For B2C companies with relatively small purchase cycles, digital marketing can often help reap quick rewards. However, a matured enterprise IT services business is different for the reasons mentioned below:
- Considerably long purchase cycles
- High involvement decision-making by prospects
- Sales driven, and relationship oriented
Challenge associated: Longer purchase cycles and multiple touchpoints with prospects evolving over the longer run, managing the digital journey becomes complex and challenging.
Advantage: Since the average deal size is high and the number of prospects who can afford to pay for such large deals finite, the attention and focus can be aligned on the basis of Account Based Marketing.
Scope and role of digital marketing for an IT:
Account based marketing with dedicated focus on the top prospects
Aligning the marketing efforts in the right direction will help one yield results in the longer run. Account based online marketing campaigns are personalized and targeted to generate awareness, engagement and leads specifically from the top prospect accounts – decision makers and influencers. One must manage the user journey throughout the duration of the purchase cycle from awareness to interest to action stages with lead nurturing programs by leveraging marketing automation to execute an account based marketing plan in the most efficient manner. Several marketing automation tools such as Marketo, HubSpot, Mautic etc help in implementing lead scoring programs with scoring parameters defined for each type of online interaction and then create rules for trigger actions as per the lead score.
This helps to quantify the qualitative actions taken by the user and helps to measure the impact marketing has created in winning a deal. The channels primarily used are LinkedIn ads and Email since they enable marketers to reach prospects based on the company or email id. It is also important to have a strong remarketing strategy to ensure communication is meaningful over the course of time and enable progressive profiling of the prospects with additional information collected with each interaction.
Generate awareness about the company so that prospects will include them in the consideration set
The company website/app with all relevant information presented in a user-friendly manner is the primary online asset for a company. It is important to showcase the core capabilities/service lines as per the revenue generating potential and business focus which will help position the company in the desired manner. It is not just enough to create a world-class website in the eyes of the user, but also from the point of the view of search engines so that you can get the desired users on your website. The domain of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) evolved for precisely this reason.
Regularly sharing content on blogs and social media channels such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram also serve this purpose. Apart from these, there are several other avenues where our target users spend considerable amount of time. Being present as a thought leader in channels such as Quora, third party blogs and content curating websites also helps to improve awareness about the company and what it can offer.
Position company as a thought leader in relevant areas
Create data-driven plans to support asset creation and leverage existing online company assets such as Press releases, Analyst reports, White papers, Case studies, Blogs, Customer testimonials, Webinars and Educational videos etc. Even though content creation might be carried out by specialists who could be outside digital marketing, it is the role of a digital marketer to create an online content marketing strategy and roadmap to help execute it in a calendarized manner. It is also the role of the digital marketer to leverage these assets to generate awareness of the company and position it as a thought leader to generate visibility for the assets and provide data-driven feedback on the assets for regular improvement. Co-written or co-promoted assets with top influencers in the industry also help in positioning the company in the desired manner – Influencer marketing.
Pipeline driven digital marketing
Different verticals/service areas have their revenue targets and digital marketing campaigns for lead generation, that can support their goals for the year as well. Search Engine Marketing, Display advertising, LinkedIn ads, Twitter ads, Quora ads are some of the online channels by which you can conduct effective service line driven online campaigns. With the staffing context in mind, digital marketing also needs to align with delivery/practice teams to identify the availability of resources in different verticals or service areas. It makes sense to launch lead generation campaigns across those areas where there are sufficient resources already available and idle.
Support offline events through online campaigns and generate pre-event registrations to set up in-person meetings/demos
Industry events continue to be one of the most powerful tools for generating valuable leads for marketing and sales teams. These events such as Dreamforce, Oracle Open World, Shoptalk etc help the company in showcasing their products, conduct live demos and communicate with relevant stakeholders across several target companies. Digital marketing can support these offline events by launching promotional campaigns beforehand and generating registrations to schedule demos.
Employer branding to help showcase the employer value proposition
It is important to showcase the company’s employee friendly policies and career opportunities to attract good talent. Social channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter highlight the employer value proposition, perks, learning opportunities, career opportunities, facilities, people etc. and that can be leveraged for this purpose. Digital marketing can also support the recruitment team by promoting online recruitment drives to help staffing for a specific industry/vertical/region to meet the delivery needs.
Custodian of the company’s online presence
Digital marketing team, with the responsibility of owning and managing the company assets online, also acts as the custodian of the company’s internet presence for deciding what is appropriate and essential to be published as an online entity.