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  • Digital is now an integral part of our everyday lives.

  • There are 1.7 billion people online globally, and in the UK, it's 80% of the population.

  • As consumers, we spend 30% of our leisure time on the internet.

  • We can now communicate with friends, colleagues, communities around the world in real-time, and the world's information is simply a click away.

  • However, this is not just a consumer phenomenon.

  • The very same pattern holds true for business.

  • In fact, recent research shows that business purchasers spend 73% of their work-related media consumption time online.

  • Almost 3 quarters of C-level executives use the internet every day at work,

  • and 83% of B2B buyers research online, with 70% starting their research process on a search engine.

  • We know that the buying process for businesses is more complex than for consumers.

  • There are multiple influences involved in the majority of business purchase decisions, and these individuals are often using a wide variety of information sources.

  • B2B marketeers' previous approach was quite straightforward.

  • We centered our go-to market strategies around answering three key questions.

  • Who are we targeting? What are we offering? And how do we communicate this in the most effective way?

  • Digital has dramatically increased the complexities of the marketing challenge, making these questions harder to answer.

  • Understanding where your customers are, and targeting the right message to the right person at the right point of the buying cycle, is critical for success.

  • Marketeers need to change their approach and integrate digital values into the core of their marketing plans.

  • We see three shifts taking place which form the basis for new digital imperatives in marketing.

  • Firstly, there's a shift from research to real-time insight.

  • Today's technology gives you immediate access to data on user behavior, enabling you to keep up and react to change much more quickly.

  • Traditionally, to find answers to questions such as how much interest is there in my product, you would look to put together some customer research.

  • Now you can find online tools which offer additional real-time insights to answer these questions.

  • To find out what messages your customers are most receptive to, you could run focus groups.

  • However, online, you can see in real-time, how many people engage with your ad creative, and optimize your campaigns accordingly.

  • Secondly, we see a shift from creative to content.

  • The types of information that B2B buyers search for depends on where they are in the buying cycle, their roles, and their needs.

  • The internet gives them access to a wealth of information and easy-to-consume content.

  • Marketeers, therefore, need to understand their audience and provide appropriate content at the right stage of the buying cycle.

  • B2B buyers consume content in many forms. Over half of I.T. buyers subscribe to RSS feeds.

  • Two-thirds of C-suite executives view work-related videos online at least once a week.

  • In fact, a quarter of them prefer watching video content to reading text.

  • Marketeers need to distribute content wherever prospects are looking.

  • Distributing or syndicating your content gives your brand a greater reach and enables users to engage with you in an environment of their choice.

  • What's more, the growing trend of social media demands that content be shareable as well.

  • Three quarters of tech decision makers use social media on the job.

  • Marketeers should leverage the power of these communities and the value of peer-to-peer interactions online,

  • to participate in, and even initiate conversations about their brand and relevant industry issues.

  • The final shift we see is from one way push marketing to two way push and pull.

  • Brands and businesses need to master the digital strategies to pull customers to content, push content to customers,

  • and also to combine push and pull marketing to drive better efficiencies in the overall marketing mix.

  • Marketeers who master all of this and integrate digital into the core of their marketing strategy first, will gain competitive advantage in the longer term.

Digital is now an integral part of our everyday lives.

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