Posted By: Lincoln Havens, Netsertive /
The digital disruption of the IT channel continues to accelerate, bringing new opportunities and challenges. There are two forces driving business transformation: digital-savvy prospects with unlimited access to online information and a service delivery model with client satisfaction at its core.
Add a third wildcard–the shift from traditional to online marketing–and it’s clear that the most successful B2B firms will embrace a digital marketing solution to thrive in 2017. And advertising is an essential part of the digital marketing promotion plan.
So, as a preview, what do you need to know about the digital transformation in order to enable your channel partners?
Building Trust Now Starts Online
In this digital era, the buying journey and trust-building process begins online and occurs way before the prospect ever meets with your channel partners.
By 2020, it is estimated that 80% of the B2B buying journey may occur without human assistance. Knowing this, do your partners' current online presence inspire trust in a potential buyer? Can they even find your partners? If not, it’s time to take a look at how and where they're showing up online. Don’t underestimate the importance of gaining a client’s awareness and trust with digital marketing in the months before they buy.
Showing Up At the Right Time With the Right Message
The ultimate purpose of any marketing strategy is to reach customers at the moments that most influence their buying decisions – ultimately increasing the likelihood of a sale.
Digital advertising provides the flexibility of putting targeted messages in front of specific prospects at each stage of the buying process. This may sound complex, but it doesn’t have to be. The key is adopting a simple strategy that’s focused on the ideal customer and their journey to purchase.
One-way to do this is by organizing digital campaigns in three different buckets: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision.
- Awareness makes potential customers aware of you and your products, services, and brands to boost website clicks.
- The Consideration phase allows you to leverage marketing tactics to target customers when they’re considering a purchase. Marketing activities in this phase include display advertising, retargeting and digital video advertising.
- When customers reach the bottom of the marketing funnel and are showing clear buying signals, such as using specific keywords their searches and referencing business review sites, they have reached the Decision or purchase phase.
Coordinating your channel partners' campaigns to make this happen at scale takes coordination, and it's something I help brands with frequently.
The Impact of a Multi-Channel Digital Approach
While search engine marketing (SEM) is the foundation of a high-performance marketing campaign, it is important to invest in a mix of display, social media and digital video placements, in addition to traditional tactics like trade shows, webinars, and content marketing, to boost the overall performance of your marketing investments.
In previous research conducted by Netsertive, we found that clients who added social media advertising to a search engine marketing campaign, saw 23% more search marketing impressions, 50% more clicks and 50% more conversions. Your channel partners would love to see that kind of traffic. We've found that when they attempt to run campaigns on their own, they often get confused with targeting and bidding and burn through their budget with no results.
With less than 3% of B2B firms leveraging LinkedIn and Facebook advertising, there’s never been a better time to start. Having experts to guide you and your partners is key.
Want to learn more?
Join me and my colleague Tim McLain on April 27 at Noon EST as we share deep insights on the importance of dedicating marketing funds to digital, how you can help channel partners target prospects throughout the buying cycle and which channels are a must to implement in 2017. Reserve your spot here.