So what do we mean when we say the ‘consumerisation’ of B2B marketing? B2B marketing is now driven by buyers and not organisations! Professionals will choose what to interact with and where to access content. Unless content is atomised, energised and optimised, many campaigns will be simply lost!
We’ve all seen the research we’re being continually fed into today’s increasing mobile dominated device landscape. Focus is turning to the creation of innovative assets that are relevant and engaging – content that is served up in bite-size and engaging chunks for easy consumption across social media platforms, digital channels and mobile devices.
Some stats to digest
According to Canalys, in 2011 smartphone shipments topped PCs by 73 million units. Gartner stated that Q2 2012 was the seventh consecutive quarter showing a decline in PC sales. Gartner also estimates tablet computer sales will explode across the next four years selling 60% as many units as PCs by 2015. That’s over 300 million units! Microsoft also gets in on the act saying that by 2013, Tablet sales will be circa 180 million units.
Professionals now expect a mobile interface and the latest major Operating Systems will start to deliver more on that expectation. Our behaviours, navigation and interaction instincts are also changing: we now touch, pinch, swipe, drag and drop. The vast majority of us smartphone and tablet users, 81% in fact access work email on them. Internet access and social media are the top two uses of a phone and email usage will overtake phone calls on smartphone devices.
The net, net of all this is that marketing content has to adjust to the device and lifestyle. IT in the workplace is becoming consumerised, with many companies allowing employees to choose their preferred devices. This is leading the consumerisation of B2B marketing.
Tablets and smartphones have very different screen real estate and navigation to the business desktop and notebook devices. In fact, phones are getting bigger rather than smaller as screen sized is preferred over form factor and weight – that was the old mobile world and goodbye Nokia and Sony Ericsson. Business data and content are increasingly consumed on the go, so content too must go mobile.
Content is changing from words and images to interactive graphics and video. ‘Empathy’ videos can convey a strong business message in an ‘advert length’ clip for a B2B audience. Business professionals favour short form content over longer programmes, as 42% of video is consumed at the workplace in ‘snackable’, short form clips. Here’s a good example.
So what did we learn in that minute?
We learnt quite a bit about Dave and ‘his views’ as a typical B2B prospect. His attention is limited and is continually multi-browsing and multi-tasking. To attract his attention content needs to be ‘atomized’ from more traditional locations and that the messages fed to him need to be precise, engaging, relevant and compatible with mobile devices.
So with all this in mind, where does a B2B Marketer start? It doesn’t mean you start from scratch, you can re-energise and utilise existing content. Old assets still fit the desktop environment but can be repurposed for easier consumption and mobile device. Messages can and should be replicated across different channels maximising content creation ROI. Content must be creative and engaging or expect to be ignored.