Buyers and Sellers are now online.
Covid19 has impacted us all wherever you live in the world.
Where as recessions in the past impacted certain countries or verticals, Covid_19 impacts every country, every vertical. One day I had a Zoom call with India, the US and the UK and everybody was impacted the same way.
So what happened?
We are all at home, we are all online and we are all used to buying online.
B2C is now B2B
All of us are using to Zoom or Teams to make calls, in fact there are 300 million daily participants on Zoom. That is a 4 fold increase on last year. Let's not forget Team, there are 200 million using teams. There are 500 million online meetings every day!
Zoom is now the 6th most downloaded app.
Life has moved online .... we work from home, study from home, we shop from home, we go to church from home, we go to scouts from home, we go to the gym at home. In fact, being online is part of all of our lives. This isn't just a few, it's everybody.
My mother (82) runs her wine group through Zoom. They even had a member, who drives around dropping a wine bottle off on each members doorstep. So they can drink the same wine and talk about, all at the same time.... online.
How is Social Media Making an Impact?
Simon Kemp in his research says that there are 4.57 Billion people in the world on the internet, that is up 7% on last year. There are 3.81 Billion people, active, on social media. That is up 300 million on last year.
So while "Sharon" on facebook left Facebook, 300 million people joined.
Covid19 has seen a 50% increase in social media usage.
In fact the world has changed with social media, from the way ideas are propagated to the way we do business.
So What? - The Winners are on Social
This Business to Consumer (B2C) world gets pulled into Business to Business (B2B) world. In other words our B2C behaviours, become normal in B2B. How? Because we bring our everyday lives into the world of work.
BMW for example, even before Covid19 was selling through social. In November last year, they got 28 pieces of inbound (people making an enquiry to buy cars) through LinkedIn. I'm not talking about their website, I'm talking about people making enquiries through social.
BMW ere able to convert 14 of these into sales. Let's assume a BMW is $50,000, that's 14 x $50,000 = $700,000
That's an additional $700K that they signed from social media. This was for zero cost of Marketing.
Ironically, their competitor, Jaguar Land Rover announced in the same month, November 2019 that they were reducing production as they were not selling enough cars.
This is clear evidence that business has moved to social and the winners who are there .... are winners. And the losers who are not there ... are losers.
What does this mean for marketers?
This means that B2B buyers are very comfortable going online and searching for good and services in the way we do in our B2C, everyday life.
That means that if you and your sales team are not active on social, you are not visible to the modern buyer and you are leaving money on the table. It could also be worse than that, you are falling behind your competition and you are no longer relevant to the modern consumer.
Buyer Behaviour Covid19 Style
This online world has enable us as consumers and buyers to even more comfortable with online buying. So while the BMW buyers above were OK last November to make a considered purchase using the internet and social media. It means that there is an inherent behaviour in us to support this.
What is this change in buyer behaviour?
If I say to you that the iPhone is the best phone on the market, what would you do? Of course you will make your own enquiries, you will search on the internet, you will read content, you will ask your friends on social. We are all now, Ok with this, it's natural.
The Impact this makes on marketing today.
Why You Old School Marketing Drives Business for Your Competition
This means if you advertise at me, send me an email or cold call you. I will look you up. I will look up who is making the approach (the salesperson) and I will jump to a conclusion about that person based on their passive and active online behaviour.
I will also do all the activities I described above.
If you advertise, cold call me or email me I will go online, I will search and find your competitors. I will compare you with them.
If you are not active online, your sales people look like spammers, or you are invisible online, what conclusion will I jump to?
That you don't exist as a business.
All Your Advertising, Email Marketing and Cold Calling is Driving Business to Your Competitors
Let me make a guess that if you are investing in advertising, cold calling or email marketing you are not investing in social ...... I would make a guess that all this money on advertising, cold calling and email marketing is driving people to buy from your competitors.
You are Marketing and Selling in an Analogue Form But Your Buyers are Digital
Can you see the mismatch?
So what as a marketer and a sales leader are you going to do about it?
To quote my good friend Larry Levine
"has the window of relevancy closed with many of your customers and prospects?"
You can find me on social here
According to a McKinsey study, 90% of B2B sellers have already transitioned to a virtual sales model and are working remotely with customers. However, the response to the new sales model has not entirely been positive. Only 54% of decision-makers in the study cited the transition as being equally effective or more effective at reaching and serving customers than before. While the significance of adopting a digital sales model in the present situation might seem undeniable, companies need to be thoughtful in how they implement such a model. Winning in this new environment depends on the ability of a company to enable its sales teams to successfully engage with prospects remotely, and to carry over the human touch to the world of digital interactions.