This research from Linkedin is interesting, it talks about what the modern buyer wants. But we know what the modern buyer wants, we are, after all, modern buyers.
We hate endless, corporate messages saying "buy my product because it's great", we hate the endless emails, we hate being cold called and we hate any form of automation. Unsurprisingly, the research from Linkedin reflects our own feelings.
76% of respondents said they wanted a vendor that could demonstrate deep experience and knowledge.
Now, we know, that buyers are on social media, all of the major stalwart research companies tell us that. So how as a business, if buyers hate corporate messages, endless emails, cold calling are we as a brand going to connect with these buyers?
Let's go back to the Linkedin report
"By using top-of-funnel messaging on LinkedIn to help buyers navigate change and uncertainty, marketers can demonstrate innovation and reliability – two important drivers for purchases that have been reinforced by the global pandemic. To gain attention, marketers must cut through the noise with content that resonates. Their messaging must build consensus amongst committee members with paradoxical needs. Use cases, thought leadership, and case studies are the types of content that can build the right kind of demand and dependability."
I'm sure you have read that and thought, "yes that's what we are doing right now" but is it? I showed the research to a friend below and they said, "of course, human to human connection is key", but when you look at what they posted on social media (where their buyers are) it was all corporate content. And guess what, that corporate content had little or none engagement. A direct demonstration that nobody was interested. I wouldn't say they were wasting their time, but based on the results that are visible to the outside world, she was.
So what's the answer?
Before we get started, I'm going to share two of Catherine's conclusions.
This article and it's conclusions MUST impact your digital marketing strategy and your budget priorities as it impacts B2B consumer preferences today.
These are direct quotes, from her article ....
3. Traditional B2B Marketing is Screwed
Forget product centric messages. Forget gated content on social platforms. Stop broadcasting branded messages in the hope that some of it will stick. Our pilot tells us that hardly anyone is listening anymore.
4. If you’re doing structured Employee Advocacy today, consider reviewing your scope.
Edicts to share company content without putting your people in the narrative is just another form of broadcast marketing. It is not well received on this platform. Attempting to create a single brand voice is also a mistake.
How do we connect to customers on a human basis and create revenue?
It's not by automation or artificial intelligence (AI) in fact those technologies fly in the face of what consumers say they want today.
This is Eric, he's one of the team at DLA Ignite here is a post that he put up. We have all seen posts like this, we see them everyday, but people treat social tactically. You post, because you think you have to or somebody tells you you should and walk away. Let's talk about this post.
Eric's post of his 16 year old son, Austin, on his Birthday got 18,000 views and 165 likes, which is great.
But better still, he got 6 - C-Level meetings from this post?
Let's stop and think about this for a second.
This post took 10 minutes to create and it got 6 C-Level meetings, how come?
Because, all of Eric's post are strategic. He knows exactly why he is posting it and knows how to monetise it.
You cannot get 6 C-Level meetings from 10 minutes work from cold calling, emailing or from advertising. This is the transformation that has taken place with social.
Oh and Eric won a sales from this post.
He doesn't always post "humanised" content, I'm using this as an example.
But an example of why you need to get your employees and sales team on social, just think of the $ impact to your business. Especially if you scaled this across your sales team and your employees.
The pandemic has shifted digital selling from being a “nice-to-have” to a “must-have”.
How can you get 6 C-Level meetings and 1 sales from a post on LinkedIn that took 10 minutes?
How does Eric do this? He builds relationships with prospects and customers and because they have a relationship with a human, not a brand, people are happy to engage. Eric is also able to cut through the myrmid of noise that brands keep putting out. If you are a buyer, where will you spend your time? Reading an advert that says "buy my product because it's great" or look for the insight and educational content that people like Eric is putting out?
“The best advice I can give about social selling is that it’s not about selling. It’s about creating meaningful and engaging content that will resonate with your audience. Approaching social selling with the intent of providing something of value will give much better results than simply pitching your company on social media,”
And finally ...
Late last year McKinsey and Co reported that its corporate clients experienced on average 7 years of digital transformation in the first six months of 2020 as they hustled to adjust to the global economic COVID disruption.
Another way to think of that statistic is that if you didn't start transforming your business in those months you are now 7 years behind your competitors!
Where Do We Go From Here?
Just give me, or one of the DLA Ignite team and hour of your time and we can walk you through what we are doing in the form of case studies, what we are doing for other businesses to transform them to digital. No hard sell, just practical examples.
DLA Ignite is a global business and we understand that a "cookie cutter" approach to digital does not work, we have to take into account local language and cultural sensitivities. Which is why we have built teams across the globe, that can support you by country and industry sector.
In our 7th year surveying B2B technology decision-makers, our data conveyed that a ‘paradox of needs’ is very much at play in business technology purchasing. When asked which factors were most important when selecting a new vendor, value was the most pressing theme across a healthy mix of product and support factors. The data only shifts slightly when looking at various segments (e.g., SMB v. Mid-Market v. ITDM v. non-ITDM). However, the most important insight is the very illustration that inside of most customer journeys and decisions, there are competing priorities. And it is marketing’s role to help build awareness, educate, and synchronize these priorities, which can most efficiently be accomplished through: