Marketing Leadership Conversations
is a virtual series designed to extend your learning and the effectiveness of your organization as it continues to transform. This episode features Margaret Wise, CRO at Arke and host joined by Marketing Leaders from B2B and B2C organizations.

Transcript is edited for clarity and length.


Margaret: : Thank you all for joining. To start out and lay the groundwork, I think it’s important to talk about the influences between B2B and B2C.

When you think about creating a B2B commerce experience, how much of that is influenced by B2C experiences?

B2B Marketing Leader: As you know, we are in early stages of launching our product. Because of that, we are deliberately responsive to B2B, but we are holding out on delivering a B2C experience. It will be more of a podcast and advice play.

Margaret: I think that’s a good example of how you’re thinking about making your content available to your end users through different channels. Does anyone want to chime in from a B2C perspective?

B2C Marketing Leader: We’re traditionally B2C so I think we are constantly thinking about the next investment in technology as we learn that customer expectations are rising. We also focus from a B2B perspective in the sense that we conduct market research of our competitors to understand their expectations and how we can relate that to ours.

Margaret:That’s great. I’m going to jump to a question here because I think search is often an overlooked aspect of commerce.

So, what is the first place a consumer goes to search for the product or service you offer? What terms do they use?

B2C Marketing Leader: The first place we see traffic is social, google ad words and display ads. Our tone has been conservative, professional, traditional, language. Recently, as we’ve started targeting a different audience one of the biggest hurdles has been refreshing the website with a consistent tone.

When a customer or prospect visits the site, there needs to be that consistency from our ads to website and all the way through the purchase funnel. It’s also important for us to connect with our field staff and call centers and ensure they are keeping that same consistent tone.

Margaret: One of the other topics we talk about that is evolving is the need to build a strong business case around commerce.

How do you convince leadership to think about commerce sites as a revenue generating site instead of a cost center?

An example I like to use here is the grocery store. It’s hard for grocery stores to tie ROI to a grocery cart, it’s more of a cost center. But, at the end of the day if the grocery store didn’t have carts, then consumers likely wouldn’t shop there, resulting in lost revenue.

B2C Marketing Leader: I have a question. Do people try to isolate a specific piece of commerce to have a good directional feel for if an investment will drive incremental revenue or not so that you aren’t left with the ‘we need to have it because everyone else does’?

Do people do testing on these isolated pieces – rewriting content, implementing new search, leveraging voice devices, etc.?

Margaret: Absolutely. This is where analytics and the right tech in place gets to be key for attribution and the ability to follow the funnel for insights.

I’ll give an example of our customer, Herschend Family Entertainment. As they put commerce in place there was internal friction of whether the people making purchases on the website would’ve bought the same items in person at walk-ups anyways. We were able to help them identify people that had bought single tickets in the past that then were buying season passes online and tying new purchases to ecommerce. We used analytics and tied back into the customer data warehouse/platform to help build attribution around ecommerce.

We also talk about site analytics when trying to specify an isolated piece of commerce. We leverage our software partner, FullStory, for path analyzers and session replay analytics that give insights into the start to finish commerce experience or a select piece of content engagement, search usage, and more.

This related back to how siloed ecommerce can be and how well integrated it has or has not been in an organization. For instance, in some organizations without that business case, it is still considered a separate channel with its own analytics vs. others that have their commerce site integrated into content management system, project information management system, and so on.

Does anyone want to share how integrated commerce is within their organization?

B2C Marketing Leader: It’s a process and we are making headway. For instance, the call center tracking analytics lives with one system in one department. We have online attribution that lives in its own analytics. We have a BI department that runs the walk-in traffic and has their own data and models. For us at this point, it’s about partnerships. We haven’t invested in a true CRM that’s integrated across all those channels. As an old school, legacy company I feel it’s easier for our information to be siloed across systems and departments compared to our startup competitors that hit the ground running with full integration.

How have you seen companies integrate and what does it take to get that done from a leadership perspective?

Margaret: Great question. We’ve helped clients with this in various business models. I would start with a CRM or CDP to be in place as your core. If you’re going out and making a new investment you might consider a CDP that has orchestration tools built into it. When you have that orchestration layer, it helps connect all those channels back into the customer record.

For example, your call center would feed to CDP, commerce would feed to CDP, activity put into CRM by an agent from a walk-in visit would feed to CDP. The CDP would be constantly updating and pushing back out through the orchestration engine what should be next. If you already have CRM, you could leverage it in this sense, but if you didn’t a CDP would be a good next investment.

B2C Marketing Leader: Very helpful, thank you.

Margaret: Absolutely.

The final question I have is – How do you make commerce consistent with your overall brand experience?

Margaret: I’ll can start off with the example of Chick-fil-A. As they developed an app, there was challenge around having an app or not because of the impact it could have on their customer experience. They went back to their decision on putting drive-thrus in. At that point they wondered, “How can we create a great experience for our customers when they aren’t getting out of their cars?”. With the app development, they wondered, “How can we provide our same level of service as in-person if they order digitally?’

At the end of the day, they kept their brand experience consistent by providing control and convenience to their customers, which resulted in a great experience, without the in-person interaction.

Learn more from Michael Lage, about Chick-fil-A’s approach to Leading the Experience and how they transformed their drive-thru experience for the better.

B2B Marketing Leader: I have a question. How do you prioritize personalization strategies when trying to balance buyer journeys that include information and product research?

Margaret: Some of the personalization you can do is first determine the terms and channels your customers are searching on. This can give you indication of where they might be in the buyer journey. If they are searching for problem statements, it’s best to render back educational information. If they are searching for specific information, it’s best to have your search engine set up to render back more specific product results.

You can also evaluate your content strategy to align with the buyer journey. There are tools to enable “binge” content, which constantly serves up the next piece of content to someone based on previous searches instead of stilted, static search results. For instance, we helped a home builder create their search experience. If you went to their site and searched for a home in a certain zip code and price range, the site would produce those exact results, but also served results to the extent of “You might also be interested in…”. We set up an artificial set of parameters to broaden the search from what the customer asked for as suggested results slightly outside the desired price range or zip code.

I hope that answers your question. Thank you all for the time today!

In summary, here are a few of the key insights shared today:

      • B2C experiences should influence B2B commerce experiences and vice versa
      • Use site analytics and path analyzers to build a strong business case for digital commerce
      • Start with a CDP or CRM as the core for integrated commerce
      • Always maintain a consistent brand experience across channels

I’d love to connect and brainstorm how you can optimize the digital commerce experience for your organization. Contact us to schedule some time to chat or go straight to our calendar and book a spot. |