by Nate Teplow
All marketers recognize the growing popularity of mobile devices, but many think it’s a “consumer” trend. Lots of B2B marketers think they don’t need a mobile strategy because they sell to businesses… not consumers. If you think your customers are simply sitting at their desks all day, you’re living in the past, my friend! If you’ve been holding out on implementing a mobile strategy, you are certainly missing out on opportunities to engage potential customers and assist your sales team.
You’re still selling to human beings
As a B2B company, by definition you’re selling to other companies. But, ultimately, you’re selling to other human beings and these people frequently use their smartphones to do research, find answers and browse articles. Making your company’s website accessible to these users is crucial when it comes to engaging prospects and informing them about your products and/or services. These people expect a good mobile experience when they use their devices in their free time, and they expect the same positive experience on mobile when doing research for their job.
Many B2B marketers are concerned that too few people access their site on mobile, and that it’s not worth building a mobile site or developing a mobile strategy. Well, here is what I have to say to that:
Now, don’t go running to your nearest corn field and build a baseball diamond. Not only will it upset your local farmer, but it probably won’t do much to drive mobile traffic. But there are many strategic initiatives you can implement that will help increase your mobile engagement.
- Trade Shows/Conferences – Trade shows are a very common lead gen tool for B2B companies, and what better place to target people on mobile? If your sales reps are handing out business cards and engaging in conversations at trade shows, if those prospects are interested, there’s a good chance they’ll visit your site on their smartphone or tablet while they’re there at the conference. Providing them with a mobile-optimized experience not only allows them to learn more very easily, but it also shows them that you recognize their needs and are accessible to them in a user-friendly way, no matter how they’re accessing your company.
- Field Sales – If a large number of sales reps are going to visit your prospects to try to close business, chances are they they will be relying on mobile heavily while out in the field. Developing an app that assists your field reps can greatly increase their effectiveness at closing business, because it allows them to quickly access information, ROI’s, example models/designs etc. while on-the-go. Perhaps this is an app that your prospect could download as well to easily reconnect with your brand and learn more at their own convenience.
- Word of Mouth/Referrals – Referrals lend themselves perfectly to mobile. If you rely on your partners to help get the word out about your company, it’s crucial for you to have a mobile strategy in place. Say you sell jackhammers to construction workers, and one of your customers, “Bob the Builder”, says to one of his contractors, “I got this great Jackhammer from Joe’s Jackhammers, you should check them out”, the first thing that contractor would do is pull out his smartphone and search for Joe’s Jackhammers. Make sure you have a mobile-optimized or responsive site in place so that he can easily find more information, and maybe call you directly if he has questions.
- Social Media – Lot’s of marketers think social media is only good for driving consumer business, but it’s actually proven to be highly effective at driving B2B conversions. In a recent study done by Twitter, 30% of Twitter users search for B2B tech brands (average web searches for B2B tech is 12%). In addition, Twitter leads have a higher chance of converting on your site. 11% of users who a saw a B2B tech company’s tweet convert, when an average of 4% of website visitors will convert. Social media can be highly effective for B2B companies, and over 50% of social is accessed on mobile. If you’re running social media campaigns, make sure to have the appropriate mobile-optimized landing pages setup, because mobile-optimized landing pages convert 40% higher than non-optimized pages.
- Email Campaigns – If you’re company does a lot of email marketing, it’s important to incorporate mobile landing pages into your strategy. 43% of email is opened on mobile, and if that user is interested in your offer, they will click through on your link (that’s the point, right!). Make sure they’re brought to an appropriate format given their device so they can easily read your content and take action.
Examples of B2B Mobile Strategies
It’s clear you need a mobile strategy if you’re a B2B company, but we know it can be hard to get started. Here are some great examples of B2B mobile websites for you to draw inspiration.
Eagle Leasing Mobile Site
Eagle leasing is a New England based storage and trailer leasing company. They sell primarily to construction companies who need storage containers and mobile offices on their constructions sites. They recognized that a large number of their website traffic was coming from mobile users, and wanted to give those users an easy way to find more info about their products, and get in touch directly for a quote. Check out the site yourself on your own device with the url above!
Hubspot Inbound 2013 Conference App
I recently attended the Hubspot Inbound13 conference (great event by the way!) and downloaded their conference app before attending. This app was incredibly useful during the conference, and I frequently used it to check the schedule, view live tweets from the event, and network with other attendees…all through the application they built. Hubspot recognized the prevalence of mobile at their conference and made it very easy for attendees to find information via their mobile app.
If you’re a B2B company, it’s easy to write-off mobile marketing as something that’s unnecessary and not worth your time. However, the truth is that people are more and more frequently using their different devices, and are more frequently coming to your website via mobile. This gives you the chance to drive engagement and new customer acquisition with this exciting new medium. Don’t miss out on the opportunities that mobile provides. People will come, Ray!
Do you have other examples of B2B companies using mobile effectively? What tips do you have for B2B companies to leverage mobile marketing? Do you like Field of Dreams as much as I do? Let us know in the comments.