In this digital world, humans still talk to humans. Peer groups are as important now as they ever were.
But the dynamic that has changed is that peer groups are using all channels to communicate - this is not something of a shock to any of us, but it does mean that we marketers need to understand the fundamentals of selling to enterprises and remember that all key stakeholders (both inside and outside our prospects and customers) need influencing.
I don't think the process has changed much. It's more the channels and tactics that have.
- Work out who the collectives are you need to speak to.
- Work out where they go.
- Work out how to get them to engage (and how to record it).
- Give them content and information that's easy to access and a user experience that is as close to "always on" as possible.
It will take a lot of testing (particularly on messaging and content), no-one can get it right first time.
To put it another way it will always be an evolving strategy. But organisations that embed it as a culture will end up with their noses in front in a many horse race.
In fact, even though your product is B2B, perhaps the biggest mistake you can make is forgetting that your sales process is still P2P (peer-to-peer). Executives make decisions for all sorts of reasons that are not based simply on product features or depth of IP. With a long sales cycle, building rapport at many levels in the customer organization chart is critically important. Mastering these softer P2P skills can help drive successful triangulation and backchanneling, which lead directly to more enterprise sales.