Smart devices transform B2B marketing

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By Chantal Tode

While much has been said about mobile’s effectiveness at helping consumer brands market to their audiences, the medium is also proving to be effective in supporting business-to-business marketers, according to a new report from OgilvyOne.

The “Hidden in plain sight: How mobile is quietly revolutionizing the B2B world” report from OgilvyOne found that the bring-your-own device movement is opening up new opportunities for business-to-business marketers. As a result, savvy B2B brands that leverage smart mobility may be able to gain significant competitive advantages.

“Given that there has been significant adoption of BYOD, it means there are huge penetration numbers for B2B employees using their own mobile devices,” said Jeff Stokvis, director of digital strategy at OgilvyOne Worldwide, New York.

“They are very receptive to being reached with typical marketing tactics,” he said.

“We are finding mobile is an extremely effective means to drive engagement with your targets, especially early in the funnel, to get your brand message across.”

Immersive brand experiences
OgilvyOne found that some of its clients are reporting going from zero to 4,000 iPads in one year as a result of the BYOD movement. OgilvyOne discusses mobile’s impact for B2B brands on marketing, enterprise and products and services in blog post.

On the marketing front, companies have an opportunity to leverage mobile for marketing efforts that can drive more qualified leads, conversion rates, incremental revenue opportunities and improved customer loyalty.

With both employees as well as target audiences adopting smart mobile devices for use throughout their working lives, mobile can help B2B marketers address complex issues such as long sales cycles with many touch points, multiple decision markers and influencers as well as complex products.

The report found that mobile unlocks significant value across the entire customer lifecycle for B2B brands. OgilvyOne is seeing wide adoption of mobile across technology, manufacturing, pharmaceutical and financial services verticals.

For example, mobile can help B2B marketers create immersive brand experiences and improve their marketing around events and sales interactions as well as enable them to extend the value of current products and services and create entirely new ones.

Leveraging apps
Mobile apps, in particular, are a completely new medium for B2B marketers that can support their communications and engagement efforts.

OgilvyOne points to several examples of how B2B companies are using mobile marketing.

IBM, for its Smarter Planet initiative, created an augmented reality app for the tennis tournament at Wimbledon. Users could point the app around the venue to see what was inside different buildings and see how long the wait was at taxi stands.

In another example, Siemens created an augmented reality app that users can point around their environment and view where the brand’s offerings are being used inside buildings, for power lines and in other ways.

“Mobile can tell a lot of stories about the brand and represent the breadth of what they do,” Mr. Stokvis said.

B2B marketers are also creating mobile apps for trade shows and other events to help users get around the event, connect with the brand, provide access to information about the products being shown and send alerts when a company representative is speaking.

Ultimately, such apps will also enable users to communicate with others at the event via Twitter.

DuPont’s Pioneer brand created a tablet app that employees could use at the brand’s trade show booth to assist in their interactions with attendees.

The brand, which makes agricultural seeds, used the app to display a map so attendees could pinpoint where their growing operation is and see a custom list of relevant products for that area. Attendees could also have the custom list of products and information about them sent to their email.

Thought leadership
Tablets can help B2B marketers enhance their thought leadership strategies.

More than 50 percent of the c-suite executives currently uses tablets, per OgilvyOne. With much of the use happening during an executive’s commute time, this suggests there is an opportunity to reach them with longer, more in-depth content.

Savvy B2B marketers are taking advantage of this opportunity and creating content strategies that involve automatically pushing out new thought leadership content to a tablet app, including interactive white papers that leverage touch screen capabilities to make the experience more interactive.

“Tablets are driving significant loyalty and customer satisfaction by making support experiences more effective and efficient,” Mr. Stokvis said.

Mr. Stokvis reports that companies such as Siemens and Cisco are finding strong results from their efforts in the form of click throughs and are continuing to invest in mobile as a result.

“There is a broad range of how quickly brands are understanding the potential value for smart mobile marketing or otherwise deploying mobile throughout the business,” Mr. Stokvis said.

“Some are moving very aggressively and have said in the past year that they have dramatically increased their investment in mobile,” he said. “Others are still at the point of understanding the opportunity and are not sure how to build out a strategy and get beyond the stage of testing and piloting.

“These trends are moving so quickly that is why the brands that are moving quickly to find out where to find the best benefits are getting the greatest competitive edge.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York

Posted in Mobile Marketing

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