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Mc Kinsey research: importance of digitization and marketing

Digital Marketing

Digitalization has been on the agenda for a while, but the corona crisis has accelerated dramatically. The importance of digital channels and services is considered of great importance, according to a McKinsey & Company research report. At the top of most frustrating problems with supplier websites, we see 1. the length of the ordering process, 2. the difficulty of finding products, and 3. technical difficulties in ordering.

Other common problems included confusing websites, lack of information about delivery and technical support, and problems setting up payments. How is your website and all digital processes doing? 

McKinsey hopes to use insights from this research to help in an appropriate follow-up. First by coming through the crisis with resilience, planning for recovery, and then imagining the next normal. Clearly, there is much uncertainty, but there are signs of an acceleration of earlier trends. 

The transition to digital

Digital channels for B2B companies have grown significantly in recent years and increased dramatically again since the COVID-19 crisis. On average, sales leaders now rate digital channels about twice as important as before. This shift in the importance of digital interactions is reflected in customer behavior. When researching products, customers' preference for digitally enabled sales interactions has increased significantly, with vendor mobile apps and social media or online communities showing their strongest increase since 2019. Mobile apps are twice as important for researching products among Chinese buyers as for those in the UK or Germany. Interestingly, the importance of a supplier's webpage did not change much, probably because customers were already actively using supplier websites for this part of their journey. When making a purchase, buyers cited a strong preference for self-service, with suppliers' mobile apps more than doubling in importance since last year. 

"Getting it right" means three things, which buyers value most: Speed, transparency and expertise. Those priorities apply across all channels, and they are more relevant now than ever. For example, 33 percent of buyers surveyed rated the option of livechat as one of the top three requirements for a best-in-class vendor during the research phase of their buying journey. Livechat, for example, is an option that offers speed, transparency and expertise - things customers value most. To provide excellent digital experiences and encourage loyalty, B2B companies must address at least the most pressing customer pain points and frustrations. The three most frustrating problems with supplier Web sites were found to be (36 percent) the length of the ordering process, (34 percent) the difficulty of finding products and (33 percent) technical difficulties in ordering. Other common problems included confusing Web sites, lack of information about delivery and technical support, and problems setting up payments.

How marketing and Sales can shape the new normal

The sudden and massive shift to remote working, as a result of the corona pandemic, have profound implications for the way companies sell to and buy from each other. While most sales leaders accept the need to move to greater use of digital channels (in fact, many have made significant adjustments since quarantines began), it is not as simple as simply "moving to digital. The surge in the use of digital channels means that companies need to think carefully not only about how to enable effective digital interactions, but also how to best engage their salespeople. Re-orchestrating the customer experience and associated sales processes across channels should be at the top of the list. In this digital world, the human touch still has a crucial role to play.