Staying ahead of digital developments has never been more crucial than it is today. Shrewd operators are already taking advantage of the opportunities it represents. But if you’re looking to expand your understanding of how to more intelligently navigate the increasingly treacherous grounds of digital advertising and brand strategy and planning then look no further.
The changing digital advertising landscape has meant a huge increase in competition amongst B2B companies – and so too must, your branding adapt. No longer can you rely on differentiation based on pricing or specifications. This comes alongside the fact the legacy operators typically can’t compete with start-up pricing. So as digital transformation opens your clientele up to a range of fresh choices how you define your competitive advantage is fundamental. So what is your point of difference? Do you represent an industry expert? A beacon of innovation? Do you have an ambitious work culture? Or something different entirely? It’s these ‘analog’ assets that are going to make all the difference when confronting digitisation.
Yet as digitisation remains apace, so too has the digital advertising landscape enabled savvy consumers to make better and more informed decisions. A report by Gartner has exposed how 27% of time spent during the B2B buyer’s-journey is dedicated simply to independent research. What does this mean? that close to a third of your brand and consumer’s perceptions of it are out of your control. What should you do? Firstly, make sure so optimise what you can control – whether that’s your SEO, SEM, brand-infused messaging or otherwise. And secondly, look to foster positive relationships with industry commentators, journalists, and spokespeople – these external forces outside the relative purview of your direct control are able to build much-needed brand-equity for you provided you nurture them.
Higher B2B Customer Expectations
Another proverbial thorn in B2B companies’ backside is the paradoxical needs and wants of their largest market – Millennials and Generation Z. Both swathes are driven by convenience yet require brands that are strongly aligned with their values and moral compass. Which is to say – they want the speed of delivery and service that comes with AI-integration and automation but also the authenticity that comes with a business that has a ‘human’ feel. So walking this tightrope between automated operations and personalised offerings is something you’re going to have to constantly manage in order to appease this very important piece of the pie.
Online marketplaces appear to represent the last frontier for many B2B brands, with many yet to make their debut. However, even as a startlingly few B2B companies venture into this space, (with more to follow – think Amazon and Alibaba), it comes with its own set of challenges. As having another company, for all intents and purposes, represent your brand, you lose control over a very large slice of your customers’ experience. Thus, how to maintain and build brand-equity whilst having an online presence that likely involves a third-party online marketplace is going to be a very tricky cookie indeed.
Strategic Brand Consultant at uberbrand and all-round nice guy, Tom has been working closely with brands to overcome all kinds of strategic challenges. Always asking questions and answering tough briefs, whether it’s for clients or for opinion pieces.
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