We start out our news segment with an interesting development from Adobe, which is getting more involved with content by creating an AI that can detect photoshopped images. It’s all in an effort to prevent “deepfakes” and other types of fake news that have become so prevalent, especially on social media. Who would know better how to make this kind of AI than the creators of Photoshop?
In M&A news, Automattic, the company that owns WordPress, has acquired Tumblr from Verizon. That makes sense – Tumblr was almost immediately proven a poor fit for Verizon – but the big question is what Automattic will do with it. As marketers we hope Tumblr becomes a friendly platform for developing a brand, but for now any future developments are unknown.
Also, Instagram has changed Boomerang to include a number of different modes for its GIF creations that should make it easier for people to use Boomerang for jokes, memes, and even tutorials. Take a look at what’s they’ve done.
But now onto our main discussion! We’re talking about an important new report that just came out from Forrester (and commissioned by Adobe) called B2B and B2C Companies Face Similar Hurdles With Complex Buyer Journeys. This is big news for us: We know – and you’ve probably experienced it too – that some content solutions, especially on social media, get pushback because “That’s more of a B2C thing.” Reports like these help show that content channels can be important for both B2B and B2C efforts! So let’s dive in and take a look at the most interesting findings!
Tracking Buyer Journeys is Hard
According to the report, around 52% of companies agree that there are similarities between the way their business buyers and their consumers behave. However, many companies are facing a serious customer data challenge: They simply aren’t tracking customers across the buyer journey. The big issue here is that tracking customers through a single channel is very easy, but customers don’t make journeys through a single channel anymore. Today’s buyers bounce from search engines to social media to product info pages to blog posts, etc., and back again as they do research and make up their minds. Tracking across many different channels in a bigger challenge, and according to the report only around 6 to 7% of both B2B and B2C companies bother to track the full journey.
Cross-Channel Marketing Can Help!
The good news is that companies don’t need to stay in the dark about how their buyers are moving between channels. The majority of both B2B (59%) and B2C (70%) companies agree that cross channel marketing can help them increase sales and improve customer data collected.
So, what is cross-channel or multi-channel marketing? It’s re-inventing your marketing to engage prospects across multiple channels and devices, gathering data from every one and putting it all together to create a seamless description of how buyers are making their journey for your company. As you can image, this takes significant work to set up! But when put into practice, it quickly provides valuable data on just how your buyers are making decisions.
B2B and B2C Buyers are Behaving More Like Each Other
The report also explores how B2B and B2C buyers are acting more like each other. There’s an excellent graphic called ” The Needs And Behaviors Of Consumers And Business Buyers Are Converging” in the report that you should look at if you can. To briefly summarize, older models of the two buyers associated them with very different qualities: B2B buyers were known, rational, loyal, interdependent, etc. B2C buyers were emotional, fickle, transactional, anonymous, etc.
But now we’re seeing the two groups of buyers exchange traits and become more like each other. B2B buyers have become more anonymous and emotional. B2C buyers have become more rational and interdependent. Part of this is seen in how both groups of buyers are now using a number of different channels, both casual and professional. On their buyer journeys. This is a big reason why cross-channel marketing is becoming so important for businesses to practice.
The study also shows that these changes can cause specific challenges for B2B companies. One of the effects is that the B2B customer Journey is significantly shorter than it used to be (with fewer touchpoints before a purchase), which requires tighter marketing and easier access to purchase information. Another result is that B2B buyers are more likely to prefer anonymity and less interested in a long-term relationship, so purchase options should be available to enable those types of buyers.
Marketing Automation Can Help
This is a lot to take in, and many companies may feel like they can’t hope to properly monitor all channels at once. This is where marketing automation comes in: Use of marketing automation is expected to double in the coming year as companies seek out solutions that can collect data from multiple channels at once and turn it into usable information. That means marketing automation will be pulling data from multiple sources, like Google Analytics, social media analytics, e-commerce results, and more, collecting it all in one place for the marketing team to look at whenever they want.
Let us know your own thoughts on cross channeling marketing, and any new opportunities you’d like to explore! You can contact us any time with @21handhsake on social media! As always, if you liked this episode, please take a second and give us a review, subscribe to our channel, or share with a friend – or all of the above!