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Marketing has had to become less planned and much more reactive.
As the consumer lifestyle becomes increasingly ‘always-on’ thanks to our multiple devices and improvements in connectivity, the more we demand rapid and personalised responses from companies we engage with.
Those same consumers are also business people; the always-on lifestyle means that for many of us, we're also 'always-at-work'. Business purchasers can be connected at any time, and make decisions at any time. This means that 'real time' is becoming a practical requirement, no matter what’s being sold or in what environment.
Our brand new B2B Real-Time Marketing Report, in association with Monetate, aims to discover what real time means in B2B markets. The findings hopefully provide a some insight for assessing plans for this year and beyond.
In the full report you will learn: what real time means to B2B customers, how real time is benefitting B2B audiences, the variables of real-time marketing and its associated technology and data. Also the budgets, resources and skills necessary for success in real-time marketing
The report follows on from our previous survey, 2014’s Real Time Marketing Survey Report, where Econsultancy and Monetate surveyed nearly 900 B2C marketers. This time the focus has been narrowed to B2B marketers.
Here's a summary of three key trends identified in the report:
It’s awards season here at Econsultancy as the entries detailing inspirational case studies from a huge range of companies continue to roll in.
The Digitals 2014 are designed to showcase the finest work from the global digital and ecommerce community, but not just from individuals, we want to put the whole team centre stage in order to celebrate and truly reflect the collaborative culture of our industry.
You have till 24 September 2014 to enter, and in order to give you inspiration for your own entry we’ve rounded up some of the best B2B case studies we received in 2013.
For more advice on how to write your entry, read David Moth’s 10 tips for writing a stand out awards entry for The Digitals.
Sage has been quietly improving its content and SEO for a while now and its website gives a good indication of how the industry of accounting software has changed online.
Here's a roundup of what Sage's website does right when it comes to content. If you're a B2B company, it's all the inspiration you need to get on your own content marketing trip.
The days are long gone when companies can shy away from educating the market. It's all about search, transparency and added value.
In January 2014, no one had ever heard of Playbuzz, a website that creates viral content, mostly quizzes.
By May of the same year, Playbuzz.com was receiving 45m unique visitors each month.
In this post I go over the insider tips for how to create and implement quizzes into your marketing plan to achieve that kind of results on your site.
Real-time marketing works.
Let me make an addition to that rather bold affirmation. Real-time marketing works for B2C companies. Really well.
But what of B2B companies? Is real-time just a pipe-dream? A strategy only successful if left to the trendier agile brands that have an ever-growing and content hungry audience of Twitter followers?
In our brand new B2B Real-Time Marketing Report, in association with Monetate, we reveal the current state of play for B2B real-time marketing, uncovering insights that perhaps challenge our preconceptions of the importance of real-time for B2B.
For instance, the fact that 65% of B2B companies are carrying out some form of real-time marketing, and that 87% agree that ‘real-time marketing is essential as behaviour, device, place and time come together’.
In our full report you will find research highlighting how business buyers define their needs in an always-on world. As well as the benefits to real-time marketing and the challenges.
Despite all the research and writing on the B2B buyer’s journey, quite a lot of B2B marketers still believe that “my buyers aren’t looking for us in search.”
Their assumption is that the customer in a position to buy a six- or seven-figure (or larger) piece of equipment or service is going to be deeply experienced and already know who the main providers are, and that’s who they're going to request bids from. The evidence suggests otherwise.
Farming machinery isn’t necessarily the coolest product on the planet, so it’s good to see a B2B like Massey Ferguson doing interesting things with content, especially when compared to rivals like John Deere, which arguably has wider recognition.
I’ve been taking a look at the tractor company’s website and social feeds to get a feel for how it uses content to engage with a particularly niche market.
Incidentally, you wouldn’t believe how hard I’ve struggled to avoid using the phrase ‘content farm' in this article...
And for more on this topic, download Econsultancy's B2B Content Marketing Trends Briefing 2014.
Since 2010, mobile’s share of ecommerce traffic has grown from 3.5% to 36.9% with mobile revenue rising from $2bn to $42bn.
Knowing where, and how, to get customers to embrace this growth will separate your online store from the rest of the pack.
As an online retailer, you know it would be foolish to ignore mobile, but knowing where to start can be tricky.
Earlier this year, I wrote a post looking at some of the best ecommerce sites around, picking out aspects of these sites that others could learn from.
As the vast majority were B2C, some commentors challenged me to find similarly good examples of B2B ecommerce sites.
I've asked the Econsultancy team, found a few myself, and here we are.
Some are listed because they offer a great all round experience, others because they do a particular thing very well (navigation, copywriting, and so on).
Shipping and engineering are inherently cool.
I thought I'd take a quick scoot through the websites of General Electric, Siemens and Maersk and check out what sorts of content they provide to market.
It's by no means an exhaustive journey, but hopefully it will give you some links to check out and some inspiration for your own B2B content.
These behemoth sized B2B companies, in the case of Maersk, make great use of their heritage. For GE and Siemens, the task is more about appearing imaginative and innovative and almost appearing as synecdoche or at least flag bearer for particular industries, i.e. an indisputable authority.
Let's take a look.
Prosumer is a portmanteau of professional and consumer.
I first came across it writing a blog post on the secret to mobile startup success.
There are many startups that begin as consumer focused businesses before unveiling an enterprise product.
It strikes me this often leads to a successful B2B product, so I thought I’d look at Uber (and briefly Airbnb) and discuss what B2B companies can take from a prosumer model.
Do you ever wonder which social network is best for B2B marketing?
Me too, so I did some audience research and found some surprising results.
Here's how you can do it too.