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Let’s take a trip back to the year 2017. That year, a report from eMarketer showed that only 21% of marketers had adopted digital transformation programs for their marketing. Despite such a low number, many marketers believed that new technology in the digital age could lead to bold, creative ideas.
In 2019, an effort to shift to digital transformation has affected several b2b businesses. In fact, some companies have seen five times more growth in revenue, as a result of digital transformation efforts. Here is how we can expect digital transformation to affect b2b marketing in the year ahead.
Digital has gone through key changes over the years
B2B marketers has given the term “digital” several definitions in the past. With so many different ways to interpret its meaning, it's difficult to tell whether or not a company has actually adopted a digital strategy. A lack of understanding for digital—and by association, digital marketing—is naturally discouraging for marketing leaders. Not to mention, adopting digital transformation best practices can be overwhelming.
According to the 2017 Global Digital IQ Survey, there were a few different definitions that businesses were using to describe digital at the time:
- 32% defined “digital” as all technology and innovation activities
- 29% believed “digital” is the same as information technology
- 14% believed “digital” refers to all customer technology activities
Now, we’re at a point where “digital” is a far more common term for marketers, and digital transformation in particular is no longer just a buzz word. As b2b marketing strategies shift closer to building strong buyer relationships and improving the overall buying experience, the digital age has become a necessity for maintaining an omni-channel presence.
What does it take to be successful at b2b digital transformation?
There was once a time where having access to the latest technology seemed like enough; but that’s not going to cut it for b2b marketers anymore. Yes, keeping up-to-date on tech is always helpful, but it’s now more about how you integrate it with customer needs.
Forbes mentions an instance where one company streamlined its customer data through a single access point, as opposed to multiple channels. As a result, they were able to easily track data analytics to better understand where customers were in their buyer journey; and they were able to grow their profits by 23%. By making it easier to locate digital data and helping customers find key information without jumping between multiple channels, companies are allowing for far more consistent buying journeys.
The key to b2b digital transformation isn’t speed; it’s about culture
It would be quite convenient if b2b marketing companies could swiftly adopt digital transformation strategies and instantly delight customers; but speed has never been the name of the game for b2b. The sales cycle for b2b marketing has notoriously been called a long and arduous process. This is where the key ingredient to digital transformation in 2019 and beyond comes in—company culture.
In order for digital transformation to be a success in your b2b company, all your team members must be prepared to adapt. Aside from a potential impact on ROI, digital transformation ensures that your company is:
- Up-to-date on the latest advancements in the industry
- Providing an easier method for customers to find relevant information about your company online
- Managing and tracking key analytics, such as webpage visits and conversion rates
- Integrating with social media to promote your brand across several channels
Digital transformation will differ between companies, and it’s a process that takes time to fully develop. Luckily, the b2b marketing industry has already come a long way from previous years. If your company is still struggling with adopting a digital transformation strategy, thinkdm2 can help. We’re a b2b digital marketing and branding agency from New Jersey, dedicated to providing our clients with key startegies and insights. Check out our blog for more information!