Wading in the riverbanks of Bariloche, Patagonia Argentina, I had my first fly fishing experience. It ranged from several hours of nothingness, to continuous catch and release of beautiful rainbow trout. As every angler will claim, “I caught a big one!” I did, and a lot of them. I learned that these fish are anadromous, migrating from the ocean to breed in fresh water, making them highly adaptable to changing conditions. My challenge was to read the myriad of data accurately to anticipate their behavior and precisely execute the correct response. When I’m asked about the changing B2B marketing landscape, I compare the new, emerging B2B buyer to anadromous fish.
The first hour I spent just looking at the horizon and waiting for the fish to come to me. Not a single bite meant there were few fish in the river, or so I thought. One look across the water and I watched my relatives reeling in sizeable fish. To catch some fish, I realized that this was going to require some serious technical applications of reading data, real-time pivoting, accurate timing and precision.
So, I began to develop strategies to read changes in the water and execute tactics for every different scenario. As a fly fishing evangelist, I encourage strategic thinkers to try the sport, and sharpen their skills of taking in changing data and improvisational tactics. With equal passion, I’ll tell any B2B marketer that now is the time for you to fully understand the new anadromous buyer and likewise, adapt.
As a marketer, you’ve likely observed that customer journeys are dynamic. The B2B marketplace has a myriad of buyer personas with diverse appetites for product detail, contact with a sales rep, and many other attributes. More importantly, there is increasing variability in the modality, timing and preferences across any single persona.
Key Rewards For Focusing On The Experience
At Oracle, we know that customers value good experiences. Gartner reports that 81% of brands expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience. Because the touchpoints of the buyer experience are now more complicated, what a B2B marketing strategy must now achieve is more complex. Some marketers give up and stick to what they know. Successful marketers use tools that enable them to address B2B buyer needs by shaping shifts in temperament, preferences and timing.
The results are in the sales numbers. If your sales team is pursuing leads like I was chasing fish, you will lose and your competition will have won. Thus, what kind of B2B marketing successes do we see from our Oracle Marketing Cloud CX customers? They are:
Much like the fly fisherman’s plight, the B2B marketer must have the ability to manage the iterative process of determining the best content and timing and repeatedly delivering it with precision. You cannot rely on luck when dealing with anadromous creatures. They have an infinite variety of preferences and the conditions they react to are in constant flux.
How well are you positioned to address this new B2B buyer?