategy depends largely on your solution, but it is also incredibly important to synchronize your advertising to your buyer’s journey. What does this mean? Here’s an example: someone comes to your website looking only to “dip their toes in the water”, meaning they want to do superficial research about your solution, the problem it solves, and whether or not this is something they can use. At this point, it is probably best to show them general display ads discussing your brand. Once they go a bit deeper and spend additional time (5 to 10 minutes) looking at different features or solutions that you have for particular industry verticals, it’s time to begin targeting. Ultimately, this is where you can really shine and provide display ads that are personalized and relevant to the particular visitor in question.

So, how do you accomplish this? On certain DSPs, you may include and exclude segments of visitors that have complex site behaviors. You could create a segment for people who visit from a particular industry and then create a series of image ads that talk about your solution in the context of their specific experiences. Even for sophisticated marketers, this can be incredibly time-intensive, expensive, and difficult to maintain. So, it is very important for you to have an automated advertising solution that will allow you to make these kinds of adjustments on the fly in an easy-to-deploy manner.

B2B buyers are elusive. Get personal to engage them.

Today’s B2B buyer is very elusive and extremely savvy in all things web 2.0 related.  They know that filling out your conversion form will lead to multiple calls and emails from your sales teams, which is exactly what they don’t want. As a result, the more you try to capture them, the more elusive they become.

So, let’s treat them with respect. Let’s ask them for the minimal amount of information and let’s give them some assets that don’t require an exchange of information in order to build trust and confidence. Meanwhile, start showing them display ads that resonate. Show them somehting personalized based on their behaviors on your website! This will ultimately drive them back to your website and get them to convert on a lead form. At that point, they will be ready to talk to a sales person.

This concludes today’s talk about B2B marketing. We hope you enjoyed this video cast. Please leave a comment below. Thanks!

Stay tuned for the next video in our B2B TV video blog series, where we discuss issues facing B2B marketers today.

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