In the aftermath of Covid-19, it’s clear which B2B businesses moved with the times and met hard lockdowns without skipping a beat in their revenue. If anything, it shot through the roof.
What set them apart? How has the B2B buyer changed during a pandemic, and what did you do to meet their increasing virtual needs? Our author here, Alex Lysak, is an expert in analyzing the ever-changing B2B buyer’s market.
Business continuity during a pandemic is a hot topic on the marketing team’s lips, and for a good reason. If you want to know how to make money during a pandemic, the first step is to understand how you must adapt marketing strategies during a pandemic.
According to the experts at Scanteam, B2B sellers have an urgent task ahead of them if they haven’t moved their products entirely online yet. COVID-19 has forever changed the way buyers approach sellers.
With management teams getting younger and tech-savvy, the days of door-to-door cold calling are fast approaching a dead-end. Instead, B2B buyers are looking for the best products on marketplace platforms that embrace change. They don’t need you knocking down their door if you could share the same information in an animated online video.
How has the B2B buyer changed since the outbreak of COVID-19?
If anything ever brought frivolous spending to a halt, it will forever be recorded as C-19. It changed buyer behavior overnight and left sellers gasping for air and new strategies.
Well, only to those who still relied solely on face-to-face marketing and cold-calling.
B2B sellers who invested in online marketing tools and systems had instant ROIs that made their pre-emptive adaptation strategies all worth it. IT departments could gloat for a change instead of being told they needed to slow down.
Here’s a fun fact: global lockdowns increased online shopping by 31% overnight.
Where do B2B buyers shop?
Social Media platform engagement soared with buyers reverting to Tik-Tok as a user-guide on all trends amongst peers. Progressive B2B sellers immediately responded to this new niche and moved their products into modern virtual spheres to meet the demand and new consumer behavior.
It wasn’t only HOW consumers and B2B buyers engaged with sellers that changed. It was WHAT they spent on that saw a turn away from senseless shopping sprees.
Health-related products grabbed the largest chunk of the market during the pandemic. Liquor wholesalers who weren’t allowed to sell wine responded and used their alcohol to produce hand sanitizers instead. It was revolutionary to watch the market leaders react to the crisis at hand.
Every seller tried to adapt in order not to die. The ones that came out strong accepted the new challenges with vigorous turn-around virtual strategies and new products.
Video marketing: the new face of cold-calling?
Before we get into why your business needs to invest in video marketing, you can have a look below at how Mike Dubin, CEO of Dollar Shave Club, got 12,000 new customers in the only 48H using it.
As a B2B seller, you’ve come to rely on your team of marketers to help potential and existing customers get the gist of what your product can do for them and why they should buy it. Or, once they’ve bought it, how to use it? Right?
What happened to your salesforce during COVID-19? Were you paying salaries to a salesforce without making any sales? How could you have avoided this? How can you avoid this moving forward?
Video marketing is the answer to all the above questions. It allows you to be just a click away from your client base. Whether it’s a new product launch, a ‘How To’ guide, or a change in your business protocols, you can share this information effortlessly with animated or real videos.
If you consider your business’s needs and what you should be investing in during a pandemic, let video marketing be your first choice. It’s the way the new generation of buyers interacts with each other. Both B2B and B2C.
During a time of isolation and distress, your video could be the perfect tool to improve your buyer’s mental health during a pandemic. It connects with your clients on a personal level while being available to all with a straightforward click.
Gone are the days of a 30+ sales force. Video marketing is here to stay long after the COVID-19 dust has settled.
In-person calls replaced by chatbots?
Call centers have been the heartbeat of wholesalers for decades. Lockdowns and legally enforced work-place social distancing protocols disrupted sales teams globally. The answer to this problem sprouted up on B2B platforms overnight: Chatbots. With chatbots and live chat features being integrated at lightning speed, sellers could stay in touch with their clients effortlessly.
Technically, a well-integrated and advanced live chat feature can increase one team member’s productivity up to five times. A chatbot has multiple answers ready for the most frequently asked questions before placing a customer through to a live agent.
Although B2C deployed this tech long before B2B, the pandemic pushed more wholesalers into the virtual realm. Some B2B distributors recorded increases in live chat communications of more than 200% when the pandemic hit all shores.
Consumers enjoy the fact that they can find instant answers to their queries and see the live chat feature as the first avenue to follow. It’s only when you don’t provide sufficient data to satisfy your client’s needs that they’ll revert to email or phone inquiries. It’s the convenience, cost savings, and instant response offered by the feature that makes it a hit.
Advanced technology enables you to deploy a fully remote customer support team. The use of chatbots and live chat features can further trim your actual staff count up to five times. In a time when you have to make every penny count, modern technology is your friend, and you should embrace all it offers.
Will B2b consumer behaviour return to normal?
We hope you’ve enjoyed this brief discussion of how the B2B buyer has changed. Remember, change is often good. It exposes all that’s wrong and needs a facelift. COVID-19 forced industries to adapt in extremely short time-spans. The ones that did are thriving.
Is your business ready for the ‘New Normal,’ or are you still hoping that you can survive following the old rules of engagement? The market trends have indicated that buyers embrace the new virtual age of online marketing, buying, and selling.
Are you planning to leave a business legacy for your children to thrive from? It might be time to ask them how to sign up to Tik-Tok and upload your first marketing video. The time for change is now. Embrace it, and your business will soar.