According to Forrester, “More than 55% of consumers will consider company values when making a buying decision.” This statistic was at a notable level years ago and has been steadily growing since. Although this stat mentions consumers, B2B customers are no different. Every individual and company wants partners they can trust and depend on, and that comes down to understanding that there are shared values between them.
A company might be looking to work with an ethical brand that offers low prices. Or, a company focused on quality products might be looking specifically for vendors in their own backyard. These scenarios aren’t new, but the depth to them will continue to change. In 2020 customers will be looking for details to those scenarios. For instance, rather than responding to marketing that just communicates “low price,” customers may respond more to messaging around the business practices that enabled the low prices, such as bringing components in-house, which made jobs for the local community, etc.
Thus, B2B marketers not communicating their businesses core values and their overall effect might get passed by.
Data around employee experiences, customer experiences, and brand recognition will help B2B marketers create stories and campaigns that communicate shared values in powerful ways.
THE B2B PLOT THICKENS
In 2020, the challenge for B2B marketers will be to manage the details of this communication. Without the right combination of data and communication, success will be difficult, or worse, detrimental to their business. Data will provide marketers information, but that information will have to be communicated at the right time to the right audience in the right way. If this key strategic goal isn’t met, no amount of tactical prowess can make up the difference.
Conversely, marketers might think their brands are already aligned with their audience’s values, but if they don’t have data to prove it, might find it difficult to make their case to the C-suite. For instance, B2B marketers might assume, based on sales, that their national audience values their company’s ease-to-work-with, but a different data set might reveal that local companies, a substantial segment, feel alienated from them and are not sure about what they actually do. These kinds of missed opportunities are common, but unnecessary.
The following examples show how one brand measured itself against expectations across 15 brand traits it identified as the most important.
USING DATA TO COMMUNICATE AUTHENTICITY
“In 2020, executives will attempt to give customers what they crave. The results will be mixed. Some companies will provoke ire by making surface-level commitments. Others will misjudge how to best express values. Companies that do succeed will co-create values-driven experiences with customers and employees. They’ll pay careful attention to authenticity, both in the values they choose to express and how they express them.” – Forrester
While data is important, it’s got to be the right combination of data and communication. As marketers scramble for attention, cranking out short-term strategies for immediate gains, the data they’re working with might not necessarily be reflective of the total picture. Thoughtful B2B marketers will consider the long-story and how their core values will resonate with customers as they continue to evolve. Data around employee experiences, customer experiences, and brand recognition will help B2B marketers create stories and campaigns that communicate shared values in powerful ways. Connecting on values in the 2020 B2B landscape will help create some certainty in a constantly fluctuating marketplace.
A NEW YEAR BRINGS NEW OPPORTUNITIES
At Element, our aim for 2020 is to continue to help companies strengthen the connection between their values and those of their customers. We’re acutely conscious of the importance of the right data channeled through the right messaging and channels. Our team of experts spend time with our clients, understanding their values, digging into the core of their business objectives, analyzing their markets, and delivering creative solutions that connect them to their audiences. We’ve said it before and it’s true, “there is no magic wand,” but our formula consistently brings our clients outstanding results.
As both B2B and B2C marketers, in a way, we’ve been preparing for 2020’s challenges for years. Have you? If you need a partner that can help you navigate the sea of data and create more resonant campaigns that align with your audience, contact us today.