@melimulhol , https://www.linkedin.com/in/melissa-mulholland/

It’s easy for most customers to see that their business interactions are changing with the introduction of cloud connectivity and modern technology. Your customers have witnessed competitors adopt techniques to differentiate their brands and create relationships within their ecosystems.

Digital channels define customer interactions, and this presents many opportunities to connect with customers in unique and helpful ways. Whether using a chat bot-guided experience or data-driven interaction, digitally mature businesses are using technology to find and engage customers, increase loyalty, and drive new revenue streams.

Part two of the Microsoft Digital Transformation Series, Engaging Customers, is now available. It highlights what digitally transformed companies are doing differently to enhance their customer experiences.

Common practices of successful digital marketers

Buying behavior has fundamentally changed, as customers are now taking the exploration stage of their purchasing journey online–researching, self-educating, and assessing options before, during, and after the sale. To build customer engagement credibility, you must prove you can execute your own digital marketing programs. Doing so requires new tools, processes, and beliefs.

The new e-book highlights several attributes of partners successfully marketing and selling in the digital era:

  • They understand how the customer lifecycle has changed in the digital world.
  • They know that extending customer lifetime value is as vital as attaining new customers.
  • They are social sellers who leverage analytics to reach customers.
  • They use their domain expertise to optimize solutions for vertical industries.
  • They invest in their success and reevaluate marketing budgets, personnel and focus.

Where to prioritize digital transformation efforts

We recommend utilizing your traditional sales motions, since technology buyers engage with sales professionals during 65–70 percent of the buying process. No longer are marketing organizations executing outbound campaigns and handing leads to sales organizations. The marketing team now engages and nurtures prospects for most of the buying cycle.

“We’ve had much greater success creating deeper relationships at a much earlier stage with prospects than we’ve ever done before. Everything we do is digital, including a healthy fixation on social selling.”

–Mitchell Feldman, CDO, HPE Pointnext UK and Ireland

 

Digitally savvy partners know that closing the sale begins the drive to consumption, growth, and investment value for the customer. Not only must you produce content that converts, your content should reinforce best practices and showcase new features. Customer success is critical for two reasons: First, it helps you drive renewals and recurring services. Second, engagements provide deep knowledge of your customers and personas that lead to new customers.

Let your best customers be spokespeople by creating informative testimonials, videos, and case studies showing customers digitally transformed. Customers in the limelight, via user groups and community sites, are likely to generate referrals through word-of-mouth.

Invest in success

In our e-book, we discuss how digitally mature partners invest in all stages of the buying cycle. They have well-defined buyer personas and target content for each. Their marketing uses customer success staff and automated marketing systems.

IDC reports that digitally indifferent partners on average allocate 45 percent of their marketing budget to digital marketing, while digitally integrated partners allocate 63 percent. This will increase to 67 percent over the next two years.

Take advantage of our entire series of e-books to see how your peers are creating deeper intimacy and driving ongoing business.