Transform the Buyer’s Journey with Hybrid B2B Marketing

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What was once developed as a response to pandemic-related disruption is now considered the most prevalent go-to-market plan for B2B companies today. It’s what we in the biz call the hybrid B2B sales model.

For B2B marketers especially, this hybrid B2B approach has driven so much success, it’s become standard practice, a “new normal” even, to blend both traditional and digital marketing approaches into one seamless strategy.

Learn more about this innovative approach to B2B sales and how it can help boost B2B marketing efforts for your organization. Plus, discover simple ways to implement hybrid marketing practices into your existing strategy.

What is Hybrid Marketing, Technically Speaking?

Hybrid marketing is the marriage of traditional and digital marketing efforts—think print ads, flyers, and trade shows complemented by emails, blogs, video conferences, and social media.

In a B2B context, hybrid marketing involves the crafting of a buyer’s journey that intertwines both online and offline interactions to create engaging experiences for prospects.

Why is Hybrid Marketing Important?

Hybrid marketing’s popularity rose during the pandemic, as marketers and salespeople were forced to reach, engage, and convert buyers via digital means over face-to-face interaction. And this omnichannel approach remains popular today. So much so, that according to McKinsey, hybrid marketing is set to be the dominant sales strategy by 2024. 

But this isn’t a mere hangover from the pandemic. Today, both customers and businesses alike genuinely prefer to operate in a hybrid environment, thanks to the benefits it affords to both parties.

Hybrid marketing is quickly becoming the dominant sales strategy preferred by B2B buyers.
Hybrid marketing is quickly becoming the dominant sales strategy preferred by B2B buyers.

Benefits of Hybrid B2B Marketing

Hybrid marketing is beneficial for B2B marketers and their customers. Here’s how:

1.      Create More Ways to Engage

Merging both in-person and virtual touchpoints, hybrid marketing offers prospects more ways to interact with your business. As a result, they can carve a personalized purchase path that best suits their needs. Prospects can attend a live webinar, download a white paper, answer an online survey, and visit you in person—all on the same journey. 

2.    Streamline and Cut Costs

By giving prospects an option to communicate digitally, sales and marketing teams bypass many of the top-funnel interactions that would traditionally take place in person, like sales meetings and product demonstrations. Because of this, organizations are able to speed lead qualification and the overall sales cycle, plus cut costs on resources. For example, customer service teams can leverage chatbots to automate some of their day-to-day activity, helping customers get the answers they need more quickly.

3.     Accommodate All Buyer Preferences

Although the majority of B2B buyers prefer self-guided purchase paths, some still value tradition and the reassurance offered from the physical handshake of a prospective supplier. In this way, hybrid marketing caters to everyone’s preferences.

4.     Track and Streamline Journeys

Hybrid marketing enables offline experiences to be resumed digitally, and vice versa, allowing prospects to hop in and out of the buying journey with ease. This is beneficial for marketers too, as all activities can be easily tracked, including prospects’ offline interactions, which B2B teams support with digital follow-up. For instance, if your sales team takes an inbound call from a prospective customer, a rep can then sign that person up to receive your email newsletter, which helps keep them on the purchase path long after hanging up the phone.

Thanks to hybrid, prospects can personalize and control the pace of their own buyer’s journey. This way, the buyer decides when they’re ready to unpack new marketing content and continue moving through the sales funnel. This is an essential experience to provide, given almost half of buyers spend time conducting self-guided research before reaching out to a sales rep.

The digital touchpoints within hybrid strategies can be scaled up or down to match your organization’s needs. Social media platforms, email marketing providers, webinar software, and other cloud-based tools offer flexible solutions to suit different B2B marketing goals and budgets. 

Data-Driven Hybrid Marketing Lead Generation: A Five-Point Plan

Now that you know the benefits, here’s a five-step plan to implement a hybrid marketing campaign using data to pinpoint the right prospects and deliver the right messages at the right places, at the right time.

1. Build Your Audience

As with any marketing strategy, a catch-all approach is unlikely to yield results. Instead, focus on targeting in-market prospects to quickly convert hybrid marketing efforts into sales.

Use intent signals to identify buyers who are most likely to purchase and make them your high-priority prospects. Then, superimpose that customer profile, including information regarding their key challenges, topics of interest, technology stack, and business goals, across your database to create a look-a-like audience meeting your ideal qualifications. Target those leads with mid- to bottom-funnel content, and you’ll ease them back into your pipeline.

2. Map Out Touchpoints

Next, plan out prospective marketing touchpoints to include in your hybrid campaign.

With the help of technographic data, B2B marketers can identify which digital media channels prove most relevant to target audiences. With this information, marketers can then prioritize the most fitting channels to use in their touchpoint strategy. Taking the time to conduct this research enables you to create a clear roadmap of marketing touchpoints, complemented by tailored experiences to match your audience’s content preferences. 

Determine the touchpoints to prioritize in your hybrid marketing campaigns by analyzing your prospects’ online behavior.
Determine the touchpoints to prioritize in your hybrid marketing campaigns by analyzing your prospects’ online behavior.

3. Attract and Engage Competing Audiences

Technographic data can also inform you of competitor campaigns. In B2B marketing, a competitor campaign is when one company attempts to convince the customers of a competing business to switch to their product or service.

Using keyword searches, technographic data, and other filters, you can easily sniff out the prospects within your target audience who look like they might be seeking a new provider. Then craft marketing messaging that resonates with these customers’ existing pain points, highlighting how your product offers just the solution they’re looking for.

4. Utilize Cross-Channel Tracking

Cross-channel tracking, such as IP address matching and cross-device behavior tracking, enables you to send hyper-targeted display ads designed to activate prospects. It’s a must-have in hybrid marketing, where prospects jump in and out of the buyer journey at will.

For best results, use in conjunction with engagement tracking, which helps you identify in-market leads based on their previous interactions with your brand. This includes email responses or phone conversations within specific time ranges.

Then, you can craft personalized outreach messages or launch retargeting ads to win back the interest of cold leads. Gauging your prospects’ level of engagement is also useful when prioritizing prospects. The more engaged they are, the higher they should rank on your lead scoring system.

5. Plan to Close Digitally

Today, B2B buyers are more likely to commit to purchases digitally.

Capitalize on this practice by delivering conversion-focused digital experiences that maximize the ROI of your hybrid marketing efforts.

For example, organize an invite-only product demo webinar exclusively for your most valuable prospects. Upon registering for your webinar, send them industry reports, white papers, or offers to further encourage conversion.

And despite this preference for digital, don’t forget to facilitate offline conversion with a dedicated SDR team to close deals over the phone.

Post-Pandemic B2B: What Else has Changed? 

Without a doubt, the pandemic has accelerated an overall preference for hybrid marketing among B2B companies and prospective buyers alike, which is why modern B2B marketers must view this hybrid model as standard procedure, enabling effortless transition between digital and traditional touchpoints.

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To learn more about the state of B2B marketing in our post-pandemic world, download our DemandScience special report, “Thriving in Today’s Post-Pandemic B2B Landscape”.

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