Battle of the Brands: How Digital Is Driving Big Changes to B2B Brand Strategy
With so much B2B business now being conducted online, the need for a well-defined and differentiated brand strategy is more important than ever. Longer sales cycles in a competitive digital environment mean B2B buyers interact with your brand at multiple touchpoints across their buying journey. Add to that the sheer number of alternatives to choose from, and the need for brands to break through the clutter with an ownable brand message becomes clear.
The shift to digital
In 2020, marketers were forced to abruptly shift their marketing strategies while finding ways to take in-person events and daily meetings online. Countless industries and organizations were thrust headfirst into a tumultuous and risky business environment, revising their digital marketing activities on the fly to meet the changing needs of their customers—most of whom were also contending with the need to conduct business remotely.
Recent McKinsey research shows that this focus on digital marketing tactics in the B2B space will increase further as businesses contemplate the new normal. In line with existing digital transformation trends, the majority of B2B decision-makers indicated that their preference now is to use more digital self-service options like chatbots and FAQs to research products and services—and they plan to continue connecting with people remotely for at least the immediate future. Part of this change is due to health and safety precautions, but B2B businesses are also recognizing the benefits and cost-savings associated with conducting business online.
Connecting with old and new customers online
While the unique features and benefits of your product or service will always be important to buyers, a strong and all-encompassing brand experience is what customers will notice and remember—especially in the crowded global market. It is therefore essential to employ a consistent approach to brand-building in order to establish credibility, increase awareness and continue to deliver on the expectations of your audience.
To best position your B2B brand to remain relevant in the face of constant change, it can be beneficial to take a step back and consider the foundational elements on which you built your brand in the first place.
- Keep your brand’s core principles and brand values top of mind to develop a clear and actionable brand strategy that transcends all channels, both digital and traditional.
- Keep true to the established brand voice and aesthetic that resonates with your target audience. Your current customers are online now, as well, and are looking to connect with familiar brands.
- Continue to craft your unique story and find compelling ways to deploy it that will reach your audience where they are right now.
Building a successful B2B brand takes time and effort—and pivoting your business toward a more agile, digital-centric strategy offers its own set of ancillary challenges. However, the ROI incentive for change has never been greater, and the risk of inaction is greater still. After all, as B2B customers become more and more comfortable with researching and purchasing products and services online, the pool of potential clients interacting with your brand—or its competitors—will increase as well. What will your brand do to earn their attention, and to keep it?
Read more about what it takes to create a standout B2B brand: Making Your B2B Brand Stand Out
To learn more about this topic or to discuss an issue impacting your business, contact Bailey’s Vice President of Client Services, Jamie Gailewicz, at 610-818-3103 or click here to contact us via [email protected].