How B2B Companies Are Navigating the 2024 Marketing Landscape



Time to Take Your Engagement Digital

According to Gavin Finn, CEO of Kaon Interactive, a leading B2B sales and marketing engagement platform, the primary challenge for European B2B companies is adapting to the heightened demand for digital customer engagement. He explains, “European companies are uniquely challenged to address their historically risk-averse approach to the pace of change.” The shift from traditional in-person interactions to digital platforms is here to stay, and it will undoubtedly shape your B2B sales strategies for the foreseeable future.

Furthermore, Finn emphasizes the importance of adapting to new ways of connecting with customers. Your brand must rethink its long-standing approach of prioritizing geographic proximity and cultural affinity. Instead, you’ll need to take advantage of international acquisition opportunities. This approach will help you maintain your foothold in existing markets while also opening the door for long-term growth.

Nevertheless, you must also navigate the challenges associated with remaining in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). While the GDPR has been in force for a few years, you will encounter new compliance headaches as you reinvent your approach to engagement. “With GDPR legislation, companies must be explicit about the ways in which they collect personal data for marketing purposes.” says The Digital Marketing Institute.

Self-Service: The Secret Sauce to Better Engagement 

Your company should prioritize investing in customer self-care and hybrid engagement platforms to overcome the challenges above effectively. “These platforms empower customers to research, explore, and investigate all aspects of the problem and solution space well before the company presents its products and solutions,” he says. That includes interactive visual experiences and digital collaboration solutions for real-time sharing of workspaces and solution demos.

The goal is to help your customers solve their business challenges in whatever venues they choose, which signifies the importance of giving your audiences options rather than dictating how, when, and where they interact with your brand. The methodology will also help you make all stakeholders feel acknowledged, as you can address multiple perspectives, pain points, and concerns.

Still, there is a caveat: You must be careful not to pigeonhole prospective and current clients into self-serve platforms. Instead, frame self-serve portals as one of many options available for connecting with you.

Additionally, ensure the self-serve portal is integrated into other channels and touchpoints. It should not feel like an afterthought but instead part of a greater, personalized journey. Offering an immersive self-serve experience will empower your clients, as they can connect with you on their terms.

Avoiding the Pitfalls of Digital Transformation

Finn warns against the common pitfalls of merely digitizing existing processes, arguing that “the core idea behind digital transformation is to transform [and that] the digital part is the facilitation of a new way of working.” He cautions business leaders against simply remaking traditional processes as digital ones. This superficial approach can lead to missed opportunities, stirring frustration and confusion among sales teams and clients.

He advises deploying digital solutions with a platform-based infrastructure, emphasizing the need for consistency, modularity, and the ability to adapt to continuous change. Foregoing the platform approach can leave you with a disjointed and unmanageable mosaic of applications that neither communicate nor share data. At the same time, a platform approach creates a more holistic experience for customers while providing your business with actionable insights.

When planning a digital transformation, focus first on the processes you hope to transform. Once you identify the processes and workflows, you can set quantifiable goals. Then — and only then — is when you should explore ways to affect change and achieve said goals through strategically digitizing interactions, workflows, and processes. “The key to cutting through the confusion is to see that digital transformation is not a single thing,” writes Harvard Business Review. “but a multi-faceted journey with differing goals depending on your industry and digital maturity.”

In other words, the transformation itself must always be the cornerstone of any digital transformation initiative. Changing or digitizing business processes for the sake of it will entail significant waste and lackluster results, neither of which will move you any closer to your long-term growth goals.

Digital Transformation — A Long-Haul Approach to Business Management 

As you embark on your digital transformation journey, it can be tempting to focus on short-term gains and tech additions that will make a “big splash.” While you should work to condense your time to value, don’t overlook the underlying goal of reinventing your marketing strategy — gaining a sustainable competitive advantage. Transform for the sake of your customers, not as a means of simply digitizing analog processes.

When the customer is at the heart of all you do, you’ll be better positioned to make wise investment strategies and push your business forward. Be flexible, be open-minded, and avoid superficial digital solutions.

The Independent’s newsrooms and editorial staff were not involved in the creation of this content.



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