The evolving B2B customer journey: Thursday’s Daily Brief5 min read

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Good morning, Marketers, and B2B is becoming more experiential

I was talking to a Chief Customer Officer at a marketing/sales tech company and we were reflecting on how much the new B2B selling environment has learned from B2C. It’s no longer about selling a product and ticking the box -— it’s no longer purely transactional. It’s about building a relationship, supporting CLV and knowing that individuals will remain your customer even as they move to different jobs. 

It’s the kind of relationship the best consumer brands are building. And I think it goes along with the new emphasis in ABM of (virtually) holding the account’s hand as it progresses through the buying journey, whether or not we still think of that journey as a funnel. RollWorks (see below) is offering tools to help with that, but they’re not the only platform doing so. Digital engagement, influencer marketing, personalized recommendations: Soon we won’t be able to tell B2B and B2C apart.

Kim Davis

Editorial Director

In the third of a three-part series on personalization solutions by Real Story Group, learn how to deploy universal (but customizable) scenarios to evaluate personalization products. Depending on the maturity of your digital strategy, you can choose scenarios related to testing and optimization, at the simplest level, up to personalized e-commerce recommendations.

“Scenarios offer the most useful initial approach for contrasting key strengths and weaknesses of different personalization platforms,” writes Apoorv Durga of RSG. “First, scenarios can help you clarify architectures…Where should personalization reside in your omnichannel martech stack? Business use cases should weigh heavily here. For example, if you’re really keen on just website personalization..and nothing else, then channel-based personalization embedded into your WCM may not be a bad option to consider. But if you wanted to support all…scenarios, you probably need a dedicated Personalization Engine.

Once you know where the product should reside, you can move on to selecting the right product for your needs.

Read more here. 

Digital out-of-home technology provider Vistar Media has announced the extension of its OpenRTB integrations to include programmatic access to audio out-of-home inventory. On the demand side, omnichannel DSP The Trade Desk becomes the first mover in providing audio OOH to advertisers and agencies. 

The inventory includes sites that are part of the network assembled by location-based audio OOH advertising and experience company Vibenomics. This technology is available at over 6,000 locations in 49 states, reaching over 200 million people, according to the company.

With an emphasis on in-store experiences at grocery stores, Vibenomics audio OOH is currently used by over 150 brands at Kroger and Kwik Trip locations. The experience enables advertisers to play targeted messages to shoppers when they are close to products in-store.

Why we care. Hearing promos at a grocery store isn’t a new experience, but that’s where the technology comes in. In the OOH space, digital transformation is all about providing seamless access for the right advertisers to reach the right audience. When brands and agencies can execute a campaign that combines, for instance, bus shelters at the street level, and then screens or audio in-store (and possibly a nudge in a mobile ad) then they are moving down-funnel in step with their customers.

Read more here.

RollWorks announces new capabilities focused on the customer journey  

ABM platform RollWorks has announced the launch of Journey Events and a series of enhancements to its Journey Stages product. Journey Events will map marketing and sales activities to account progression or regression, indicating those activities which are having positive (or negative) impact on moving accounts closer to revenue.

Journey Stages identifies where accounts are in their buying journey, from pre-opportunity through to renewal. Account stage attributes can be used to create stage-specific audiences that can be activated across channels. Account stages can be viewed distributed across a dashboard or individually. RollWorks is a division of machine learning marketing technology platform NextRoll.

Why we care. ABM is evolving. It’s no longer just a strategy for having marketing and sales agree on account hierarchy and target efforts at high-value (or in-market) accounts. In the hands of some platforms it’s becoming a way of driving accounts through each level of the funnel -— or, if you prefer HubSpot’s visualization of the journey -— past each spoke of the flywheel.

Central to that project is knowing which activities promote and which hinder customer progress. That’s what RollWorks is seeking to address here. 

Quote of the day

“AI systems power the speech and language understanding of our smart speakers and the entertainment and navigation systems in our cars. We, the consumers, soon adapt our language to each such AI agent, quickly learning what they can and can’t understand, in much the same way as we might with our children and elderly parents.” Rodney Brooks, Panasonic Professor Of Robotics, MIT

About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space.

He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020.

Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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