B2B & Omnichannel Marketing

by Will Francis

Posted on Dec 10, 2021

In this episode of 2021, host Will Francis talks to Dominik Schneider, global head of digital marketing and customer engagement at Straumann Group, one of the world's leading manufacturers of dentistry products. He discusses how he has built up the group's social channels, and run global integrated campaigns across all markets and brands, and gives us an insight into their omnichannel demand generation engine.

While marketing to dental professionals is a B2B activitiy, at the end of the day it's all really "business to humans".

The Ahead of the Game podcast is brought to you by the Digital Marketing Institute and is available on Apple PodcastsSpotify, and YouTube.   

Episode Transcript


Will: Welcome to "Ahead of the Game," a podcast brought to you by The Digital Marketing Institute. This episode is a big Q&A, where we explore an area of marketing through a leading industry expert. I'm your host, Will Francis, and today I'll be talking to Dominik Schneider, all about B2B digital marketing. In other words, marketing your products and services to other businesses through social and digital channels. Dominik is Global Head of Digital Marketing and Customer Engagement at Straumann Group in Basel, Switzerland. They're a leader in dentistry products, offering things like implants and braces all around the world. He's worked in Global Health care and industrial brands based in Switzerland, including Clariant and Rush, and now heads up all digital activity at Straumann Group where he's built up their social media channels. And he runs global integrated digital marketing campaigns, as well as driving digital commercial transformation across the whole company. Dominik, welcome to the podcast. It's great to have you on.


Dominik: Thank you for having me. Great pleasure. Thanks.


Will: It's a pleasure because the topic, B2B marketing, is one that a lot of people struggle with, particularly those who are transitioning over from B2C marketing, you know, who are new to it, it can seem quite tough. So we'll get into all the details of that. And I'm looking forward to learning lots from you. But just first of all, just give me a brief overview, what you do in your role, so like, who you're marketing to, and generally how you do that.


Dominik: So B2B my area which is dentistry for the Straumann Group, means marketing to dental professionals all around the globe. When we talk about dental professionals, these can be you know, general practitioners, that can be oral and maxillofacial surgeons, can be periodontologists, orthodontists, dental labs. So you know, all different kinds of dental professionals that we have to market to and they're all you know, a little bit different in their roles, and what they do in their daily business and therefore, also how they are receptive to our communication. And therefore, I think marketing in dentistry, specifically for the Straumann Group means high granularity in tweaking, and customizing, personalizing messages, so that our target audience finds them valuable and useful.


Besides that, I think it's also yes, we're operating worldwide. And that means taking into consideration various cultures, economies, market situations, we don't have the illusion that we can, from the headquarter here in Basel, Switzerland really operate all local digital marketing or communications or general marketing and sales activities centrally. So what we try to do is naturally creating and delivering core building blocks, so that, then the country's local markets are able to make adaptations and execute locally. Because in the end, you know, every dental professional is a little bit different in all the markets and the local people know their markets best they have to local expertise, they have the local contacts. And you always need to tweak it a little bit, so that, you know, it gives a local topspin, and therefore, it's always this interplay between centralized brand building and local execution to make it fit for the local marketing.


Will: So how do you manage that? How do you give that freedom locally, whilst making sure that, you know, the brand is being stuck to and all that kind of thing? How do you kind of reconcile those two things?


Dominik: Yeah, it's an excellent question. And I think there is no definite answer to that, there is just you know, trying to do one or the other way. Straumann Group has been traditionally where we decentralized which may be right or wrong, for different markets for different companies. We just really, truly believed that the market should be as independent as possible to act like speedboats. Not to be you know, too much dependent on the headquarters which tend to be slower than what they are as to how fast they react locally. But of course, it goes with you know, strong enablement, strong internal communication, making everybody aware what the brand guidelines are, what the brand stands for, what is allowed, what isn't allowed. It's a lot about, you know, yeah, internal education enablement and a constant flow of information. But naturally, I mean, sometimes we yeah, detect things locally that we probably wouldn't have, you know, approved as such, if everything would go through central approval, but then again it's not about finger-pointing or finding the culprit, but then again, taking up the conversation and making people smarter, and so that they can live up to their best.


Will: I think that's an inevitable price that you pay, isn't it? For, you know, unless you have a completely rigid global structure that is completely centralized, yes, there will always be a bit of compromise, but I think it would be unrealistic to expect anything else.


Dominik: What we're also trying to do, I think, in that respect, is really what we currently see or have seen in the past is a lot of reinventing the wheel, when it comes to local markets, so that didn't really you know, share the information among them with best practices, what has worked best. So we now explore a new go-to-market model or digital commercialization concept that, you know, where we centralize at least or put into shared service centers, the competencies to run digital marketing campaigns, locally, with shared expertise, shared service centers, that at least you know, we know which countries do which campaign and that it has been successful in one country, we can also share it with other countries and make it a group thing. In parallel, we're also trying to, you know, bridge the gap between...we have different brands, so Straumann Group is the house of brands. And again, they're also all very independent, have their unique identity, brand identity, and they deliver sort of blueprints or blueprint campaign toolboxes to this marketing operations studio, as we call it. And together with those people, we then help the markets to execute campaigns locally, which naturally brings us to adhering to the brand guidelines as much as possible. And also exploiting synergies from one market to the other.


Will: That's interesting. Yes. So is a two-way thing and that learnings can come back from the markets, things that have worked particularly well, in specific markets, you know, that comes back to Switzerland, that information and then you can work out if that could help other markets out there, right? So you kind of create this kind of suppose this web of yeah, information sharing. And that makes a lot of sense. So yeah, your audience is not consumers primarily, it's those businesses that you talked about, those kinds of dental labs and dental practices of one sort or another. What are the specific challenges for you, with B2B marketing do you think?


Dominik: As you probably you know, could guess before when I talked about our dental professional are already there, we have quite a big variety of job descriptions or, specialties. And so the diversity is definitely one of the biggest challenges, I would say. Because nowadays people always talk about customer journeys, if you go into communication or digital marketing. And what we figured, I mean, there is no such thing as the customer journey that, you know, sort of fits through all the specialties that we have to serve and GPs, oral maxillofacial surgeons, they all have different needs. They all have different ways of researching, buying, rebuying, etc. So really, also the size of the practice is definitely something to consider. So really, we have to think thoroughly in those personas and map out the journeys for specific campaigns that we're doing, also journeys, when it comes more to, you know, sort of the entire lifecycle of being something like a newsletter subscription to becoming maybe a light registration on a eLearning platform to really becoming a customer that is entered in CRM that has a login with our e-shop, etc.


Also there, I think we really have to think through different kinds of user journeys, customer journeys, for the different segments. And this, I think, is really just a challenge because naturally, you tend to try to unify as much as possible, just to reduce complexity, but that's not...never really living up to the expectations that the customers may have. And therefore I think it's always this balance between going too deep, too narrow, but also obviously we cannot spend endless amount of time just serving every single segment of one. So therefore, that's one of the biggest challenges.


Will: So it's quite fractured, it's quite segmented the way that you see it. So, but do those different segments see a lot of the same content? How tailored is it to your different personas?


Dominik: I think dental professionals are actually highly engaged audience and I will probably say other health care professionals are likewise in specific areas. They really love to consume rich content that is adding value to their decision-making processes to their professional life. They like scientific, educational, clinical cases, clinical content, in a way that is easily consumable. So I mean, if you talk or target more academic, and probably hospital-based dental professionals, then you know, they're used to reading scientific and peer-reviewed journals, etc., and the latest research, but if you're talking to general practitioners, and other healthcare or dental professionals, I think they really like to have condensed information that where the practical use of such a scientific finding, or whatever is being explored Ideally, also from peer-to-peer.


And I wouldn't say that we, you know, really create content for segments of one, but obviously, we're trying. But this is, again, a constant struggle between the resources we have available, the aspirations that we have, and what the customer actually would need, and what we can finally also deliver. But yeah, you need to have a benchmark or an aspiration to jump as high as possible. And otherwise you don't jump high enough.


Will: Yes, indeed, indeed. That's interesting to hear about that, how you go be quite segmented about it. So how do you think a B2C marketer, like myself really would need to adapt when coming into your environment of B2B marketing?


Dominik: First of all, I think in the B2B space, it's not always one single decision-maker. It's not necessarily the case. Also, B2C, if you're buying a new TV, obviously, your wife, your children, also have a say in that. But in B2B, it's usually yes, it's a practice owner, if it's a single practice, owner practice, but sometimes, you know, it's like multi-owner practice, or we even talk about dental service organizations, clinics, chains, where you have, you know, sort of the CEO, you have the operations manager, you have the clinical lead, and these are all different stakeholders that have different needs. And marketing to B2B means not just segmenting in between different target audiences, or different dental professionals, but really, crafting messages that fit all the stakeholders that are part of a decision making process. And I think this is something that you need to consider when moving from B2C to B2B.


Also, there is much longer decision making processes. It's less just, you know, by gut feeling or emotional impulses, I think this really has to be taken into consideration. There's top funnel, there is mid-funnel and bottom funnel, you know, journey stages that require us to craft different kinds of messages, going from awareness to consideration and final decision making. And I think the loyalty game is also probably different that doesn't need to be for all B2C scenarios. Obviously, if you're again, in liaison with the retailer, you have your loyalty programs, etc. But again, it's not the case for all B2C products, and usually B2B, it just starts with getting a customer into your world first time buying, and then you really have to leverage him and his, you know, also career in a longer period of time. So it's really a partnership, where you as a company, you bring him value constantly, and if you don't deliver that, he will look beyond your company, and I think this is something that is very much different from from B2C.


Will: Yes, you're right. It's that longer sales cycle. But doesn't that mean that loyalty is easier because it's harder for people to find a different supplier?


Dominik: Again, yes, it's a longer decision-making cycle but again, if you lose someone, you know, it's an also much harder, much more expensive to acquire new customers. So I think it's very important to keep them in and even in such a specialized area like dentistry where we produce dental implants and clear aligners, you know, also prosthetic parts for tooth restorations, it's, how do you say, to really differentiate yourself to differentiate yourself with just the products gets harder and harder, because, you know, most of the internationally operating companies produce very high-quality products. So you really need to differentiate yourself through services, through you know, really also a digital experience that makes making business with us for them easy, useful, and enjoyable. And therefore, I think, you know, it's yeah, really that part where you need to keep them into your game, because otherwise, they will switch because a B2B buyer today is actually like a B2C buyer because he expects sort of the same Uber and Amazon like experiences as he does in his private life.


Will: Hello, a quick reminder for me that if you're enjoying our podcast series, why not become a member of the DMI so that you can enjoy loads more content from webinars, and case studies, to toolkits, and more real life insights from the world of digital marketing. Head to digitalmarketinginstitute.com/aheadofthegame, sign up for free. Now back to the podcast.


The way that brands, serve as, B2C brands, servers, that's changed the B2B customers' expectations, right?


Dominik: Absolutely. I mean, the shift is not new. I mean, it started latest, if not much earlier, but in 2008, when you know, famous Steve Jobs presented his iPhone, ever since that he...also the B2B buyer, or especially the B2B buyer had all the power in his hands to make the research to talk to peers. And there is a lot of, you know, research and studies out there to say, in a B2B decision making journey, it's actually 60% to 80% of that journey is being made by a B2B buyer without ever getting in contact with the sales or any representative of the company he's intending to buy from, which means B2B companies are missing out the first 60% to 80% of that journey, and are trying to get into that game. But so the customer or the B2B buyer is empowered by technology. And he has higher expectations than ever, again, by you know, having also private life or receipts, what digitally is possible, and how easy it is to make a contract with Uber to ride on a taxi. And this experience and expectations are also reflected on the B2B buyer, and they expect us you know, through their digital touch points that they have, with or without our company throughout getting in contact with either an inside sales, a sales rep, or somebody in a course that he later may book that the experience is always consistent, seamless, and that whomever he's talking to has an idea of where he stands in his decision making process and what past touch point he's had, and making this sort of work internally that everybody understands and has the full 360 view of the customer. I think this is something that we are struggling with, and that a lot of other B2B companies probably also struggling with yeah.


Will: Talk to me about that. What is this? Because I hear a lot about this challenge of having the 360-degree view of the customer. Just tell me in plain layman's terms, what that means and why it's a challenge.


Dominik: Probably it's just the simplest to start with an example. And it's probably not the self...you can also say like the customer or the B2B customer is on a journey to you know, he probably reads an interesting article somewhere about that new dental implant that Straumann has brought on the market. He starts his own research, Googling around, he probably ends up with one of our YouTube articles where we publish clinical cases, to the practical use of our implants. He may subscribe as a newsletter subscriber, he gets another email a month later. There is another offer to download the free eBook with you know, additional...I don't know 10, 15 clinic cases, he leaves his email address and some more details. At some point, we in marketing we say, "Okay, this you know, there's a lead that is heating up based on his engagement with us then we will also try to gather additional information about him. Like, you know, how long has he been in practice? What's his educational status? What's the city he lives in? Is it you know, metropolitan area, is it rural area? We may investigate how many implants he places per year.


And all this information, having, you know, more insights or profile data of the customer will help us to qualify and score the leads. And at some point, we will hand that lead over to a sales rep or an inside salesperson. And that usually is where in our roles, the traceability, when it comes from a data perspective, comes to an end, because then we rely on a human being that is then picking up the conversation with leads, you know, either physically on the phone. And then still having that data in our systems because you need to manually add it, what the conversation has been about. When did he get a contact? Is he moving on in the opportunity management? So the pipeline sort of is he moving stages ahead? Is he finally also buying and having this full view? I think this is where, you know, systems don't do the job itself. There's obviously a lot of automation tools out there. And probably the most sophisticated technology does a lot of the manual work for the people, but in the end, really capturing all these data points and bringing them together in systems that talk to each other. I think that is sort of the the holy grail of B2B marketing.


Will: That sounds great. But that does also sound hard, because like you say, that's not one system. There's humans involved. So just to pause on that point for a minute. Do you, you know, you have CRM software? Is there one tool that does it all? Or do you have to tie different tools together there?


Dominik: Yeah, we wish there was one tool, probably companies selling these tools would probably say that, you know, there is one tool that does it all. In my experience so far, there hasn't been this one holy grail tool. And also there's seldomly a company that comes from Greenfield. So usually what we talk about is a brand field approach. So we have a lot of legacy technology that has been stacking up over the years with lots of customization. And now everybody is, you know, jumping on the, let's go to the cloud bandwagon. And you're then stuck with the question, so how do we get this done?


So we're in the middle of this journey, right now, the way we did it, or are doing it is looking at the use cases. And I think here again, as I pointed out before, it is not the one and only customer journey that will reflect all the customers out there, but you really need to look into specific use cases, and start with ones that are most valuable to the customer and also most valuable to business efficiency. And then you map those out. So you say for example, we want our customers to be able to register on our e-shop by themselves. Because right now with the struggle because we sell medical devices, a lot of countries they require a prior check about their financials, but also if they're really a registered dental professionals, because otherwise we're not allowed to sell them something. But in today's world, there is ways how you can, you know, at least from a business perspective, automate this by, you know, they can upload their identity cards with a live picture capturing. They can enter their registration number as a dental professional with lookups in different systems. So there's a lot of these services available, but what you really need to do is map out these use cases and journeys, be it internal and/or external.


And this is what we did for various cases. So this self-service capabilities for the customers like you know, doing e-returns so if that you can return your product within with an online form e-complaints that if you know a product is has failures or whatever didn't work. And that you can also submit these things online 24/7 at any time, and also going to the e-shop whenever you want. So these kind of self-service journeys we've mapped out. We mapped out these leads to loyalty journey, as we call it, where you know, really, from the first data capture of a potential lead or prospect until we hand it over to our inside sales to sales rep. That this journey is also automated as much as possible to really being able to automatically resolve the identity of a new registrants. And these things really you need to in every detail, map it out. creating all these kind of process mapping workshops, design thinking. And then in the end, yes, you need strong as in our case, strong technology part because that then translate that into yeah, a roadmap or agile product, digital product developments that you constantly follow up. And as you mentioned before, it's not just one tool. So it's many tools. And there is for each tool, there is a product group or you know, a product development group, a product owner, and they all work usually independently. And the trick is then to synchronize all of them together, so that they all share the same vision, where we want to head to, and then constantly align interdependencies and aligning, you know, sort of development roadmaps and times, and bringing that all into sync. And I think this is in the end, the art technology does a lot of things. But you need to tell the technology what to do. And yeah.


Will: Yes. So that's interesting. See, yeah, you have these like use cases. So they would be the way to describe that, the various sort of...the various objectives, the various actions that you want to drive, and what leads to them. And you sort of map out those journeys. And then like you say, work out how to optimize those. Now, it sounds like you've done quite a lot of work. I mean, clearly, you've been at Straumann for a number of years, and it's been you that's implemented a lot of this stuff. When you got started with this, was the problem not having enough people coming into the funnel? Or was there a very specific point in the funnel that was very leaky? Like, what was the big problem?


Dominik: No, you point right at the right pain points. It's never the problem to get enough attention, leads, marketing, qualified leads, registrations for webinars, etc. That's usually the easy part. The difficult part is then to identify those that really have an intent. And if you have identified those that have an intent, it's then about bringing them into your existing database. Because usually, again, like webinars and all these other digital marketing things, they happen on siloed databases again, and it sort of connects them to our existing customer database. And first of all, identify, do we know this person already? Yes, or no. And if yes, then it's, you know, you can automate sort of this lead creation process where then routes the leads to the right sales rep, because based on you know, zip code, and then sort of which brand, which solution, and focus we are looking at.


But as soon as you don't know the customer yet, or seemingly, you don't know, because you weren't able to resolve the identity, that's where then the manual part comes in, and there is then sort of in our world, you know, you create sort of a ticket or a task to a back office team that then creates that new prospect in the system that then creates a manual lead to the salesforce. And usually already there, we see a leakage of the traceability of, because we did that marketing activity, it's now created that lead that a month later did do this purchase, because people tend then to forget, "Okay, I should have added this campaign ID, for example". Or, also, again, if you have the lead created, even with the campaign ID to the salesforce, and it's not about finger-pointing and saying sales is something wrong, but it really, they also tend to forget that, "Oh, I need to put this prospect one stage ahead in our opportunity management," so that marketing again, knows that something is moving and that we can really say these and these marketing activities have brought so many opportunities in the pipeline, and they have been moving so and so fast.


And to have that intel, to then actually improve the way we capture more of those leads, this would be really great to have, we don't always have it. And speaking of that, again, what we're trying to do is to map out what are the systems involved? What are the processes involved? Who are the people involved in these journeys? And always ask ourselves, where do we capture data? Where is it stored? How is it processed? How can we create segments out of that? So what micro factors or attributes do we have to create these micro segments? How do we activate them later on? And also how do we measure the whole thing yeah?


Will: Yeah, that's a really nice crystallized way of thinking about it, actually, what you just said there and that is the hot sort of the job of lead handling. You talked about MQLs, marketing qualified leads, which just for the benefit of listeners is a system whereby at some point, a lead is scored, and that score rises above a certain threshold and some sort of trigger happens, and then that person is then passed to sales. So maybe they downloaded a certain number of white papers or took a certain amount of actions on the website. And that kind of puts them into onto this other list of people that should be followed up with by sales. Is that a fair description of that?


Dominik: Yeah, that's pretty adequate. I think I can only add that engagement, as you just pointed out, you know, a number of clicks, and then downloads of things that, show like an intent. But on the other hand, if you really wanna make salespeople happy, is not just people that are really engaged, but also people that are engaged, and actually the right fit for what we call the ideal customer profile. And I think the only way to get it right is on one side we talked about it is technology, yes, the data and the system need to speak to each other. But actually beforehand you also need to speak to your salespeople to really identify what kind of leads do you want from us? And how can we sort of play together, that you can act on the best leads? And defining this ideal customer profile is the other critical element in lead scoring.


So on one side, you have the engagement score, on the other side, you have the fit of the ideal customer profile. So if a sales rep says," I'm interested in leads that place at least 50 implants per year." Yeah, if you know, if somebody only places 20, but he's highly engaged, then we may not send him to salesforce, and we may send him another email that says, "Look, ideally, here's the place where you can register for our e-shop, or go do this course, or we send them to inside sales, because obviously, that's a less costly sales channel. So this is what we then call omnichannel, an omnichannel model that we actually orchestrate from demand generation. So really bringing those people into the funnel, but then qualifying them and redistributing them to the right follow-up channel that, is most effective, but also in it from an experience or experiential point of view. And also most efficient for the customer.


Will: That's very interesting. And just in really practical terms, just to bring this stuff right down onto the desk, like, how is this scoring? How does the scoring work? Is that your CRM system that's doing that automatically, like what is actually happening there?


Dominik: Yeah, good question. Again, I think the CRM system, at least in our case, is more like the database where you captured the master data, as we call it, of your existing customer. And of most of your prospects, we define prospect as somebody that is in our serum, but has never bought from us. Whereas a customer is somebody that has been, or has a buying history with us. So we only become a customer once you've bought. Before, you're either a prospect or an opportunity or a lead in sales to a commercial terminology. For the actual lead scoring, or lead capturing, lead scoring, lead profiling, and lead qualification, etc., we use marketing automation, or you can also call it multi-channel automation in certain ways, yeah.


Will: Right. So that's just baked into your CRM system, and everybody has a score?


Dominik: No, this is not baked into our CRM system, this is really a software stack that is put on top, but it's heavily interlinked with the CRM because we always again, differentiate between existing customers. And, you know, we even for existing customers, somebody that has been buying a certain kind of implant, but is getting interested in another one, in another type, from another brand, or whatever, can still become a lead. I think this is just, you know, a different kind of lead. It's a lead of an existing, you know, customer.


And these scorings again, because we know, we sent them information because we've identified them as a potential segment that, you know, ideally would be interested in our other products as well. That they have been sent communication and they have been responding to that communication that would trigger a score. That then again, triggers sales or back office activity. Traditionally, we're very strongly engaged with SAP. That's German company, and they're, you know, we're using it SAP CRM. So the base, but then also SAP ERP, that's then the system, where you know, all the invoicing and the logistics is happening. We use SAP marketing cloud, it's called for the marketing automation. We use also SAP Commerce Cloud , which is the news for our e-shop. And we also have things like SAP Customer Data Cloud, which is a customer identity and access management. So this kind of single sign on technology where the customer will have one, single password and login to access all of our digital services.


Will: I see, right, So it's those SAP products that are doing all of that stuff that we've talked about.


Dominik: But we also complemented with other, you know, companies' products, but more like bolt on, I think, you know, again, yes, it's like a Frankenstein in the end, you somehow need to put into...


Will: It always is like you say, it always is, regardless of how big and comprehensive a suite of marketing tech products that you use, you'll always bolt on very specific, you know, use case specific or problem specific things and that's totally fine. And I'm sure our listeners do that in their own way as well. Just another thing to pick up on, you talked about the omnichannel thing, and how you've made everything there quite omnichannel, but just break down again, in very practical terms, like what does that actually mean there at Straumann?


Dominik: So what we call it internally to, again, to live up to the expectation of using as many buzzwords as possible, is we call it our omnichannel demand generation engine that we're building up. And I think you have to understand that yes, everybody talks about digital transformation these days. And there is various definitions. When I talk now about digital transformation, I really mean the customer experience transformation or how we commercialize our, you know, products and solutions. So Straumann, traditionally has been really strong with field sales force going from door to door, farming, but also hunting new customers. And the company has significantly grown out over the last seven, eight years, and we've you know, acquired new brands, we've were serving additional customer segments. And therefore, we just figured, you know, the sales reps out there aren't able to really sell the full portfolio of all brands and all solutions. And obviously, they're naturally going after the ones that you know, add most value to the customers or, you know, bring the biggest incentive for themselves.


So a lot of brands, a lot of customer segments just get overlooked. And we then you know, embarked on a journey to say, "Okay, we need to leverage alternative sales channels, in order to also, you know, being able to commercialize these segments as well. And then how we look at it is, from an organizational perspective, because the different brands within the Straumann Group, they would usually have something like called their launch readiness, or, you know, they launch new products and solutions that goes with registering the product. In certain regions, it goes with, you know, having massive data in the systems for logistics for regulatory approvals, all sorts of things, including marketing and sales material that is being created, translated and sent over to the countries, but then usually what we've talked about already, countries then look at those materials, they either reinvent it, or not use, it or use it in a different way.


And we want to make this process more efficient. But always and this is something strange or may sound strange, always on the premises of living up to having an industry-leading customer experience, because we believe only if you always put the customer at the center stage of your thinking, you can really then also internally get more efficient. I'm giving you an example again, if this lead to loyalty process doesn't work internally, because marketing qualifies a lead and, you know, somebody actually requested to be talking to a sales rep, but the sales rep never reaches out, I think this is really not a bad experience. So in order to get that right, you need to internally align. The same goes with reading an article on the internet, subscribing to a newsletter, maybe downloading a brochure, talking to somebody from the field, salesforce, the experience should always be you know, seamless, the messaging should be aligned and clarified. And everybody should know the history of that, you know, lead into our journey. And, again, if you don't take as your leading vision, you're not gonna align internally. And I think how we look at the omnichannel demand generation, as we call it, is really less a technology, transformation, less only a process thing.


But really changing the mindset of the people of really collaborating to get it. Yes, this comes to naturally down to processes as well. But we believe it's really important. And this is really the key for us in omnichannel marketing, or sales and marketing, or omnichannel commercialization is aligning sales and marketing. And we've touched upon it a little bit, it's about the ideal customer profile. So who are we after? What is a qualified lead that a sales rep would actually want to follow up with? This definition needs to happen together at the table when planning out campaigns and customer initiatives, also the lead to loyalty process. So who at what stage is whom gonna be handed over to, you know, what other person? What are the systems that will track these things? And what is the data entry diligent that is needed by all internal stakeholders involved in order to make that happen?


And we call that going, as I just explained before, from launch readiness, really to execution readiness, and only if we have a disagreement between sales and marketing, beforehand, going to launch a campaign, including aspirations, KPIs, etc., defined, and how to measure them, we will actually go out and do it. Because otherwise, you're always gonna end up in the blame game, marketing, qualified leads, sales didn't follow up, sales saying, "Well, the leads weren't worth anything." And this is how we actually see omnichannel.


Will: That makes sense. And I like the way that it's very focused around your personas and around your objectives in terms of what does a marketing qualified lead looked like? And what's that endpoint? I'm aware that our time is running short. How have you made social media work for you, as a group of brands?


Dominik: I'm not claiming that we have worked it all out. But we're definitely on the journey of getting better every day. Because we're passionate about it, I think, you know, that's, first of all, what you need, you need people that are passionate about these channels, that sort of get the concept of how to make a brand more lively, and in digital, how to tell stories, and just instead of just barking out content. And I think this is sort of the basic mindsets that you need to have. Other than that, I think it's always and really always about value. And for us or probably in general, the healthcare professional's always about education, science, and clinical practice, approaches or clinical cases, in a way that is, you know, easy and enjoyable to consume. So yeah, it's an overused term.


Will: So it's all about adding value, it's about when you turn up in someone's feed, adding value through information that just helps people do their job better, basically. And...


Dominik: It's really aggregate or making content sublime in a way, you know, it's not just about taking, again, a research paper and putting a link to that somewhere. It's really about distilling the key messages for the dental professional, what it means in everyday life to him or to her, and making that in a visual way that it's easily consumable. I think this is really the key here.


Will: And you know, in terms of the content marketing more broadly, so yeah, it's informative, but can you entertain in B2B, do you think?


Dominik: We definitely believe so in the end. And this is again, an overstretched term, but it's there is no such thing as B2B but it's only business to humans. And so every time the recipe is a human being, and obviously yes, you need to emotionalize the communication as well. And we usually leave about 20% room for really do the emotional, the storytelling, and more, you know, fun part, whereas we usually say 80% needs to be somehow value adding and more business-related.


Will: Do you think there are any brands out there that are doing this particularly well, in your view?


Dominik: A brand that I like to follow, it's probably not somebody selling something, but it's the World Economic Forum, the WEF, they really are upping the game and what it means to deliver value adding crisp, snackable content to me every day, about you know, world issues, mega trends, that are relevant.


Will: Yeah, I agree about that. That's a good shout, I follow them as well. And I think you're right, crisp, is a good way of putting it, crisp, short content that just it's well distilled. For the benefit of our listeners, what advice would you give to someone who's just got a new job and it's their first job in B2B marketing? What would you tell that person?


Dominik: Book a course with the Digital Marketing Institute and get certified of course.


Will: That is so perfect.


Dominik: I don't know that the thing it's all about constant playing and learning. Try things, read a lot. Just you know, read, read, read, I can only recommend to always subscribe to all possible newsletters, download eBooks, white papers, because it never stops. Obviously, there is core things that never change in marketing. So there's always you know, understanding your customer and living up to his expectations. But other than that, you know, technology processes, best practices, you constantly need to keep yourself up to date, otherwise, you are gonna make yourself redundant


Will: Indeed, indeed. Lastly, what sort of shifts and trends are you seeing in B2B marketing today? What's on the horizon?


Dominik: Well, I don't know so much on the horizon. But you know, I think B2C, again, Uber, Amazon, you know, we've always talked about customer centricity. I think now B2B companies are starting to understand what it means to live up to that customer centricity expectations that today's B2B customer has. And this triggers a lot of, you know, internal, organizational changes that, you know, now it's not the CEO, or just the shareholder, that is the key or the king. Now, it's really all about customer and managing...I think customer experience is definitely one of the of the new eras. So it's not just enough about sales and marketing KPIs of saying, you know, "We've put through so many MQLs, SQLs, and they've bought so many new products," but it's actually about also measuring CSAT. So customer satisfaction scores, customer effort score, so how much effort did the customer put in in order to make business with us, it's also about Net Promoter Score. So measuring the loyalty of your existing customers, at as many touch points as possible. I think this is definitely the one of the things as I mentioned before, because of that, you need to constantly align internally, sales and marketing, you know, some industries, it's even becoming one department, they call it revenue, revenue operations, or, again, demand generation.


And other than that, I think a lot of B2B companies are starting to enter the direct to consumer business model, meaning they skip sort of the reseller and directly go to the consumer. And what I've recently sort of got to know from China, it's always a good thing to look into China, how they are evolving the digital game is this consumer to manufacturer kind of development. So they're the consumers and it goes back to customer centricity, consumers are gathering in so-called group buying, I think there is it's called Pinduoduo in China, a platform like this. So actually, the consumers gather together and say, "I want or we are a group of 1000 people, we want this shoe in blue," you don't manufacture it yet. And they actually go back to the manufacturer, and make them produce the blue shoe. And again, they skip the retailer that usually would say, "Okay, based on our market research, and because we have been tracking people in our store, we've identified they might light blue shoe, but actually they want the dark blue shoe right? And now consumers are telling the manufacturers directly what they wanna have. And I think this is sort of a reverse engineered thing that we are gonna see more and more. Yeah.


Will: That's really interesting. Well, Dominik, I thank you so much for all your insight and knowledge about what you're doing there and what you've done. It's been really interesting. I'm sure our listeners all there's lots to kind of think about there for people. Before I let you go, just tell people where can they find you and connect with you online?


Dominik: Most likely, LinkedIn, I'd say, yeah, just look up for my name and the Straumann Group for now.


Will: Dominik with a K?


Dominik: With a K, exactly. And I've also got a website which is quite basic. I have to admit it's www.dominikschneider.com. Yeah.


Will: Thanks a lot, Dominik. I really appreciate it. Thanks for your time. Take care.


Dominik: Thank you and talk to you soon. Bye-bye.


Will: If you enjoyed this episode, subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. And for more information about transforming your marketing career through certified online training, head to digitalmarketinginstitute.com. Thanks for listening.

Will Francis
Will Francis

Will Francis is a recognized authority in digital and social media, who has worked with some of the world’s most loved brands. He is the host and technical producer of the DMI podcast, Ahead of the Game and a lecturer and subject matter expert with the DMI. He appears in the media and at conferences whilst offering his own expert-led digital marketing courses where he shares his experience gained working within a social network, a global ad agency, and more recently his own digital agency.

Connect with him on Twitter (X) or LinkedIn.

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