Adopt a business-to-business marketing approach

Digital adoption, which was primarily driven by IT, is now heavily influenced by end-user preferences.

A few years ago, if you asked the average employee about their SaaS preferences – what tools they like to use, if they have an affinity with the brand, or even their favorite features and functionality – they would have directed you to the ‘computer science.

In reality, they were also unlikely to know the brands that made up their company’s tech stack. But today, hybrid working has changed everything. Some days it can be hard to tell if we are working from home or living in our offices, right?

Hybrid working and our reliance on technology means employees are now thinking about software like they do with their favorite consumer brands. Digital adoption, which was primarily driven by IT, is now heavily influenced by end-user preferences. This represents a major shift in strategy for B2B tech companies and their marketing teams, who now need to focus on meeting consumers where they are, and more often.

Adopt a business-to-business marketing approach

Due to the pandemic, we have become increasingly dependent on collaboration and communication solutions to stay in touch and stay productive. Technology is so much more integrated into everyday life and employees have certain preferences based on how they conduct their workdays. Because of these preferences, modern and hybrid workers are more critical in the software decision-making process. For example, the modern worker has more agency over questions such as: Should we work in Microsoft Teams or Google Workspace? What project management software should we deploy? Does the company take data protection seriously or keep personal information?

I’ve heard the analogy before that traditional B2B marketing should become closer to B2C, but I argue that business-to-human is a more accurate description. Instead of just marketing to the world’s IT managers and CIOs, for example, B2B tech companies today need to expand their audience. This means creating marketing materials that broadly appeal to hybrid workers, as they take on a more active decision-making role.

Related Article: B2B Marketing: Recognizing Risks Helps Manage Change

Deploy omnichannel marketing

Traditionally, B2B marketing messages were delivered in the 9am to 5pm workday, whether it was an e-book, targeted emails or banner ads. The business to human approach, however, understands and accepts that the boundaries between work and life have become blurred. Thus, even typical software decision makers such as the IT manager or CIO must be fully considered human in today’s digital age.

For example, the CIO might hop on TikTok in the middle of the day or after spending time with their family in the evening – and while their CIO hat might not necessarily be up at that time, they still think like a CIO. The same goes for an IT manager at a hockey game or an records and compliance manager browsing the internet after hours. Therefore, omnichannel and frequent marketing is essential to reach all software consumers, wherever they are.

Related Article: The New Priorities of Next-Gen B2B Marketing

Create an emotional reaction

It goes without saying that in addition to the blurring lines between work and life, today’s consumers are spending more time on screens than ever before. So when bombarded with content, the age-old question remains: how can a marketer break through the noise? The key is to elicit an emotional response and connection, which has been a cornerstone of consumer branding for decades.

Because the value of software has become more intertwined with our daily lives and not just our professional lives, it should become easier to do – and yet so few brands are bold enough to experiment with non-traditional marketing. But as hybrid working continues to change behaviors, so do marketing tactics.

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