Editor’s Note: This is the first of three recaps from our B2B Engagement Fest Webinar Series.
We live in a world of change: every day new businesses, methods, trends, and products shape the way we interact with each other and with brands. Consumers know this, but do the businesses that sell to them? And if they do, how are they ensuring that their efforts stay ahead of a consumer base that changes so rapidly?
Mitch Joel, Best-Selling author and Digital Media Expert kicked off our B2B Engagement Fest series of webinars with his deep-dive into how customers engage with brands, and how brands can better leverage technology to stay ahead and innovate in a rapidly changing environment.
Disruption is everywhere, but “don’t confuse disruption with destruction”. Disruption is the way that new ideas become new startups over night, and the way that seemingly impossible visions can be realized as quickly as tried and true favorites can disappear. B2B Marketers have been working hard to keep their heads above water in the midst of an environment that is full of disruption, but the type of technology and the way that you implement it can be the defining factor in how your brand is perceived in a culture where permanence is giving way to transience and flexibility.
Mitch summarizes his methods in three key steps:
- The ability to transform
- The ability to innovate
- The ability to transact
Step 1: Transformation
Disruption means disassembling, it means doing something in a completely different way, particularly where customer communication is concerned. We now have access to a smorgasbord of information, so simply creating more content isn’t the answer. Instead, adding value, establishing greater efficiency and developing methods that can immediately deliver a usable experience to the buyer have become the key elements of successful content.
Step 2: Innovation
Innovation, the second step is also not as easy as it used to be in the “Mad Men” era. Leading customers into sales with a flash and a bang isn’t going to mask lack of usability in content or product. Mitch points out B2C brands like Uber and AirBnB who have capitalized on consumer’s desire to have on-demand access instead of ownership. In the B2B Space, innovation means capitalizing on opportunities to provide the customer with additional convenience, or an extra efficiency. Looking beyond simply selling your products to how they can be amended or combined to create experiences that fulfill buyers’ needs, and ease their pain points.
This step means looking at customer experience as part and parcel of creating something new. Start by reimagining your products and services as game changers, and setting out to prove how they do in fact connect buyers to what they need faster, more accurately and more unobtrusively than anyone else’s.
Step 3: Transaction
The final step,the ability to transact, refers to closely examining where and how your customers interact with your content, and valuing each of those interactions as a transaction. This one can seem obscure at first, particularly when viewed through the lense of B2Bs, but the idea is that wherever your clients and prospects devote the most time and attention to your content is where you need to be. You may want to float a foolproof Facebook strategy, but if your whitepapers are flying off the shelves, then that’s where the majority of your focus should go.
Buyers are now natively comfortable navigating a world where permanence is second to ease of access, and ease of use. To keep up, Mitch recommends considering new revenue models instead of campaigns. How can you extend your new services and products to fill a need and tap into the culture of convenience?
Listen to Mitch Joel’s full webinar presentation: Algorhythm – The Pulse of Creativity, Data, and the Future of Brands