B2B growth in the digital age

Leading business-to-business (B2B) brands are taking lessons learned from the business-to-consumer (B2C) digital revolution and applying them to their B2B challenges. Many have moved beyond the cost reduction benefits of going digital to take on the more market-facing challenge of enhancing customer experience.

 

Building the digital future of business to business

B2B companies have lagged their B2C counterparts on using digital to build more direct channels to business customers. But that’s changing – largely because they’ve realized that business buyers are consumers, too.

Increasingly, what business buyers expect from their experience as a business consumer is shaped by their experience as a consumer outside the office. B2B customer experience expectations are clearly shaped by B2C expectations. In a sense, the B2B consumer has been “spoiled” by the experiences they’ve come to expect from the B2C brands they enjoy.

The smart use of technology now lets B2B brands help their customers reach the goals behind why they’re buying the product or service in the first place. It’s no longer simply about selling cost-effectively. It’s about delivering an experience that improves the life—and business outcomes—of the business buyer.

Applying those lessons well shouldn’t simply be a matter of trial-and-error. Indeed, there is a roadmap to success

PwC can help your apply that roadmap to your unique business challenges. Honor us by allowing PwC to be your trusted business advisor—from strategy through execution—when building the digital future of your B2B brand.

Why Digital Conversations are so important

The most successful brands learn to have their own ‘digital conversations’ within their ranks—especially as it relates to the intersection of marketing and technology in the service of customer experience.

The market promise of social, mobile, analytics and cloud cannot be realized by mastering each technology on its own in isolation from the others.

For the chief marketing, sales or service officer, understanding that digital technology—both its possibility and promise—is an integral to the development of business strategy and operating models as it is to execution.

Code and data have become as fundamental to marketing DNA as copy and design. More and more, software has become the way a brand sees, hears, speaks into, and touches the world of the consumer. You might say that technology has become a marketer’s eyes, eyes, mouth and hands.

Because brands increasingly rely on technology for their expression, the person who controls the technology often controls the marketing.

For marketers to maximize their impact they must build relationships with the technologists in their organizations, and foster on-going ‘digital conversations’ about how that technology is shaping their future of their businesses.

Part of our job as idea-brokers is to help today’s business leaders capitalize on the intermingling and commingling of customer-focused business opportunities as they manifest across the full range of social, mobile, analytics and cloud.

PwC’s point of view on Digital

You don’t need a digital strategy. What you need is a business strategy for the digital age.

These days digital is just a channel. When performance is central to measuring success, the business opportunity is much bigger than just digital. Businesses must learn to survey in a disruptive environment that has moved beyond just digital.

Digital is enabling an economy of outcomes in addition (but not instead of) an economy of products and services. Digital is bringing customers closer to being able to achieve actual life goals, versus just consuming products and services. With digital, consumption becomes more personal, more purposeful, and more connected to results.

In the digital age, as much value is being created outside the organization as inside – perhaps even more. The digitization of consumption creates a continuous flow of data between the customer and the company. This becomes the fuel that fires the achievement of customer goals and generates business growth.

So far there have been three digital waves – digital commerce, digital consumption, and digital identify. Each wave builds on the other rather than replaces it. Each unlocks new growth. But each also requires a new level of digital fitness needed to play and win.

About PwC Digital Conversations

These films and the accompanying materials are part of an ongoing series. It provides a forum for expert voices to explore today’s digital business and the technology challenges of bringing connected experiences to customers.