Top 5 Digital Marketing Trends for Device Companies
When you have a B2B device, it is often seen as a product to sell, but B2B devices are often not as simple as a consumer transaction.
B2B devices are often sold in large quantities such as a medical device deployed across a hospital system or a device distributed to a national team of service providers.
What is important to remember about this type of sales and the marketing that leads to those opportunities is that the procurement process can be complex with many players and various red tape.
Does digital marketing impact B2B devices?
The reality is that many companies that invent or sell a B2B device can come into it with little knowledge of marketing and be skeptical of its value in the sales process. Often these organizations are sales-led and rely on relationships and procurement processes to drive revenue.
But, as B2B device companies evolve they do learn the impact that digital marketing can make on their organization. At its most basic level, digital marketing can make sales people more effective. When done right, marketing can drive leads and help close deals on a consistent basis.
In this article, we are going to talk about some of the trends that are valuable for B2B device organizations.
1. Digital PR & Brand Awareness
Both marketing and sales are a process of building confidence with potential buyers. Enterprise device and B2B device sales is no different.
At each stage and for each person involved in the purchasing process, they are looking for confirmation that buying will be a good decision that will not hurt them and hopefully help them in what they do.
PR has become digital in the last 20 years and placement of qualified press is mostly online.
A B2B device company should be gaining press and mentions in industry and ancillary publications as well as awards. This exposure can both be a lead generator that obtains new awareness for your product as well as a tool during the sales process.
Digital PR for Awareness
When placed in the right digital publications and other locations, PR can get your product and brand in front of the exact right people. By its nature, PR also builds instant confidence with that audience before the sales process even starts.
The key here is to identify the right publications that most influence your various target audiences. A gap that many B2B device companies have is that they do not full understand all the audiences they could influence and the channels that those audiences frequent for news and information.
The foundational step for digital PR should be to exhaustively identify personas involved in the research and influence of the device purchase - then to audit and document the channels of influence for them.
The PR process is one of building relationships and creating value - the same as in any marketing. Identifying the right contacts in those organizations and giving rather than asking when reaching out.
Digital PR for Sales
One of the more powerful aspects of garnering PR is that it can be used in the sales process to build confidence. As we mentioned before, all buyers are driven intrinsically to avoid pain. This means that in the sales process they need to reduce their fear of making a bad decision.
The great thing about providing examples of PR is that it provides third-party validation which is something that they are craving to reduce their fear.
In combination with testimonials, case studies, and reviews, PR mentions can round out that validation to make a very strong case for purchase. Your champion in the organization will have an easier time selling internally to higher ups if they can point to trusted publications.
2. Building Communities
Digital PR is often leveraging another organizations community, but there is no reason at all that you cannot also build your own communities.
Obviously if you are able to build a community of your target audience, it will impact your leads and sales.
The gap that B2B device companies often have is that they have not thought outside the box of what a community could be.
Here are some examples:
- Your own online community - imagine a separate microsite that is about connection and education for your target audience.
- A social media micro-community - leverage platforms like LinkedIn to create your own groups and foster connection and engagement.
- A list-serve - list-serves that are group email channels still exist and even though it is an older concept it can still be useful.
- A mailing list - building your own email list can and should be thought of a community even if the communication is often one way. There are interesting tactics to make email lists bi-directional too and create engagement.
- A conference - creating an event-centric community is one of the strongest marketing tactics out there. It takes work, but can build raving fans.
While those are just some key examples, a community can be established in many different ways both digital and physical.
The goal is to find your niche audience and build a place of value for them with the ability to engage with each other.
3. Unique Multi-Media Product Showcases
We are talking about B2B devices - a physical product that people will interact with in their jobs.
But it might not always be possible for someone to pick-up and try the device in the early stages of the sales cycle though.
The top B2B device companies will provide many ways for their customers to interact with their product whether it is in the marketing or sales segment of their funnel.
Digital Product Showcases for Marketing
Before a prospect is in the sales cycle, they often will not have access to a device. This means that it is imperative to provide MULTIPLE ways that they can engage with the product.
These showcases should also be segmented so that the various personas in the process can engage with the product. Leadership, end-users, and IT are often three personas that will look at a B2B or medical device each in different ways.
Digital Product Showcases for Sales
In the B2B sales process, prospects will often have access to devices that they are looking to purchase.
That being said, there are always invisible influencers in the sales process that you may not have access to and they may not have access to a sample device.
This is why digital product showcases can be powerful in sales by ensuring that event those under the radar personas can have an experience that replicates actually having a device in hand.
Types of Digital Product Media
One of the most important parts of ensuring that prospects feel like they have a device and can learn everything about it is having multiple types of media for people to consume.
Here are a couple of key examples:
- Demo Video - get someone on your team to actually walk through using the device on camera and talk about it in the process.
- Animated Explainers - an animated video can let you go beyond normal video to open the device up for technical exploration or explain scenarios that are hard to replicate.
- 360 Degree Models - Being able to spin a device around on their own makes a prospect feel like they have the device in their hands.
- A VR Experience - today, the ability to have a virtual reality experience on a phone or even headset allows device companies to create an immersive experience.
4. Digital Device Sales Process
When it comes to B2B devices, the marketing and sales teams as well as process should be highly integrated. The journey for a prospect is often non-linear as well as can have many different entry points.
One way to blur that line between marketing and sales to be a more effective revenue generation machine is to infuse digital marketing tactics deeply into the sales process.
A new trend leverages tools like Saleslion, an online proposal platform to create digital documents for sales teams to use with prospects.
The power of this approach is the ability to have interactivity, engagement and media to support the close.
5. Search Optimization for B2B Device Companies
We are huge proponents of SEO as a tactic for SaaS and Device companies. Search is a key inbound channel that brings visitors to you that already have a need or pain.
Search is ubiquitous as well. Whether young or old; consumer or business, we all use search engines to find what we are looking for - every single day.
That's why device companies must have 1st page rankings for terms that correlate to their business, device and audience.