When LRG Marketing Communications was founded 27 years ago, the marketing landscape looked far different than it does now. More specifically, B2B marketing was pretty straightforward as companies relied on primarily on trade print media, direct mail, public relations, collateral material and industry shows for their promotional activities. Although these are still important marketing deliverables, media fragmentation and social media trends have made marketing outreach infinitely more complex than ever before.
B2B brands often believe they still control the first touch-point a customer has with their brand. While true in the past, this is no longer the case today. Customers are using search, off-line recommendations, trusted industry influencers, online reviews and social media to research offerings.
The reasoning is simple. Today’s consumers have become accustomed to an omni-channel customer experience when looking for and evaluating purchases. The reality is that the customer controls this decision making process. Smart mobile technology continues to drive this reality.
B2B buyers are trending towards the same level of experience, especially now that more and more decision-makers are millennials. According to a study by Google, 46 percent of all B2B buyers are 18-34. So by the time you actually touch a decision-maker with your outbound messaging, they already know about your brand. In fact, it’s very likely they’ve made up their mind on whether or not to purchase your solution before ever speaking with a sales representative.
This leaves brand marketers with a critical decision to make. Should they start providing rich content that informs customers across all touchpoints, or do they risk getting left behind. In 2016, it is increasingly crucial for brands to embrace integrated marketing programs with omni-channel experiences.
A good integrated marketing campaign stretches across earned, paid, owned and shared media with consistent messaging. Yet it engages customers differently on each platform with different objectives specific to each under the umbrella of generating sales.
Here’s what a typical purchase process looks like. A potential customer performs a simple Google search using generic product or service descriptions on a mobile device. Chances are that they will probably look through a few different company websites to learn more information, and then check their preferred industry and trade association websites.
They will often read a byline from an executive on a new technology or trend that addresses a business challenge of interest. Hungry for additional insight, they may then follow that executive’s brand along with others on LinkedIn and/or Twitter, looking for similar content that will help them make a more informed purchase decision. When a post catches their interest, they will click through to read the content on the company’s website. Later, a retargeted ad featuring a white paper from that website appears when they’re surfing the internet for more info.
At some point, the prospect makes an inquiry and starts their final analysis and selection process. Sometimes this happens quickly – sometimes not. But with the right integrated marketing strategy in place, your company has a better chance of making their short list, and ultimately closing the sale.
Brands often struggle with how and where to get started, and turn to LRG Marketing Communications for help -- tactically and with all important strategic positioning and content creation. Because even though media fragmentation and omni-channel experiences are the new norm – content is still king.
LRG has the resources and tools to help clients make the leap to integrated marketing with unique programs specifically tailored to our client’s specific business objectives and projections. Our innovative Integrated Marketing Blueprint helps brands ensure they touch existing and potential new customers across all pertinent media.
If you would like to hear more about how it all comes together, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or even call me at 845-358-1801 (yes some of us still like to talk to people!) I would be pleased to walk through our process and hear about your business and marketing objectives to see if our companies are the right fit for each other.