The COVID-19 pandemic sent most businesses scrambling as health concerns led to almost instant alterations in the way they continued to operate. Those changes included everything from employees working from home to dealing with a recession that severely challenged their ability to stay afloat.
Businesses whose prime customers are other businesses (B2Bs) have experienced a unique challenge, but a study by management consulting firm McKinsey & Company found B2B companies have been the most successful in surviving the pandemic by aggressively embracing digital communication and innovation while also remaining agile.
That’s right in line with the successful integrated communications strategies we’ve been providing our B2B clients here at Franco. The McKinsey study’s findings specifically support our digital strategies.
McKinsey’s “B2B-Decision Maker Pulse Survey” queried almost 4,000 people in the B2B sector last April, but the conclusions remain relevant since they’re now coming to fruition.
Some key takeaways include:
- Respondents were more likely to cite digital, rather than traditional channels, when asked about the best way to research suppliers.
- About 65% said their new go-to-market models were “equally or more effective” in reaching customers than their former sales models.
- Digital interactions are two times more important to customers now than they were before the pandemic.
- Almost 90% of sales have moved to a video conference/phone/web sales model, and while some skepticism remains, more than half believe this is equally or more effective than sales models used before.
- Companies that embed digital sales into their go-to market model see five times faster revenue growth compared with previous levels, 30% higher acquisition efficiency and 40-60% sales cost reductions.
According to the survey, companies following that path are not only surviving, but thriving and say they’re likely to continue embracing new digital methods after the pandemic passes.
If you’re reading this and you’re in the B2B sector, what does this mean? Here are our recommendations:
- Engage in an integrated communications strategy across all channels, including paid placements, presence in news stories, active and focused social media content (including a social media employee advocacy program and owned content created for your website and emails/newsletters.
- Promote your company’s expertise to build its reputation as a thought leader in your sector to win consideration from prospective customers and news media.
- Participate in online discussions pertinent to your business, further boosting exposure and awareness of your company name and capabilities.
- Create content such as videos, podcasts (more here on why podcasts should be part of your media strategy) and blog posts to communicate company messaging directly with potential customers and news media.
Everything we outlined above are services we’re providing to our B2B clients, making us a perfect partner to help your B2B business create the strategies and content that will capture the attention (and confidence!) of prospective customers. Reach out and let’s chat.
Ed Garsten is an integrated media consultant at Franco. Connect with him on Twitter or LinkedIn.