Mobile technology is becoming the primary business platform; with 40 percent of U.S. executives saying their mobile device is the primary business platform (Forrester, cited in AdAge.com). Per Forrester Research, mobile services sold to businesses are expected to rise from $11.4 billion this year to $32.4 billion in 2018, illustrating a major source of growth that needs to be addressed by the industry. B2B marketers are increasingly dependent on evolving mobile-engagement services, such as analytics, experience, and back-end upgrades. Mobile-device management and mobile-app development are also in greater demand.
As more people rely on their mobile devices to be ever available and respond to all work issues, Kate Maddox reports in AdAge.com that B2B marketers need to shift their strategies to reach mobile workers by:
- Forming new partnerships
- Changing marketing messaging
- Restructuring their organizations
Strange bedfellows like Apple and IBM are developing mobile business apps together. Business software provider SAP is marketing directly to the consumer, because the consumer is a power-user business professional. Mobile is no longer considered a silo, but an integral building block of B2B strategy and services.
After improving mobile services, B2B marketers can turn their attention toward automation. Madison Logic advocates marketing automation, demonstrating intent in B2B interactions and providing the tools for marketers, agencies and publishers. So, we note Darian Shirazi’s suggestions in Forbes.com that marketers use automation of Big Data to measure success “based on the dollar value of pipeline they’re able to generate.” Rather than lead volume, dollar value refers to qualified leads that close, requiring coordination between marketing efforts and sales team to measure results.
“Ten years ago, lead volume was the only reasonable metric available to measure marketing success. Today, marketers have access to new data sources, superior analytics and better integrations that allow them to generate high value pipelines,” says Shirazi, arguing that the value in big data is in assessing the relationships between the data, not just the amount and demographics. Internal and external data needs to be qualified, combined and analyzed for more effective B2B marketing results.
B2B Marketers need to invest in the technology and allocate their marketing resources to better automation and the relationship among the data collected as well as the shift to mobile. The AdAge article states some of the obstacles for B2B adoption of mobile marketing are the perceived “lack of ROI, lack of expertise and lack of bandwidth.” (which can also be applied to automation).
One way to combat these roadblocks is for companies to use their existing assets by having in-house marketers create content that is aligned with the business goals of the company, suggests Allison Enright in Internet Retailer. Citing a Forrester Research brief, Enright states when 25 percent or more of the marketing staff is involved in content creation, “consistent, optimized” messaging achieves “specific business goals, such as customer acquisition, retention and revenue growth.” Marketers should recruit subject matter experts within their company for technical expertise and insightful content creation, as well as involve customers in generating content and determining which content is valuable.
Mobile devices are no longer the bailiwick of B2C marketers. B2B marketers have to find ways to reach their decision makers by offering more mobile services, better qualifying leads and using existing marketing resources.