Back in the 20th Century, the lead question marketers asked was “How do we reach our target audiences?” B2B customer engagement was achieved mainly via advertising and pr in trade publications, supported by direct mail and exhibitions. Overall, it was a shotgun approach; invest enough money in shouting loudly enough and eventually the message will get through.
As the 21st Century dawned, the technology and infrastructure enabled the internet to re-write marketing handbooks. Then the question became “How do we attract specific target audiences, increase the lead volumes and convert them into customers.” Inbound marketing was born and ‘pulling’ people in rather than ‘pushing’ out information became the considered way to go.
The last couple of years have seen subtle changes in customer engagement. Yes, it’s still about growing website traffic and generating then converting leads, but now the emphasis is firmly on engagement.
The internet and mobile devices have given us the power to find information for ourselves very quickly. Additionally, until we have done our own research, time pressures and negative perceptions of sales people have steered us away from exposing ourselves to the inherent pressures that come with contacting potential suppliers.
Gone are the days of gathering brochures, drawing up long lists that are narrowed down to short list for presentations. Now we Google it. We expect to find the good companies on the first pages of search results, so we rarely dig deeper.
When we look at their websites we make snap decisions. If it doesn’t ‘look’ like a company that matches our values and offers the right solution, we’re gone at the click of a mouse. If it looks right and information easy to find, there’s a chance they’ll get on our short list.
We check out case studies, watch videos, read blogs and trawl social media to get third party views on the product or service we are considering. The more good content we can ‘find’ from a company, the more that company goes up in our estimation. Their customer engagement has given us trust and confidence in their company
To engage potential customers you have to have good content in the right places and in the right formats. Your marketing strategy not only has to include blogs, videos, email campaigns, case studies/testimonials, good website SEO and social media, but also traditional PR and advertising. And ideally, you have to be able to measure it in terms of return on investment.
Getting the mix right can be tricky, but when all these elements come together the results can be spectacular.
If you’d like to know more about the latest customer engagement marketing techniques, give Alan Myers a call on 0116 278 7788 or email email@example.com