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For B2Bs, Mobile Is Key to Unlocking Sales and Loyalty



Jeff Stokvis
Director, Digital Strategy
Ogilvy & Mather

As Ogilvy & Mather’s director of digital strategy, Jeff Stokvis works closely with the agency’s B2B clients and is a member of Ogilvy’s Mobile@Ogilvy cross-functional working group. Stokvis spoke with eMarketer’s Tobi Elkin for the B2B Perspectives series about the ways mobile is changing how B2B marketers communicate and the untapped business opportunities that mobile offers them.

eMarketer: Is there a low awareness among B2B marketers about the impact that mobile can have on their business?

Stokvis: Most B2B marketers are certainly aware of and have a broad understanding of the importance of mobile. There tends to be a little confusion as to where to get started across the spectrum of their enterprise and business, where to focus, and how to come up with a strategy that’s broad enough to be enterprise-wide yet narrow enough to deliver on specific business objectives.

eMarketer: Are things like content marketing, lead generation and other tactics more effective and impactful when a B2B marketer uses the mobile channel?

Stokvis: Yes, certainly in some cases they are. Smart mobile devices provide entirely new paradigms for interactivity because they’re in your hands, they have touchscreens, GPS and cameras. Mobile opens up entirely new and creative ways to interact with target audiences. It gives you the ability to create experiences that did not exist before, to deliver content and create a value exchange with your target audiences in order to generate leads, as well as conversation and dialogue. Fifty percent of the C-suite use tablets, with particularly heavy usage in the morning and evening—times when they are likely to have the opportunity to consume more in-depth content.

“Fifty percent of the C-suite use tablets, with particularly heavy usage in the morning and evening ... ”

Tablets are primarily a lean-back experience, which is the prime time for B2B marketers to consume heavy content like white papers and video. Developing an app to target the C-suite on a regular basis is effective—it could provide alerts when new pieces are available, for example. B2B marketers can tailor thought-leadership pieces based on what targets have said they’re interested in and by what they’ve consumed in the past. An app would make the content easy to share with colleagues. It’s a tactic for content distribution and a way of driving more engagement with content.

eMarketer: Apart from content marketing, is there another another example you can offer?

Stokvis: Another example is how mobile can help with lead generation at events. B2B marketers can have an app for people attending events that can lead them around and inform them about the content the brand is offering, where it exists within the venue and when speeches are occurring. It can offer alerts, drive contests and encourage people who have the app to interact with one another to discuss a new product release for the benefit of people who aren’t at the event. There also could be apps on tablets for in-person interactions at the show. When a prospect comes to speak to a representative, the rep can use a tablet to walk the prospect through a product demo or pull up something else that’s relevant, depending on the prospect’s needs.

eMarketer: What are examples of effective B2B mobile marketing?

Stokvis: Siemens has done great work around event marketing similar to what I described. It has an app for events and interesting apps on the product side. For example, in the second quarter of last year, in order to provide better service and support for customers, Siemens introduced a service app that allows customers to scan a barcode for any industrial equipment that they buy and pull relevant FAQs and manuals for the products right on the spot. Customers can take a picture of the product or the problem that they’re experiencing and submit that to Siemens to initiate a customer service support request.

“B2B marketers can have an app for people attending events that can lead them around and inform them about the content the brand is offering ... ”

eMarketer: What are the implications of mobile in relation to helping B2B marketing become more effective and generate more revenue?

At the front end, with the help of mobile tactics, B2B marketers can improve awareness for their brand and the selling environment, and as a result, they’ll be driving more leads. Once they have those leads, mobile can help make the sales process more efficient and facilitate business results in terms of having more customer interactions and sales opportunities. So there’s revenue potential.

On the back end, mobile can deliver more efficient service and support. That’s going to generate more loyalty. You’re gaining some competitive advantage if your products are truly delivering benefits to your customers at the product level. That’s going to drive interest at the top of the funnel.

A longer version of this interview is available to eMarketer corporate subscribers only. If you’d like to learn more about becoming a corporate subscriber, click here.

Check out today’s other articles, “Will Vine for Twitter Make Brands Rethink Video Creation?” and “UK Marketers Embrace a Content Strategy.”

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