[Editor's Note: The following is a guest post by Bridget Fletcher, Adobe System's director-suite marketing.]
As I was writing the article "Digital Marketing Offers Big Opportunity For High-Tech Companies" for CMO.com, I couldn’t help but notice the parallels between consumer expectations in B2C and B2B business models. That got me thinking about why consumers now expect businesses to deliver the same types of relevant, engaging, connected experiences that they receive when they interact with consumer-oriented companies.
The answer is simple: People are people. Their time is valuable, they want information that is relevant for their desired outcome (whether they’re buying a car or an ERP system), and, frankly, they like to be entertained. The levity and humor that we’ve seen for decades in consumer marketing is now trickling into B2B. Companies are leveraging advancements in digital analytics, content targeting, and social mediai–all device-appropriate–to influence their target customers to interact and, ultimately, purchase (or license, as is the norm in many B2B sectors).
The consumerization of IT has forced businesses to simplify the systems and applications their employees use in their day-to-day operations. Simultaneously, the consumerization of enterprise marketing is forcing those same businesses to provide engaging and relevant experiences via their digital channels to their prospective and current customers. It’s time for B2B and enterprise marketers to rethink the ways in which they engage their target audiences. The winning recipe: Measure everything, give customers and prospects the information they seek, and listen to what they are telling you via social and customer-support channels to continually improve the engagement and buying life cycles.
Oh, and don’t take yourself too seriously. Make sure your campaigns are witty, interesting, and engaging. And if they’re not, you’ll know. The data will tell you.