Leading industry practitioners discussed and explored industry trends, best practice strategies and what we can expect to see in the coming year at The Big Picture 2016. If you missed the event (and the live Persicope), below are the seven key takeaways from The Big Picture 2016.
1. Things are changing – faster
Google’s Fearghal O’Conner presented new research on European B2B buyers and the digital landscape. The landscape isn’t just changing: it’s changing faster. The growth of mobile devices has changed the way we work forever. This change was demonstrated with an interactive web app. Presenters asked questions and the audience responded on their smartphones, meaning the results could be viewed in real time. Giles Peddy predicted that such apps will become ubiquitous within the next few years.
2. Every moment matters
Your customer might be researching your product from their desktop PC at work, from a smartphone on the bus, or on their tablet in bed. Wherever they are, that interaction is important. As well as being responsive, your website needs to serve the content they need. 65% of European buyers report being frustrated by inconsistent brand experiences across their devices. With the lines between work and personal life becoming increasingly blurred as companies encourage BYOD (bring your own device), your customers will be viewing your content at any time of day, any day of the week. This means it’s important to leave paid advertising running over the weekend.
3. Switch on to video
Fearghal O’Conner noted that YouTube is now the second largest search engine in the world – and most of the traffic to the site comes from mobile. However, many consumers are unsatisfied with the video content provided by businesses. This represents both a challenge, and a unique opportunity. B2B marketers need to create hero content, but focus on the hygiene content – this is what really provides the relevant content buyers are looking for.
4. Be more human
There’s a good chance you call the people who visit your website “users”. Purestone’s Simon Billington argues that we should all call them what they are: “humans.” Lessons from psychology can help us understand our fellow humans better. Freud’s writings on the id, ego and superego, might be old news but adding a psychological component to your buyer persona is still a great idea. Even noting whether a user group is left or right brained, for example adds depth to your understanding and can aid with segmentation.
5. B2B Buyers are digital natives – and have more influence than ever
The new Google research, presented by Fearghal O’Conner, also demonstrated that B2B buyers are getting younger, with 40% of European buyers now aged between 18-34. These always-on digital natives expect a lot from their online experience, with mobile-responsive websites and video content expected as the bare minimum. These buyers may be young, but they’re still influential, with 50% having “heavy influence” or the final say in the B2B buying decision – even over the C-suite.
6. Your Website is like your Tinder Profile
The first time buyers visit your website, they’ll will only spend a few moments looking at it. If a user can’t find the information they’re looking for – whether that’s opening hours, location, or prices – there’s a 75% chance they won’t return. Ever. Like your Tinder profile, your website needs to show your best side, and entice users to look in more detail. It’s even better if you can add surprise and delight with innovative design or content, and better still if an adaptive CMS can serve up targeted content that your visitor really wants.
7. Nurture your customers
Ever seen a campaign limited to “new customers only”? That’s a way to guarantee churn, noted Simon Billington. With 66% of customers reviewing their B2B providers annually, nurturing your existing customers is essential.