February 12, 2014 – Byline by Gavin Finn, published by Target Marketing Magazine
Today’s buyers, marketers and salespeople use multiple devices in the course of buying and selling—iPads, laptops and smartphones, to name a few. Shouldn’t it be the goal of all B-to-B marketers to create engaging interactive content that can be created once and reused across as many devices as your budget allows? With today’s purchaser completing 57 percent of the buying cycle before engaging with sales, it has become the responsibility of marketers to adopt the technologies needed to implement the process of one-to-one experiences everywhere, without paying to reformat it for each use.
This article will focus on the top three elements needed to create engaging marketing content that will effectively capture your customers’ attention at every stage of the buying cycle on any device they choose.
1. Reusability: Cross-Device Distribution Platforms
It has become very clear that the multiscreen world is upon us, changing the face of marketing rapidly, and B-to-B marketers must adapt to this evolution. They must immediately begin to create engaging content once that can be reused on all of the devices that buyers are now accustomed to using in their everyday lives (tablets, smartphones, laptops and other interactive touchscreen technologies.)
One option is to make sure marketers are leveraging universal “application delivery networks” that allow them to easily disseminate and repurpose their interactive content, without paying redevelopment fees per device, regardless of operating systems. Doing so will allow marketers to put consistent experiences into the hands of prospects, customers, sales teams, channel partners and marketing personnel, without paying to redevelop or reformat the applications. As a result, they will cut needless expenditure and increase the reach of each marketing effort.
2. No User Restrictions: Unlimited User Access
You never know where a prospect will first encounter your products and services. Therefore, you want to make sure your content gets the broadest reach possible. That’s why giving users unlimited access to your interactive marketing content with no restrictions is so powerful. Making content universally accessible (cross-device) will not only empower all of your prospects, but it also provides consistent messaging and accessibility to internal teams and channel partners who otherwise might not be able to obtain all of your organization’s content at the moment it’s needed.
While getting your content and messaging out there is key, you may need to partially restrict access when creating competitive sales enablement tools. Clearly, you do not want to make confidential information available to all audiences. Be sure to choose a marketing tool that will allow you to selectively protect this content by making it only available to authenticated users, while allowing unrestricted access to public domain information.
3. Personalization: Intimate Non-Linear Interactive Experiences
Tablets and mobile devices are quickly becoming prominent sales-enablement tools, due to the intimate one-to-one touch-driven experiences they provide. However, these devices are actually most effective when the user—rather than the sales representative—drives them. Sales needs to utilize devices that customers can engage with and “drive” during meetings. Digitally delivering the same standard video, PowerPoint presentations and brochures to your sales team is simply not enough to captivate buyers. When prospects use these tools themselves, it is possible to capture analytics on a customer’s interests. Create a self-driven, non-linear user engagement that results in a personalized experience every time, delivering relevant transfer of knowledge to each individual in the buying cycle.
Not only does creating device-agnostic marketing applications and content engage prospects, but it also optimizes marketing expenditures and significantly increases sales effectiveness and reach. Learning by doing has long been considered one of the best ways to retain information, and new interactive marketing applications are now enabling B-to-B companies to offer compelling and memorable experiences. With interactivity proven to increase product knowledge retention by 78 percent, it’s no wonder that companies are turning to digital marketing strategies that put the customer in control.