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5 B2B Brands Delivering Great Customer Experiences

Today’s B2B customers expect more B2C-like experiences, and here are five brands delivering great customer experiences that go far beyond the tired tradition of boring-to-boring.

Research from Gartner has shown that 89 percent of firms compete primarily on customer experience. Not all companies may be taking this to heart, however, as according to additional research some 60 percent of marketers fail to take into account consumer expectations, despite 95 percent seeing increasing expectations from customers.

Making memorable customer experiences a priority can help build successful campaigns and make for delighted customers, and with further recent research showing that just 14 percent of B2B survey respondents view customer experience and support as a top priority, there may be no better time to work on delivering great customer experiences.

In the following randomly-ordered list, we’ll look at five B2B brands that are innovating with customer-pleasing digital experiences.

#1 IBM — IBM Industries Magazine

IBM publishes both a print and digital version of a magazine, with its award-winning Industrious quarterly publication, featuring the top content from IBM Industries blog combined with exclusive insight from a variety of industry influencers.

Industrious was the winner of the Best Content Marketing Campaign at the B2B Awards USA in 2018, and offers a compelling example of how a large B2B firm is delivering great customer experiences.

IBM senior vice president of digital sales and chief marketing officer Michelle Peluso recently offered insight into some of the ways IBM has worked to deliver more agile experiences both internally and on the customer experience front. You can hear her episode of The CMO Podcast here.

“Client and customer needs are changing at a very rapid pace. We want to make sure IBM is interacting with the people who use our systems, software and services—not just the person making the purchase decisions.” @MichelleaPeluso Click To Tweet

Adding relevant influencer content is a proven method to drive engagement, build trust, and create digital experiences that are truly interesting and helpful.

“It’s not enough to simply make people aware of our brands — we need to instill an immediate sense of credibility, so that trust is being established in the very first interactions.” — Nick Nelson @NickNelsonMN Click To Tweet

#2 3M — Science Champions Podcast

At TopRank Marketing we are B2B influencer marketing specialists, and have recently worked to feature influencers in our client 3M’s Champions of Science series of podcasts.

Recent industry experts appearing on Champions of Science have included Professor Stephen Curry, Department of Life Sciences at Imperial College London, Dr. Suze Kundu, Materials Chemist and Science Presenter, Chris Gammell, Principal, Analog Life, LLC, and Matt Hartings, Associate Professor of Chemistry at American University.

Using podcasting can be a great way to up your customer experience game, and we’ve recently taken a look at how B2B marketers can promote podcasts, and have also gathered together an industry-leading list of top marketing-related podcasts, which you can find here:

“If you’re at an enterprise-level organization, you have a built-in audience. Encourage your employees to listen to each episode and share it with their social networks.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites Click To Tweet

#3 Businessolver — 2019 State of Workplace Empathy

Employee benefits administration technology firm Businessolver sought to connect with customers through conducting a study of empathy in the workplace, causing professionals to take a close look at what has recently been seen as the rising importance of empathy among workers in all fields.

Businessolver’s 2019 State of Workplace Empathy study highlights why workplace empathy should be an important part of company efforts, offering an online asset that can be cited and used by customers and their firms.

“93 percent of employees say they're more likely to stay with an empathetic employer.” @businessolver Click To Tweet

At this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, greater incorporation of empathy and intuition in marketing processes was seen as a key trend for 2020, along with learning to better recognize the individuals behind the data. Take a look at more in “6 Cannes Revelations About B2B Marketing in 2020.”

“Content marketing requires putting the empathy you have for your audience to a constructive purpose.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites Click To Tweet

#4 Marketo — Guide to Lead Generation

Each year marketing software firm Marketo creates a Guide to Lead Generation, with helpful insights for customers made available on an array of easy-to-access social media platforms including Facebook, LinkedIn, SlideShare, and Google, as well as the firm’s own site.

“We live in a hyperconnected world where our brands aren’t controlled by us anymore. They’re controlled by our customers. The brand is being defined by the buyer.” — Marketo CEO @nstevenlucas Click To Tweet

Offering helpful digital assets is just one of many successful methods to deliver great customer experiences. We’ve explored numerous additional ways savvy B2B marketers can offer memorable customer experiences in these recent articles:

“If your lead gen efforts aren’t connecting, start by getting a more accurate picture of your buying audience. Use social listening. Ask them questions. Talk to sales and customer service to refine your personas.” — Joshua Nite @NiteWrites Click To Tweet

#5 Emerson — We <3 STEM / 2019 STEM Survey

Global technology and engineering firm Emerson has worked to increase the next generation’s interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), and has conducted and released its 2019 STEM Survey.

Emerson CMO Kathy Button Bell recently shared some of the innovative initiatives the company is taking to build successful customer experiences, in an interview with Drew Neisser of AdAge.

“Empowering individuals of all ages and backgrounds with the tools necessary to thrive in STEM is a crucial step in solving the growing talent gap across several key industries,” Bell recently told Power Engineering. “We have long been dedicated to fostering a culture at Emerson that attracts and advances women through a variety of initiatives, including our 4,000-member Women in STEM group, which provides support and mentoring for our female engineers globally,” Bell added.

“To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.” — Albert Einstein Click To Tweet

How To Deliver Great Customer Expectations

When it comes to delivering great customer expectations, IBM, 3M, Businessolver, Marketo, and Emerson have given us five examples of what can be done with award-winning effort, sizable resources, and an abundance of time.

Considering the extensive effort required to produce top-quality customer experiences today, many B2B brands are turning to professional agency help from firms such as TopRank Marketing, the only B2B Marketing agency offering influencer marketing as a top capability in Forrester’s most recent “B2B Marketing Agencies, North America, Q1 2019” report.

You can also learn more on these subjects by joining us at upcoming speaking events and conferences. Our CEO Lee Odden will be speaking at Content Marketing World next week, where on September 3 he’ll be presenting “How to Develop a B2B Influencer Marketing Program That Actually Works” with Amisha Gandhi of SAP, and a solo session on September 4 exploring “Content Marketing Fitness – 10 Exercises to Build Your Marketing Beach Body.”

Our Senior Director of Digital Strategy Ashley Zeckman will also be speaking at Content Marketing World, in “Guardians of Content Vol 1: How to Scale B2B Influencer Content to Save the Galaxy.”

Lane Ellis: @lanerellisLane R. Ellis (@lanerellis), TopRank Marketing Social Media and Content Marketing Manager, has over 35 years’ experience working with and writing about the Internet. Lane spent more than a decade as Lead Editor for prestigious conference firm Pubcon. When he's not writing, Lane enjoys distance running (11 marathons including two ultras so far), genealogical research, cross-country skate skiing, vegetarian cooking, and spending time with his wonderful wife Julie Ahasay and their three cats in beautiful Duluth, Minnesota.