Digital transformation efforts are often isolated in IT departments, but marketers should play a critical role in developing their businesses to digital maturity.
Online sales rose sharply in 2020, and as digital channels become denser, brands need to differentiate themselves as they spin their customer journeys.
Personal relationships are broken and personal events are canceled for the near future. Hence, B2B marketers need to find new ways to relate and connect with their customers. Hyper-personalized B2C engagement tactics are penetrating the B2B arena as social media and email marketing are no longer enough to deliver compelling user experiences.
Buyers now expect a highly interactive, human exchange – whether personal or digital – across every point of contact.
The methods of engagement can look different across industries. For example, companies that rely on intensive paper channels, such as banks and law firms, should look for platforms that enable document collaboration and secure transfers. However, regardless of your industry, one thing is clear: the companies that offer the most complete and creative experiences will build brand awareness and gain long-term loyalty.
The importance of a marketing mindset
B2B companies often lack confidence in their brand image, which is why a marketing mindset is crucial for digital transformation. Marketers have a deep understanding of their customers’ motivations and behaviors, but too often the wrong tools and processes prevent companies from leveraging those insights. The mismatch is particularly worrying as traditional customer loyalty methods have become largely virtual.
Without intervention, the lack of personal interaction could lead to a loss of loyalty and decreased brand awareness. By capturing the essence of a personal customer experience on a branded virtual platform, customers can keep engaging with your company. Seamless, high quality tools also create awareness by creating an area to display your name, logo, and other components of your brand. If you activate more digital channels and get in touch with new and potential customers, you expand your reach – and with it your awareness.
A customer-centric approach helps companies retain their customers and attract new customers. Today’s customer-centric experience requires the application of a strong digital strategy, with the appropriate tools.
In many companies, however, digital tools are reviewed and selected by the IT department without input from marketers. If these teams don’t work together, customers can have a broken digital experience.
Brand awareness through seamless customer experiences
A uniform marketing and IT strategy is crucial for a customer-oriented digital transformation. If you don’t focus on customer satisfaction as you build larger digital experiences, it will affect your bottom line and customers will turn to more memorable brands.
All businesses, from banks to manufacturers, can take steps to build loyalty in every customer interaction by making holistic changes both internally and externally:
- Focus on education. Customers want to build relationships. As a result, the buyer journey may be different and take longer. Education and thought-provoking about your brand and the benefits of using your platform is an opportunity for customers to immerse themselves in your business.
For many users, a smooth digital experience could mean the end of physical trips to retail stores as they prefer the convenience of digital out-of-pocket purchases. If you work to build trust and understanding of your company and your processes, prospects are more likely to choose you when they’re ready to convert.
- Offer an enhanced digital experience. By bringing all of your company’s functions together on a single platform, customers get a unified, seamless experience on all devices. Customers don’t want to switch between apps to get involved, and you can differentiate your business by creating channels that streamline customer communication.
Your digital transformation strategy should set up a virtual office of your company that offers the same features as a physical office, but is available anytime, anywhere.
- Integrate internal and external communication platforms. Most companies update and improve websites regularly and more recently have created new ways to connect with customers. However, websites often do not allow interactivity between users and employees. Corporate representatives therefore use third-party systems to communicate with team members and customers, which reduces efficiency and security.
Work with your IT team to identify a platform that offers both a rich business experience for customers and a central communication hub that gives employees tools to do their jobs better.
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In a time of rapid digital transformation, your customers and your competition are rapidly expanding their digital offering together with your company. Internal misalignments leave you a few steps behind. Your marketing and IT teams need to think like your target audience and work together to implement tools that suit users’ unique needs.
Responding to these needs requires a one-stop user experience that brings the benefits of personal engagement into the back pockets of potential customers.
More resources on digital transformation in marketing
Digital Transformation: How To Keep Your Progress On Track
Digital Transformation During COVID-19: How Can Marketers Show The Way?
The CMO’s Guide to Marketing Transformation