Video: The Perfect Marriage of Sales and Marketing
With the digital transformation of B2B purchasing, the line between sales and marketing is fading and the focus is shifting from siloed sales or marketing approaches to a buyer-directed buying process.
This was one of the main themes of the 2017 CEB Sales and Marketing Summit, where sales and marketing leaders met to learn about cutting-edge data and research conducted by CEB and Gartner that points to the exciting (and sometimes unexpected) changes in purchasing trends of B2B customers. While we’re all aware that the digital transformation is changing the way our customers buy, in practice it is a big departure from how we conceptualize the different roles of marketing and sales. But as I’ve seen over the past few days, t we all must adapt to remain competitive and relevant.
Of all the great content and insights made available at the CEB Sales and Marketing Summit this year, I’m still most struck by the data Brent Adamson shared about how B2B buyers rely on digital resources not just early in the top-of-funnel, discovery stages of the buying process, but throughout the buying process and even after a purchase has been made. In his presentation, he told us that 93% of buyers use a digital channel to learn more about a product or service early on in the buying process, while 94% do the same in the middle of the process, and 83% still do later on in the process.
Perhaps even more interesting is the shift from the Serial Commercial Engine (buyers relying on digital resources early on and moving to in-person resources later) to the Parallel Commercial Engine (buyers interacting simultaneously with digital and in-person resources throughout the buying process). Where once we relied on marketing to produce digital resources to create one-on-one opportunities with buyers, now marketing and sales professionals must both constantly engage the the buyer personally as well as digitally.
This means that we have to dramatically rethink the line between digital resources and personalized communication, as well as who produces digital content in an organization. In order to keep buyers better informed and engaged in the buying process, they must be consistently provided with digital and personal resources that help them to better make purchasing decisions.
Video is ideal for this.
Not only is video the most engaging form of content available (accounting now for 90% of all web traffic according to Cisco), personalized video is the perfect marriage of sales and marketing efforts, bridging the gap between digital and in-person resources.
Imagine a buyer visits your website looking for more information about your company, product, or service. They expect white papers, pricing pages, customer testimonials, and other content usually found on a website. What they might not expect is a personalized video, provided to them by a sales representative answering their specific questions as it applies to their business needs. Is that then a digital resource or a face-to-face resource? Can the buyer even tell? If B2B buying really is shifting to the Parallel Commercial Engine, does the distinction matter or is this the logical (and perhaps inevitable) next step in the evolution of B2B buying, where the lines between marketing and sales continue to blur?
Providing digital and personalized resources continually throughout the buying process requires an agile content and personalization strategy, where both sales and marketing can quickly produce personalized resources that help buyers make decisions. Tasking members of your team to regularly provide blogs and other materials demands too much time, whereas producing the same materials with video allows for quicker turnaround times and increased engagement. To learn more about how to implement your own video content strategy to create your own Parallel Commercial Engine, download our free video content strategy ebook.
Posted on October 19, 2017