How should B2B organizations approach creating content for potential customers?
People are a lot more selective with the materials and content that they engage with, especially after the pandemic where we all became flooded with everything that occurs in our personal lives. There is also a bigger push towards digital channels, which has led to a more curated “feed” of what people interact with. We have to remember that even in a B2B environment, it’s people, individuals like you and me, who are making the decisions. The habits from our personal lives translate into the B2B world. Therefore, it’s crucial that companies take the time to target the right audiences with relevant content that will actually be interesting and useful to them. Putting together this strategy goes beyond looking at an algorithm based on a set of data to make assumptions and decisions. We cannot rely solely on machine learning and AI to define our target or define what content we show them. I believe the human element there still plays an important role, particularly if it’s a specialist who knows all the aspects of the product/service so that they can go one step further and connect the dots from the digital footprint to better assist clients.
In your opinion, what does it mean to have a digital mindset and how can companies use it to achieve transformation?
Digital transformation is never going to be a project that starts and finishes. It’s ongoing and ever-evolving so we have to be in a mindset of constant development because there will constantly be new challenges that arise. What I train you on today, may not be true anymore in a few months’ time. In the past, we could have a project with a three-year plan and once it went live, the solution could sit there as is for several years. Now, everything is incremental and develops as you go along. I believe the real game lies in the future and understanding how to build coherent databases with relevant data points that will allow you to use ML and AI to forecast and project different case scenarios, and therefore better prepare you to adjust accordingly. Real digital transformation comes when you can build intelligence that you can apply for future planning.
“Real digital transformation comes when you can build intelligence that you can apply for future planning”.
“While people may go through a large part of the journey through digital channels, once they’re engaging with us, they need to trust that we’re the best solution for them”.
Is there still a place for human interaction in a b2b buying journey that is mostly digital?
One of the biggest challenges is linking up all the software and data management systems. It can be very complex, very quickly. You need high-level expertise to get the full use of all of these systems and be able to translate business needs into actual tech speak and processes within the system that build the API connections. The human component here is crucial in optimizing the technology that’s available as well as during the innovation process where someone can identify opportunities for new applications.
Another area where human interaction can be a point of differentiation is in the sales cycle itself. We are very reliant on strong face-to-face relationships in the distribution channels which leads to stronger relationships with our end customers. While people may go through a large part of the journey through digital channels, once they’re engaging with us, they need to trust that we’re the best solution for them and that our engineering expertise is what sets us apart from what can otherwise look similar on paper. It’s the service that humans provide to customers that sets us apart.
Harwin is a global manufacturer of interconnect devices and PCB hardware with over 70 years of experience in the industry and a wide-ranging portfolio. Headquartered in the UK and with offices in the USA, and Singapore, as well as maintaining a global distribution network, Harwin’s global reach and a comprehensive understanding of the latest technologies have helped the company to grow continuously.