You might think that marketing is the same whether you’re targeting consumers or other businesses, however, it’s important to approach B2B marketing with a tailored approach. Businesses and organizations have different motivators for end-user consumers and often require a unique strategy around messaging, positioning, and creative.
Target audiences in the B2B space are making major purchases and partnership decisions on behalf of their organization. The money they spend isn’t their own, so they are often more price-sensitive while seeking a product or service that they can trust. Time and efficiency are important to them, and so the path to purchase should be as frictionless as possible.
Here are the top 3 things we recommend when shaping your B2B digital marketing strategy.
Testing is vital for identifying niche target audiences. While you may choose to test what you already assume, it can also help to uncover new opportunities and learnings. Channels, messaging and targeting can all be investigated to optimize campaign performance. There should also always be some element of testing going on, whatever you do. It can be tempting to test early and run with it. However, macro factors, whether they be political, cultural, or technological changes, can influence purchase behaviors and so we recommend an ‘always on’ testing approach.
Clear frameworks to test and learn, in order to identify what is being tested, is highly important. As an agency, Agnes Media builds rigorous testing frameworks to ensure insights are robust and reliable.
The B2B digital media landscape can be competitive and expensive to play in. When each purchase is major, leads become more valuable. Testing helps to mitigate costs by providing constant feedback and creating a more targeted approach. Opportunities can be identified so that media spend is more finely tuned.
Ensure your brand is always testing whether it’s a new channel, tactic, style of messaging, or creative format to ensure you are always maximizing efficiencies from your budgets while identifying what resonates with your audiences. This will then improve ROI, provide valuable insights for the wider business that can be applied elsewhere while driving business growth and market share.
Know where to be
Content is key to ensuring your brand is front and center during the discovery phase of your prospects. B2B customers are usually very busy decision-makers, so it is important you’re providing quality content and engaging them by using the right channels. Regardless of the industry, trade publications can play an important role in reaching your core audiences. These sites are often connected to engaged social media profiles and mailing lists, meaning your message has a greater chance of being seen and remembered.
Customized content can be developed that aligns your brand to the needs of your audience. There are a variety of content syndication partners we recommend who put your branded content in front of a highly targeted audience and generate relevant leads in the process
Link in the sales team
For most B2B performance campaigns, the data ends once a lead is generated and the sale continues offline. It’s common for this lead to then be owned by a person in the sales team. To get the most out of your campaign, it’s vital that a process is established for getting sales team feedback, so that manual optimizations can be made. 100 leads that are wrong are less valuable than one high quality lead that is spot on.
It is further worth noting that due to the value of one lead, media budgets need to align with this. If a lead is worth $10k to a brand then that business should invest more than $10k to seek multiple leads and the CPL (cost per lead) will decrease over time.
The best way for connecting lead generation feedback to sales is to utilize a scorecard and to manually update it. For example, downloading a whitepaper might be automatically worth +10, but having a phone call with someone who has registered their details and finding out they are the decision maker in their business should be scored even higher. When the sales team are encouraged to share feedback on leads generated through digital channels it ultimately benefits them as their leads will only get stronger and stronger, as the marketing channels are optimized to drive the greatest outcome.
Marketing to business customers requires a unique approach. It’s tempting to apply a comfortable B2C strategy to your business campaign, however, this is expensive and inefficient. From capturing their attention to generating and nurturing the lead, B2B campaigns need to consider the attitudes and behaviors of both key decision makers and influencers and how these differ from a B2C prospect.
This article was written by Charlotte Ward, director of Agnes Media.
Agnes Media is a measurement-first marketing agency that drives profitable business outcomes through effective and data-based marketing efforts️.