In this blog I will provide my perspective on the challenges B2B High Tech marketers face to drive conversion, and best practices to improve your customer engagement initiatives that lead to higher conversion rates. I will also share some strategies organizations apply to drive conversion. There is no silver bullet to improve conversion, but improving a few areas will provide results. Some of these include:
- Digital technologies that drive conversion
- Dynamic personalized experiences
- Multi-channel engagement
- Improving call to action
- Continuous testing and optimization
- Creating communities to engage audience
Let’s begin by describing the term conversion. In eCommerce, conversion is linked to a transaction and direct revenue. But in this blog we are going to focus on conversion in a B2B set up, particularly in high tech companies. Here is how I describe conversion – “Conversion is an event that leads a prospect to take a pre-defined action which provides insight into the customer profile and eventually significantly contributes to revenue.”
For a high tech company, conversion is typically not instantaneous; there is a longer process involved before a customer is acquired. So, conversion for a high tech company could typically mean a whitepaper download, appointment with sales and so on…
So why does website conversion really matter?
A large portion of leads for high tech companies comes from their websites and that will continue to be the case as indicated below.
There is an increased competition for the mindspace for your buyers. Unless you are able to engage with your prospects and provide the right message to the right profile at the right time, they may go elsewhere to buy.
The Digital Maturity Curve
It is important to understand how mature you are and prepare a plan to improve. The Digital Maturity Curve provides perspective of the various levels of maturity. Organizations should look to move up the maturity curve in a planned manner.
It isn’t easy to drive conversion amidst competition out there. Several factors cause challenges in driving conversion:
- Non engaging online experience – The major challenge for high tech marketers is that their web sites are not engaging anymore. The bounce back rate is increasing and conversion rate is reducing. Websites continue to be static and transactional, rather than contextual, social and engaging. If you consider the Digital Maturity Curve, where do you think you fall?
- Irrelevant Content – In most cases it is hard for a visitor to navigate through the product websites and find exactly what he is looking for.
- Lack of spend on conversion – Another concern raised by high tech marketers is that the cost for driving higher traffic to the websites has gone up but still the conversion rate is low. Well, traffic cannot drive conversion. A latest survey by Omniture showed that spend traffic to conversion is 92:1.
- Friction between sales and marketing is caused due to low quality leads – sales say it’s all junk!
- Lack of integration – If channels are not connected and if you are not treating your customers in a cohesive manner you will struggle to convert them; in fact you may confuse them…
There is no one technique but there are several ways by which you can increase your conversion rates:
1) Digital technologies that drive conversion: As indicated below, digital technologies are critical in driving conversion.
- Content Management Systems (CMS): CMSs’ are not merely website editing tools anymore. According to a latest report by Forrester, “The web content management (WCM) market is in transition. The WCM market is growing based on customer experience management (CXM) needs, including multichannel delivery, content targeting, analytics and integration with other CXM technologies.”
- Search: Your ability to provide your customers what they are looking for in the first few seconds on your website will change the game in the very early stage.
- Analytics: There are CMS’s available in the market with pre-integrated analytics or with the ability to integrate with third party analytics. All the information stored in one platform can help deliver the personalized experience to your prospects.
By integrating technologies you will drive conversion by leveraging- “The Power of the Trifecta.” This is the ability to integrate the three main digital marketing technologies – “CRM, CMS and Marketing Automation.”
For more information on the tri-fecta, read our whitepaper on “Decision Points on the Path to Unified Customer Engagement”
2) Dynamic Personalized Experiences: It is all about getting the right message to the right person at the right time…through the right channels. The more effective you are at delivering it, the more likely you’ll turn that visitor into a lead. The less time users spend searching, the closer they are to converting. When you align the data to the customers’ expectations, you’re leading them down the path to conversion.
3) Multi-channel Engagement: All your channels – Website, Emails and Mobile, need to work together and deliver a unified message across the channels.
Integration and multi-channel engagement always pay back. A tactful marketer can very well track where the user is in the buying lifecycle by utilizing both integration and multi-channel engagement. He can do so in a number of ways, like:
- Utilize web behavior data to drive campaigns
- Insert dynamic recommendations in emails
- Drive personalized web behavior using behavior in CRM and Marketing automation system
- Test and optimize email and site content together
4) Call to Action: Merchandise your product – Make your offering (whitepaper, video or blog) seem like a significant item. Make sure your landing page is relevant; it has value and indicates the next step.
5) Testing and Optimization: Regular testing and optimizing together form the key to drive higher conversions.
6) Community: Communities are a core part of B2B organizations to engage with their prospects and customers.
So how do you put this plan into practice? What are the next steps?
You can do it effectively in the following ways:
- Define your prospects’ buying lifecycle and create segments
- Create a dynamic personalized engaging experience that targets the buying lifecycle
- Create a targeted content strategy
- From the beginning think multi-channel and multi-device
- Integrated web, email and mobile marketing strategy
- Connect your Trifecta – CMS, Marketing Automation and CRM
- Test and optimize
In the recent Webinar we have discussed this subject in more detail. Click here to watch the on-demand webinar now!