B2B Customer Acquisition: The role of human engagement in a world of digital-first enterprise marketing
Digital interaction is certainly suitable for the majority of interactions. A digital service that is fully automated can work well for a standard transaction.
How can companies respond to a generation of consumers who say they don’t want personal interaction?
Although 44% of millennials might say they don’t want to interact with a human, it’s important to remember this is a nuanced discussion. We might often prefer to use the self-service till at the supermarket but the moment something goes wrong, we want a person there to solve our problem right away.
Digital interaction is certainly suitable for the majority of interactions. A digital service that is fully automated can work well for a standard transaction. However, we need to be alert and ready to step in the moment there is a wrinkle in the process like someone bringing a dog to their hotel room or needing some special assistance.
There’s a tendency to build impressive websites and not consistently keep them up to date. Too often organizations do that and miss the small, subtle changes and the way customers respond to the details of a digital experience.
What are the potential downsides of digital engagement in sales and marketing?
When we look at a conversation between two people there is a lot of complexity and nuance in the simplest interaction. If two people attend a short meeting and follow-up with an email summarising the discussion, you’ll find they differ in how they recollect the same event. Is it really possible for a transaction of any complexity to take place entirely between a person and a digital process?
The other weakness of digital interactions is that they become less relevant over time. Underlying data becomes out of date, and customer expectations of online experiences change. As that happens, the quality of the digital experience degrades. We don’t see that happen in the same way in a physical environment because the people working there are understanding and seeing these small shifts and responding to them. There’s a tendency to build impressive websites and not consistently keep them up to date. Too often organizations do that and miss the small, subtle changes and the way customers respond to the details of a digital experience.
We need to remember that people are social animals, regardless of the stage someone is at in the buying journey.
What makes a successful customer experience in B2B marketing?
We need to remember that people are social animals, regardless of the stage someone is at in the buying journey. An important part of the reason the modern generation desires automation and digital experiences is they are constantly judging and worrying about being judged. This means we can provide experiences that help people feel positively about us, perhaps by providing some useful information at the right moment, and small moments of delight around that.
At the start of the pipeline even simple experiences can be valuable, such as inviting a potential customer to breakfast somewhere convenient to talk about the industry and their challenges. You might follow up with some useful information, perhaps comparing your product and competing products. It’s a way to build a relationship between marketing, sales and the customer. If you’re selling goods that are physical, we all should be aware of the power of the unboxing experience in creating consumer delight. Experiences should be built for humans, even if marketers aren’t around to curate that moment.
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