Recently I was reading this article that discusses the greatest source of frustration for B2B marketers. Being a business owner myself I recognized many of these frustrations, and to me they are all very feasible. What I concluded after reading the article is that all of these frustrations are (mostly) correlated with the b2b buyer experience on a website. The website is the hub – it’s the place where your prospects will receive all the right information and IF interested find ways to connect with you.
Being a conversational marketing advocate I used my biased mind to find ways on how real-time conversations can help solve many of the above problems. So here we go.
As marketers or entrepreneurs we try to understand, monitor and categorize people’s online behaviour. The problem is that there are 7 billion different people in the world, each with their own beliefs, needs and wants. So how can we assume that the information we provide is complete, clear and/or presented in a way our customers want it. We can’t. We can optimize and personalize our homepage and create a thoughtful FAQ. That’s a good and definitely something worth trying . However we need to understand that we can’t present the information to tens of thousands of website visitors in the same way. In my opinion they all deserve a different approach. We can’t fix that with static one-directional websites.
So what can we do?
We can offer conversations. Preferably by phone or in person. However these communication channels are not always available, nor are they schaleable to many users at the same time. In today’s internet era it’s very easy to add conversations to our website, social media page or messenger platforms. Why are conversations the way to go? Your website visitor will now receive specified answers that are tailored to their unique questions.
This can be questions about:
The product or service related questions (The what?)
My company is a recruitment company and my staff is now working with salesforce, would it be easy to transition to your product?
Can we get a 2 month trial period instead of 1 month?
Your company’s goals (The how?)
How can we benefit from you long term? What are you envisioning to build in the future?
Your company’s vision (The why?)
What is your vision on contact relationship management in the next 10 years?
Being ‘pushy’ by being to focussed on revenue.
Forced to register before seeing if information is relevant.
These things are inherently counterproductive. Why? Because you’re losing brand integrity. Closing the sale (or e-mail address) with pop ups or sign up forms should never happen while a visitor is reading your content. In my opinion content should never be transactional. You first build a relationship by messaging the change you as a company are going to make. A possible transaction happens once the user shows interest.
So what can you do?
Provide more valuable content and expect nothing in return. Don’t share the content so that you can capture more email addresses or so that you can get more clicks. Share the content because you believe in the content you are creating and you want it to be visible in the world so that you can create some kind of movement or change. On the other hand be practical, so have all the conversational possibilities at hand. Don’t only share your phone number, e-mail address or contact form. Also share
B2b Customers want to understand the differences between different products. Some companies offer visible comparisons between themselves and their biggest competitors. This would never be my tactic. I recommend companies to always focus on their own strengths. However with real-time conversations it is possible to give people the opportunity to ask questions on how their company compares to others.
To sum it up:
Conversational is one of the most effective tools to build better relationships with your audience. Starting has never been easier.
We humans are born to interact. Interactions build relationships. Relationships build companies.