It is a known fact that most people are almost always busy online nowadays. And by doing so, they are much more informed than before. Be it gathering data, doing research, taking informed decisions, or any other thing that we can possibly think of, they can do everything on their own. Most importantly, they can do everything on the go. Precisely, this is the most definitive picture of a globalized world where there are no real boundaries. While studying the contemporary B2B customer profile, it is important for a marketer to keep this backdrop in mind.
As we shift our focus to the world of business, it is rather overwhelming to observe the break-neck pace at which it has been changing since the past couple of decades. Many traditional concepts of business have been rendered obsolete as organizations all over the world are riding the wave of globalization and targeting the lucrative global B2B sector. While doing so, they are diligently making their operations highly technology-driven. Almost all core organizational functions are undergoing automation in order to enhance process-efficiency and higher ROIs. It has also become highly necessary for companies to study contemporary B2B customer profile in order to be able to market their products and services efficiently.
Aspects of Contemporary B2B Customer Profile
The main aspects of B2B customer profile that can be observed in the current business scenario prevalent worldwide share a common background. All of them stem from an easier access to huge volumes of data that has been made possible by rapid developments in technology. Going through these aspects shall enable you to understand their significance to a modern marketer.
1. Preference for Independent Research
The first major aspect of contemporary B2B customer profile is an increasing preference for independent research. In the modern digital age, it has become very easy for all to access data. The Internet serves as the foremost provider of large quantities of information. Added to this, there is significant contribution by social media channels where buyers can come across lots of opinion from individuals who represent different business fronts, and also from other buyers. As information is transferred very quickly these days, the large volumes of data that a buyer accesses let him conduct his own research independently. The contemporary buyer doesn’t depend much on the marketer in order to form his own perception about a product or service. Thus, a modern marketer has to move more towards digital marketing in order to target his audience with increased specificity and effectiveness.
2. Tendency to be Highly Skeptical
An analysis of contemporary B2B customer profile has revealed that modern buyers tend to be highly skeptical during the decision making process that precedes purchasing. Again, this is due to the fact that they have better access to much larger information pools. As a result, it has become rather impossible to convince them easily. Unless marketers adopt creative methods to communicate their brand propositions to prospective customers, it will also be difficult for sales personnel to get products off the shelves. This will in turn affect the revenues and profitability of the business as an ultimate outcome. Considering this aspect of modern B2B customer profile, marketers should design their marcom strategies in such a way that buyers never perceive them to be aggressive or vague. Communication should also be customized to target different customer groups so that conversion rate becomes predictable.
3. Tendency to Show More Patience
It can be observed, a current business trend, that sales cycles are now getting longer. They have increased on an average by more than twenty percent since 2010. Quite obviously, the onus is on salespeople as well as marketers. The reason behind elongated sales cycles is another interesting aspect of contemporary B2B customer profile - there is a tendency among modern buyers to be exceedingly patient when it comes to take a buying decision. As they browse through so much data on a daily basis, they tend to keep on comparing and cross-examining different products and services, and also the offers that come along with them. To cope with this hindrance, marketers should keep prospective buyers engaged right from the start. Automated email marketing campaigns are highly beneficial in this context, as they convey the brand statement regularly and help in building trust.
4. Prone to be Influenced by Peers
As we have mentioned earlier, the contemporary B2B customer profile is shaped to a large extent by digitization. With the increasing popularity of different social media channels, people nowadays can easily share their opinions about specific brands online. At the same time, they can also ask for their peers’ viewpoints with an equal ease. In the case of B2B sectors, these developments are highly significant. This is because of the fact that almost twenty five percent of B2B buyers across the world take purchasing decisions on the basis of social recommendations alone. To overcome this challenge, marketers have to be cautious about their social media marketing campaigns. Given that any negative impression can go viral and prove to be highly detrimental to the brand image, posts on social media channels have to carefully composed and they must convey honest messages.
5. Higher Requirement for Content
Even a casual glance at the contemporary B2B customer profile reveals that present day buyers exhibit a remarkably high requirement for content that they can easily access whenever and wherever they want, from their computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones and a large variety of other gadgets. As average sales cycles have also become longer, customers have started to look for assorted content that can help them in taking purchasing decisions. Marketers can use these trends as opportunities and keep prospective buyers happy with what they want. Company blogs should be maintained on the organizations’ websites and they should be promoted across different channels. Infographics, short videos, testimonials should be distributed through popular social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc.
In the highly dynamic age of digitization, the global business world is undergoing frequent changes and it is necessary for organizations as well as professionals to adapt every moment to them. Adjusting with the technology savvy B2B customer profile often becomes difficult because the changes driven by technology take place rapidly. However, considering the fact that change is the only constant, marketers have to be highly creative while designing different marcom initiatives. Creativity, along with diligence and honesty, shall enable them in understanding the contemporary B2B customer profile in a better way.
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