Not so long ago, there were two avatars of marketing—business-to-customer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B). The common understanding was they needed to be tamed differently as both were different animals. There is one factor that is common to both today—the big D!
Whether it is a customer buying a new electronic book or a laboratory buying a huge, complex piece of equipment, business is driven by digital engagement.
From the first “Hello” to the triumphant “Thanks for your order”, it is a matter of understanding the various touchpoints in the course of the customer journey and aligning your content (or interaction) to match it and push the association forward.
Each journey is unique to the customer and the need. Our customer today is Jane.
Jane is a young scientist. The Lab Director has asked her to look for some new research equipment for their upcoming project. Jane loves shopping, no matter what. Excited, she calls a friend who works in the same domain but has more experience. What do you recommend? Jane asks after briefing her friend. The friend suggests a few names but encourages Jane to conduct her own research. Jane was planning to do that in any case.
Jane Googles for some analytical instrument terms on her mobile. A list pops up. Right on top is an ad for the product her friend had recommended, from Right Labs. The link takes Jane to a website where she finds just the products she needs. She registers on the website and drags her selections to the cart. Then caution and closing time kick in. Shouldn’t she first talk to David, her immediate boss?
The First Virtual Date
Next day, Jane continues her research, neatly documents her findings and takes it to David. Soon after she and David finish their discussion, Jane gets an email from Kimberley at Right Labs. The email thanks her for visiting their website. There is no mention of the laden shopping cart but there is an invitation for two to a virtual event. The event is just the right kind, given the upcoming research project. She checks with David and both register for the event.
The daylong event turns out to be extremely useful. They learnt a lot more about the products they were planning to buy. The views of industry experts and key opinion leaders were a bonus. They also collected some good material to study. When Kimberley asked them if they wished to schedule a demo, they readily agreed.
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Over to Kimberley
With the world still recovering from the pandemic, a physical demo was out of the question. But Kimberley was prepared. She secured two VR headsets and loaded those with the necessary interactive product demos. She shipped the headsets to Jane.
The VR demo was an exciting experience for both Jane and David. They invited some others from the lab to experience the demo. (Thank you, Kimberley for the face masks and ample sanitization material!) The VR app recorded everyone’s feedback and sent it to Kimberley. Kimberley smiled.
Jane and David were almost certain that the products met their requirements. However, given the quantum of investment in these difficult times, they wanted to make sure that the products were reliable. Were there good testimonials from actual users? Were the devices backed up by good support? When and how could they see a real demo?
Kimberley had anticipated the questions and was ready. Customer testimonials, service assurance information and a plan for live but remote demo were all ready. Kimberley and Jane worked together to ensure that the demo went off well.
Finally, David and the Lab Director were convinced and decided to go ahead with the purchase. Jane completed the transaction online and put in place a rate contract for consumables as well.
Jane and team were super excited about the new product. They received access to the Right Labs eLearning portal and to the complete digital toolkit.
All that they needed to know, from preparing the lab to the installation and post-installation commissioning, was just a tap away. The service engineer who visited the lab came prepared with all the information. He provided not only a detailed demo but also valuable tips to quickly find the right information on their support portal.
Once, a few weeks after the purchase, they needed quick help with a small problem they were facing. They reported the issue on the company’s support portal. Almost immediately, the Right Labs portal presented Jane with a few troubleshooting tips. To make it easier, there were also videos demonstrating procedures to solve the issue. Jane was able to resolve the problem quickly and continue her research without compromising her deadline.
Spreading the Good Word
Jane and David completed their research project well before the deadline. The new instrument and the support they got from Right Labs played a major role in their success.
Jane announced the team’s achievement on one of her social media posts. That included an image of Jane right next to the instrument. Kimberley picked it up and congratulated Jane. Soon, the post gained traction.
Kimberley invited Jane to speak at their next virtual event. No longer a potential customer, Jane was now a seasoned, successful user. Her experience and guidance were of great value to several other Janes and Davids on their own research journey.
Let the Credits Roll
Meet Mike and Laura. They are Right Labs’ superstar marketers. Wondering why they never figured in the story?
They were busy behind the scenes, ensuring that thousands of customers like Jane were getting the right content at the right time at the right touchpoint across every individual customer journey. Kimberley was the interface; Mike and Laura were the engines.
It was important for them to understand their customer’s persona well, map out the journey from the customer’s point of view, and define appropriate touchpoints or channels for the right content to flow. They worked on ensuring a productive engagement that delivered a successful outcome for Jane and for Right Labs.
For them, Jane was now part of their happy family. The task of expanding the family of happy customers was most rewarding and never-ending.
That is why Right Labs remains at the top of their market segment. Because Mike, Laura, Kimberley and every other member of the team never stop learning their customer, anticipating the customers’ needs and serving them right.
B2 B marketing is one of the areas where Ethosh specializes in delivering strategic content, including AR and VR, for making every customer journey a rewarding experience for all.