What can B2B e-commerce marketing learn from start-ups?




Author: SHUTTERSTOCK
Economy


The last two years are not alone in showing how important it is for companies to be flexible and react quickly to changing circumstances. Companies that have understood this have learned from the most effective activity of recent times – software start-ups. It is the principles of cooperation, decision-making and rapid implementation of solutions, which adopted the name of Agile – agile planning, developed there, which can be a model for other industries, including e-commerce.

In an ever-changing market, the need to maximize the use of available company resources for faster response. The times of global crisis we are living through have shown B2B marketers that effectively communicating with customers and fulfilling their orders can pose entirely new challenges. It’s not just a more efficient and faster response to customer needs – information on order statuses, shipping notifications, quantities of goods available, etc. In times of crisis, you also need to pay particular attention to maintaining customer trust through consistent communication and engagement. of the different departments of the company.

What is Agility?

The software industry has developed excellent methods of collaboration that can also provide an advantage to other companies – Agile Project Management Methodology. Its main principles are visibility – each department has the opportunity to learn about the work and documentation, experimentation – using various ideas, even non-standard ones, to achieve the goal, iteration – that is, i.e. working within constantly defined and short deadlines and evaluating the results, Collaboration – every day, team and department meetings of 10-15 minutes, gives feedback on progress and the opportunity to exchange experiences, Efficiency – thanks to the focus on productivity, quick identification of priorities, unnecessary work is minimized.

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So how do you translate what in the programming industry has caused a huge increase in productivity over the last decade to develop B2B e-commerce communication? There are a few simple rules:

Focus your activities

In every crisis, different departments may seek to resolve a problem quickly, but this may conflict with the actions of others. Thus, the efforts and ideas of marketers must go hand in hand with the prioritization of tasks and solutions in order to concentrate the company’s activity and its resources as much as possible. With the right experimentation approach, you can quickly determine which ideas can be easily tested and only then draw conclusions and take action.

Internal communication

Through research from CoSchedule, we know that marketers who document their goals, as well as the processes for implementing them, are five times more likely to be successful. Therefore, the visibility of the planning for other departments – outside of marketing – can significantly increase the likelihood of success of the activities undertaken.

This simply translates into another principle – collaboration, which is promoted by the Agile methodology. Customer service, sales, and IT representatives can participate in cross-functional teams that meet for short daily meetings. Sharing information with each other, knowing their capabilities and limitations, and discussing ideas together will give marketers the tools to react to changing circumstances.

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Set priorities

The Agile methodology proposes to define and measure the success of each idea in the shortest possible time, thanks to iteration. With this in mind, the marketing team can quickly prioritize the most effective channels and types of information to communicate with B2B customers. This not only gives you the freedom to focus on creating content quickly, but also helps you check if any messages are lost in the noise. This process is a key benefit of the Agile methodology, which helps achieve the goal and dramatically increase efficiency by focusing effort.

Probe

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Communication and business integration

A communication strategy and its basis on the Agile methodology is not enough. Many companies often struggle to update content posted on commercial websites, which often results in unnecessary duplication of channels, gaps in messaging on different pages, which will negatively affect the reach of your key messages. Against this is the latest trend in B2B marketing – the integration of modern content management with traditional business functions. By introducing combined features such as LIferay’s content publishing, audience measurement and targeting to the digital commerce platform, marketers are able to increase the discoverability of key content in the context of the buying journey. Managing separate marketing pages and shopping portals is no longer enough. As of 2020, B2B buyers are rapidly shifting to online shopping, and the habits and expectations that developed during this time will continue after the current crisis is over. As the situation normalizes, B2B sellers and digital marketers should transfer the proven results of their communication strategy to the long-term integration of communication with their customers. By leveraging these new behaviors within the digital business channel, they will be prepared for any future crisis.

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