The Truth About Mobile and B2B Marketing (It’s Not Pretty)

The Truth About Mobile and B2B Marketing (It’s Not Pretty)

I think all the data points on why B2C companies need to have a mobile presence have been discussed, ad nauseam. Honestly, I don’t think there’s any content channels left that haven’t already been discussed on in a blog, webinar, video or white paper about B2C mobile marketing.

However, when we broach the topic of B2B marketing on mobile to our clients, it’s often greeted with silence and blank stares. Why do we think that is? Well, over the last couple of years, Google has emphasized mobile-first indexing for content. But when it comes to B2B, over 80 percent of the incoming traffic is still originating from desktops, so the prevailing strategy is to focus marketing efforts there. this is a flawed strategy that leaves money on the table.

A quick dive into the data shows us some “stealth” statistics that demonstrate just how much traffic is being left behind by not creating a viable mobile strategy for your B2B venture.

  1. Eighty-four percent of millennials, 76 percent of Gen X and 60 percent of Baby Boomers think mobile is necessary for their work. (2016 Salesforce survey of B2B buyers)
  2. Sixty-three percent of B2B buyers use their mobile devices more for work then they did the year before.
  3. Forty-four percent of B2B buyers check their phones over 20 times a day for work purposes.
  4. Sixty-eight percent of users in the B2B space use their mobile device to read news related to their industry.
  5. Sixty-six percent of B2B employees use specialized apps related to their work.
  6. Fifty-six percent of B2B users view webinars or video content related to their industry. (2015 Wrike Survey)
  7. Devices used to access content by B2B buyers are ranked as follows: 99 percent desktop, 82 percent smartphone and 56 percent tablet. (DGR 2016 Content Preferences Survey)

So now that you know some of the stats, why do you think that most B2B companies are not putting more of an investment into mobile marketing?

Mobile devices used by B2B consumers

To get an answer, we may need to take a deeper look at what the data is telling us. If you put all of those numbers together, you may notice a trend. If not, look at No. 7 again. Does 99 percent + 82 percent + 56 percent = 100 percent? Not according to my math, or even common core math!

This number makes it abundantly clear that many people in the B2B space are using multiple different devices to access content on the web each day. Without that key bit of detail, B2B marketers are making decisions on marketing campaigns with incomplete data. So many of the B2B companies we talk to at Commexis are looking at mobile as more of a singular marketing channel as opposed to platform that can be marketed to in myriad ways. Just because you have a mobile-friendly responsive website (and only around 70 percent of you do), it does not mean your entire campaign is optimized for mobile.

Focusing on mobile allows digital marketers in the B2B space to open up their toolkits and use everything available to them to get their message to their desired audience. A desktop-centric campaign leaves behind things like, the mobile web, retargeting, social media, push notifications, apps and in-app messaging. New ways to reach your audience on mobile are being created each and every day. You wouldn’t use a radio ad for TV, right? Your marketing needs to be tailored for each device.

B2B buyers on Mobile

If you are a B2B company, you need to get your message consistent on ALL platforms.

Tips to get your B2B mobile strategy in-line:

  1. Make sure you page loads in less than three seconds and is easy to navigate across all devices.
  2. You need to make video a fundamental part of your strategy. But don’t think your videos have to be feature-length films to reach your audience. Keep the videos under two minutes so they can be consumed in bite-sized chunks. Optimizing the video experience can be just as important as the content of the video. (Well, almost.)
  3. Google has moved over to mobile almost completely. From paid ads only being displayed on the top and bottom of the SERPs to mobile results being favored over desktop results, the push to mobile is inescapable. Make sure ALL content you create makes sense on both mobile AND desktop. If it doesn’t, go back and rework it until it does.
  4. Most B2B’s know that email marketing still works. When your email marketing fails to garner clicks it’s likely due to misreading the audience or poorly built templates that aren’t mobile-friendly. Make sure your email marketing works on all the browsers and devices your audience is likely to be viewing it on.
  5. Start retargeting on Facebook for mobile, it’s (relatively) cheap and it works. It’s also still on the upswing, so you can get in early. Get started before you lose any more ground to your competitors!
  6. Look into the development of an app. Have your sales team survey your customers to gauge interest. A custom app is a great way to send push notifications exclusively to your client base, undiluted by other ads.

We believe that the lag between B2C and B2B companies with regard to mobile traffic can be largely attributed to a lack of mobile optimization and a poor understanding of how their audience uses mobile devices to view their content. The B2B industry has to understand their customers’ journey in 2017 and make mobile a priority.

If you’re a B2B struggling with finding your audience, make some of the changes above and then see if your mobile traffic increases.

Len Ward

Emails you will look forward to.

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