June 25, 2012 | Eric Feinberg

Mobile in the B2B Space on the Rise

For a lot of B2C companies, mobile technology is the “shiny new toy.” A lot of resources go into developing mobile technology without a lot of resources going into measuring its effectiveness.

B2Bs tend to be more cautious when it comes to embracing new technology, but according to Forrester Research, 39% of US business owners are using social media on their phones at least monthly. Another Forrester stat says that 45% of B2B marketers believe that mobile marketing’s effectiveness will increase in upcoming years.

Not surprisingly, as with retail, there is also a jump in mobile usage among B2B customers. Although online catalog (93%) and direct sales force (70%) continue to be the key channels customers use for B2B decision making, mobile jumped 10 percent this year to nearly (25%) to take the third most influential spot, according to a 2012 study by Oracle. We also see B2B consumers adopting the multi-channel, multi device habits of the typical retail customers. Compete and Google found that 28% B2B C-level executives in the U.S. used a mobile phone, and 21% a tablet, to research business purchases in a June 2011 study.

The truth is that mobile is just another customer touch point. Your main jobs as a B2B marketer are to acquire customers, retain customers, and give them positive, warm, fuzzy feelings about your brand. You do this with personal interactions on the phone, you do this with an effective, intuitive website, you do this with one-on-one account relationships, you do this with amazing products and customer service, and you do this with a great mobile experience.

Don’t let mobile be a great unknown, uncharted territory. Don’t make it your sole focus, but don’t ignore it, either. It’s just another channel. And if you want to know how your channels are impacting your customers purchase behavior, loyalty, and recommendations, you use a scientific methodology to measure and quantify their experience.

No one can tell you the perfect solution for mobile but you can (and should) begin by asking your customers. Measure success from the customer’s perspective – that’s how you start.

For more on mobile, check out my previous posts containing Tips to Be Mobiletastic, which apply to B2Bs and B2B2Cs just as much as they apply to B2Cs:

Categories: ForeSee Products

About the Author

Eric drives ForeSee’s marketing strategy, working closely with the company’s product, client service, and sales teams to infuse innovation and operational excellence into its offerings. Since joining ForeSee in 2004, he has contributed to the organization’s strategic growth, particularly providing leadership around mobile solutions. He is the author of several of the company’s thought leadership studies, including the 11th annual ForeSee Experience Index (FXI) and the American Employee Study. Eric is a frequent speaker on customer experience analytics, and marketing best practices. He is a board member of the Digital Analytics Association (DAA) and an adjunct professor of mobile marketing at the University of California, Irvine Extension. Previously, he worked as a web analyst, multichannel strategy consultant, usability specialist and focus group moderator. Eric is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

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