Myth Busters Part 6: Digital Marketing is (Not) Necessary

Traditionally, in both the B2B and B2C worlds, digital marketing is viewed only through one lens: ads. This suggests to those who have little interest or use for ads that digital marketing has no – or very little – space in their world. In reality, digital marketing (and in B2B especially) is so much more than just digital ads: it is actually critical to establishing a solid foundation for acquisition and retention efforts.

So, what does digital marketing in B2B truly encompass, and what qualifies as a solid digital marketing foundation for a B2B eCommerce website?

1. An Audit

Auditing your current data flow and getting a handle on all the levers that currently drive or accelerate a customer journey, is necessary. This allows you to identify strengths, weaknesses, and what’s missing completely. Where is the friction on the path to the golden order? What digital touchpoints assist in closing a sale? Knowing the gaps and facilitators first will drive further digital marketing activity.

2. Strategy

What this doesn’t involve is searching “B2B digital marketing strategy” where you’ll find article after article about generating leads via Google ads. This does involve leveraging your overarching business strategy for the year and assessing how your eCommerce website fits into and supports that. Then, once you’ve established goals for your eCommerce channel that specifically support your business, you’ll be able to break these down into ideas and steps that allow you to identify action items and make progress on each.

3. Analytics

Establishing a way to track if you’re making progress on your goals is paramount. Your level of detail and customization of your analytics will be largely dependent on your specific goals; however, we have found that in B2B, more custom analytics solutions are often required to better understand a customer base and its needs, specifically online.

4. Website Enhancements

Once you’ve gathered more specific data on your website and are able to apply them to your goals, and have a strategy, then you’re able to make improvements to your website. This may involve functional improvements, better marketing, or improved UX. Customizing your improvements based on detailed data from your current customers will improve your ROAS/ROI (Return on Ad Spend/Return on Investment) when and if you decide to run ads or invest in marketing improvements (such as SEO).

5. Ads and/or Investment

At this point it starts to make sense to invest in ads or other aspects of marketing, be it SEO, or traditional marketing and advertising, etc.

Often in B2B, one of the largest hurdles of implementing eCommerce surrounds the mindset of the organization. This change requires careful positioning of an eCommerce website, not as a replacement to the traditional sales structure, but as an avenue of self-service support to better and more immediately serve customers and as a way to free up a sales team’s time. This allows them to focus on acquisition (gaining new or larger business) as well as retention (increasing average lifetime value of a customer) all while giving credit to what value the website provides. These improvements can be difficult to prove if the proper digital marketing foundation is not in place.

Digital marketing’s place in B2B is strategic digital marketing, backed by strong, custom data analytics. Myth = busted. And that’s digital commerce success.

Back to Blog

Related Articles

Myth Busters Part 4: Manufacturers Can (NOT) Wait for eCom Expansion

B2B Manufacturers must accelerate ecommerce in their organizations – now. The B2B market needs...

Myth Busters: “Self-Service” – Cost-Savings or New Buying Behaviors?

“Self-service” used to be a catch phrase for B2B ecommerce operational cost savings. But with 71%...

B2B Commerce Challenges - Product Data Management

Product Data Unification and Standardization - A critical process for successful B2B Commerce...