It is very important to understand that organisations such as BSOs or the companies they support very likely do not have all the skills to conduct hybrid b2b matchmaking. For this reason, we strongly recommend investigating the skill gap and filling this gap before any large or important hybrid b2b matchmaking project is started. Digital skills should not be underrated! Very often great products do not leave the impact they should or could - only due to bad, or less optimal presentation form.
Skills needed for successful hybrid b2b matchmaking projects
Based on our research and experiences we recommend the following skills to be in place before starting a successful digital b2b matchmaking project:
Technical skills: Although most b2b platforms can be set up without deeper technical skills we nevertheless recommend having this type of skills. All platforms look good on the surface! Technical skills will avoid any hiccups in the execution or maintenance process. Specifically, the following points are important:
- Creating criteria that help to choose the right platforms, including choosing the b2b channels, rating the platform pricing model, judging the database model, conducting a technical platform test, etc.
- Assessing all GDPR (“General Data Protection Regulation”) related aspects that are important when choosing the right platform such as registration process, data handling, location of server, etc. The treatment of personal data has become an even more important issue since the introduction of the GDPR.
- Observing data related questions in general. Many platforms look good on the surface but do not perform because the underlying data structure is poorly developed. It’ worth taking a close look at these aspects when choosing a platform. Sometimes a bad data structure can be recognised just by the data input, but for large and costly projects a technical view on the structure and philosophy of the database is absolutely necessary.
- Checking all technical aspects that support digital marketing strategies.
Moderation skills: Presenting products and moderating online discussions follow other rules than live presentations. A user can be distracted more quickly, and the moderator often does not see the body language of his audience and therefore has less opportunities to react if the attention drifts. We recommend the following skills:
- Conducting moderation in an engaging, inclusive, and interactive way. The dynamic in an online environment should change every ten minutes to keep the audience alert.
- Working with a shorter attention span. Online audiences can be distracted easily. This must be countered with interactive elements such as polls, discussion rounds, breakout rooms, etc.
New marketing skills: "Online Marketing" is different to "live marketing". "Social media marketing" (e.g. through posts or adverts) requires a specific focus. Following points are important:
- Building a customer journey that guides a buyer through all steps to the product. This customer journey should define all relevant digital touchpoints from seeing an online event for the first time e.g. on LinkedIn, via the registration process, to the digital event and post event follow up. The user must feel well looked after on each step of this journey.
- Connecting online and onsite activities as shown in the article published on SIPPO’s Covid-19 site on 19 October 2020. Buyers want to test, taste or experience products whenever possible. Creating such moments will make a digital event outstanding.
- Apply all online marketing techniques such as social registration that pushes the registrant to its social media channels, recommendation system that allows a registration to alert his/her network about his/her participation in the event, exclusive invitations that create a sense of urgency to register, etc.
Please investigate carefully if your organisation has these skills. Plan how to fill the skill gap if you discover them. Also, for sure, please let us know if we can help.
Matthias Tesi Baur, MBB Consulting Group, exclusive for SIPPO