Planning and managing B2B investments can be intimidating if you have only ever experienced B2C organizations. While the scale and audiences might differ, the strategies at their core remain the same.
While ultimately there are many similarities between performance B2B and B2C strategies, some key differences should be considered when planning a B2B investment strategy.
- Scale: B2B strategies often contain niche audiences and rigid budgets. Geographical and targeting parameters should be limited or avoided in order to properly scale and optimize a strategy.
- Lead Value: Leads generated from B2B strategies often have a significantly high value associated with them. That said, understanding your clients’ average revenue per transaction, lead time, and expected close rate can help you reverse-engineer optimal goals and provide strategic direction to best understand the contribution of your marketing efforts – allowing you to optimize budgets accordingly.
- CRM: It’s often a long process to close a B2B lead. As such, it’s highly important that a CRM be in place and managed accordingly. This will give you insight into the effectiveness of the implemented strategies.
- Integrated Marketing & Sales teams: It often takes a village to close a lead generated from a marketing team’s efforts. Sales and Marketing need to be working together to ensure outreach and culturing efforts are taking place on a strategic cadence and feedback is being shared between teams. Feedback regarding lead quality is highly important to continually optimized B2B strategies.
Reaching and addressing B2B and B2C audiences is actually a very similar process; the main difference is in the data partners activated to identify the individual.
Channel Mix and Audience Targeting
Since B2B strategies often contain niche audiences based on a CRM or company list, some of the strongest performing channels tend to be LinkedIn or programmatic in nature. However, it is also important to maximize lower funnel tactics like Search, as Search will always be the most effective DR tactic.
Programmatic tactics typically allow for more seamless CRM integrations with more flexibility in CRM usage for lookalike audiences. LinkedIn’s nature lends itself to being a strong performer, as it contains users’ emails, job titles, and employers. This precise targeting allows for a hyper-targeted creative strategy. In addition to Search, account-based marketing is likely to drive the largest volume of leads.
It is important to conduct an audience analysis to determine which channels your specific audience over-indexes towards. This will allow you to adhere to potential budget constraints by further focusing marketing efforts.
While LinkedIn is an obvious choice when it comes to B2B social executions, Meta is a common test tactic as well. Though targeting is more broad, with the right messaging and product offering, Meta can see vast efficiencies in driving lead volume.
Get to Know Account Based Marketing (ABM)
Account Based Marketing, or ABM, is a marketing strategy that focuses on targeting specific individual accounts or companies rather than a broad audience. This strategy enables you to allocate budget to key decision-makers or specific job titles within the target accounts.
While it is a bit of a black box, ABM’s success relies heavily on a robust content strategy and a strong sales team. With Arm Candy, partnerships can be leveraged to secure efficient, specific cost-per-lead rates on ABM executions, with a guaranteed lead volume.
The Role of the Sales Team is Important
B2B marketing’s biggest hurdle is not the audience or strategy, it is the leads themselves. The key to a successful B2B strategy is a strong sales team. Once a lead is driven, the sales team must nurture it through the business funnel and ensure the proper amount of touch points and content that will ultimately lead to a successfully closed deal.
Having a proper feedback loop from the sales team back to Arm Candy is a crucial step to understanding which tactics are providing results. With more data and a communication loop, Arm Candy’s media teams can work closely with the brand to make educated shifts in strategy to continue driving the business forward.
There is a common misconception that B2B and B2C marketing are vastly different and that you need a different agency for each strategy. Raja Rajamannar, Mastercard CMO, recently said, “We don’t believe there is anything called B-to-B marketing or B-to-C marketing. It is all human-to-human marketing.” Similarly, at Arm Candy, we believe that while there are some differences between the two, the approach is the same.