When we all started working remotely in the spring of 2020, I don’t think any of us could have foreseen how permanent the “new normal” would be. The line between our personal and professional lives was instantly blurred and the two worlds have grown even closer together over the last two years. Although my company’s office has since reopened, we were given the choice to continue working remotely or return to work, and most of our employees chose to remain remote.
AnalyticsIQ data suggests we are not alone. In fact, 42% of the U.S. working population is likely to continue remote working in some capacity and nearly 21% of those professionals working from home are also likely to be decision makers at their organizations.
So, what does this drastic shift in the way we work mean for B2B marketers?
Targeting Remote Prospects
Since the change to working from home, our company has grown and employees have reported numerous life-balance benefits. While growth and positive momentum continued, our behaviors, habits and the way we work as professionals undoubtedly changed. For example, our employees are no longer checking email on their desktops or answering their office phones. Instead, we’re checking email and having video calls on laptops, tablets and smartphones. I often even have a podcast playing while I work and use personal devices more frequently for work as I’m not as stationary at my desk.
Clearly, working from home has made additional marketing channels viable options for B2B brands. Marketers should no longer restrict themselves to the usual B2B marketing channels like cold calling or email. From social media, direct mail and even CTV, B2B marketers should take advantage of more consumer-centric channels to target prospects in a remote working world.
In a mobile world, marketers must meet their audience where they are going to be, and right now, many decision makers are working from home. B2B brands and marketers must adapt their marketing communications to coincide with the evolving needs and expectations that come with our new normal, such as the heightened desire for personalization.
B2B Is No Longer ‘Boring To Boring’
We’ve all been marketed to over the course of our lives — both as consumers and professionals — and I imagine most of us would say our experiences as a consumer receiving B2C marketing communications have been more personalized, engaging and fun. I bet most marketers might say the same thing.
However, with the right data at your fingertips, B2B no longer has to mean “boring-to-boring.”
When working from home, we are surrounded by things typically reserved for our personal lives, such as family, pets and hobbies. So, B2B marketers must communicate with remote prospects and decision makers as the human beings they are — not as just another title within an account.
B2B brands and marketers should communicate with prospects in the way they want to be contacted, and that preference likely differs at home and in the office. If your prospects are likely to listen to podcasts while they work, consider audio ads instead of a display ad targeting their corporate IP. If your audience is likely to stream TV with their families after hours, why not include CTV to your multichannel mix? Or, if your perfect client likes to play mobile games on their phone while waiting in line to pick the kids up, consider shaking up your typical strategy and rolling out mobile ads.
Beyond ensuring you’re reaching your target audience on the right channel, you should strive to understand the types of content most likely to resonate because remote workers are surrounded by all their favorite distractions during work hours. You may find it difficult to engage a prospect with a lengthy white paper when they prefer shorter-length videos and are trying to get dinner ready. Serving contacts with content they actually want to consume is crucial to cut through the personal and professional clutter.
However, this is only possible with the right data, B2B2C linkages and insights.
Business Don’t Make Decisions; People Do
To resonate with today’s remote prospects and ultimately acquire their business, B2B marketers and brands must get to know the individuals making decisions. Luckily, data-driven, individual-level insights previously reserved for B2C marketers are achievable for the first time in the B2B world. Thanks to innovations in business and employee data creation that rely on strong B2B2C profile linkages, marketers can see the complete picture of an individual both as a professional and a consumer.
After all, businesses don’t make decisions: People do.
Curtis Marshall is the SVP of Business Data Partnerships at AnalyticsIQ, a leading marketing and analytics data innovator. Curtis has over 20 years of B2B marketing data expertise and has worked with brands across verticals, especially leading Fortune 500 insurance and financial services companies.