As we near the middle of Q3, now is a good time to chart your progress, evaluate what has changed in the past eight months, and resolve how you can end this year with a bang.
At the start of the year, gyro predicted trends and must-haves for B2B marketers to advance their brands. What we did not predict was how two of those must-haves – “producing powerful experiences,” which drives the need for emotion in business, and “keeping up with the engines,” which reveals the requirement for quality information – would meld together as both trends gained steam.
Emotion Produces Powerful Experiences
B2B, it would seem, is inherently left-brained, with logical elements dominating companies’ messaging strategies. Yet, according to recent research, the right-brained, emotional components should not be overlooked.
As the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) and Google recently discovered, B2B customers’ personal values outweigh business considerations when it comes to making business purchases, with a greater proportion of B2B buyers more emotionally attached to the brands they purchase from than B2C consumers are.
However, emotion doesn’t play a factor only in the purchasing moment. Research has found that consumers make future purchasing decisions based on how they remember experiences and not on how they actually experienced them. A company that is able to produce a powerful, customer-centric experience that focuses on the moments that matter most to the buyer is likely to gain repeat business.
But how do businesses create memorable and relevant experiences that stick in buyers’ minds? And how does all of this relate to search engines?
Quality Revs Engines
The Google Panda algorithm change in 2011 was the first blow to keywords, aimed at lowering the search rankings of low-quality sites or sites with thin content. In October 2013, Google acted again, launching its Hummingbird search algorithm intended to deliver more relevant content to the consumer. This transformation marked a major turning point in companies’ communication strategies, requiring them to adopt an outside-in perspective and focus on the consumers’ needs over their own when developing content.
With more emphasis being placed on content marketing, businesses now find themselves in a content arms race. More content competition means companies must invest in creating even higher-quality content than before in order for potential buyers to notice. This shift has resulted in businesses making huge investments in production and quality storytelling supported by strong strategy designed to deliver a highly targeted and memorable customer experience.
It’s All in the Experience
Good customer experience drives loyalty with business customers. Customers have raised their expectations in their B2B relationships, and those companies that can deliver authentic, personalized service are the ones likely to attract and keep buyers’ attention.
Taking advantage of today’s new technology, brands now have an opportunity to deliver their stories in innovative ways. New formats for video are emerging that enable dynamic, customized content to be displayed using geo-targeting and service-provider data that provides product information, relevant prices, promotions and more within the video.
In addition, interactive advertisements containing games, surveys or social-sharing capabilities continue to grow in use, as companies strive to find unique ways to engage with their customers and prospects.
Understand the Person Behind the Customer
At the core of creating quality content is understanding how your customer thinks, acts and feels. Human relevance and emotionally driven messaging have never been more important in B2B. It’s easy to jump on a trend, but those companies that figure out how to transform it into something valuable for their customers are the ones that are going to come out on top.
Learn more must-haves to B2B success. Register for the August 14 gyro webinar, “6 Trends for B2B Marketing Success: Year-to-Date Check-in,” to learn what trends you should be capitalizing on to deliver a relevant, engaging customer experience.
Amber Long – VP of Engagement, gyro Cincinnati
Amber is a dynamic communications professional with a unique blend of experience in public relations, social media, marketing and promotions.
As VP of engagement at gyro, Amber is responsible for managing strategic public relations and social media programs for a variety of clients including Hobart, Scotsman, Makino, Tate & Lyle and CyrusOne, among others. She has considerable experience with clients, influencers and media outlets in the food products category and is supported by an engagement team with a deep bench of PR and social media expertise.
Prior to joining gyro, Amber planned and executed viral marketing and communications programs for business-to-consumer and business-to-business clients and organizations in a variety of industries. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from the University of Kentucky and a J.D. from the University of Cincinnati, College of Law.