Marketing for B2B companies is simple: Keep existing customers and attract new ones.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it?
That’s not the case.
It is the buying process that is complex, not the marketing part.
Business-to-business buyers have changed. It has evolved over time.
Buyers of B2B products and services include:
- Almost all steps in the buyer’s journey are now completed online (67%).
- Buying decisions are made by tough negotiators (4 offers are refused before the best offer is accepted by the buyer)
- Millennials are demanding (77% say their last purchase was either “complex” or “difficult”)
- Most B2B buyers change suppliers at least once every 24 months (80%).
There’s no reason why they shouldn’t be.
An investment of $50,000+ into a new platform is especially significant.
From the moment they do a Google search to the moment they make a purchase, there are thousands of subtle movements between them.
It is likely that B2B buyers know more than you do about your brand, your products, and your competitors because they consume so much content about them.
Take a moment to consider:
Researching products online is one way they do this
Their friends, colleagues, and networks provide them with information
You are compared to a competitor’s product
You are then contacted when they are ready to speak with sales.
You need to keep their attention whenever you get it.
When it comes to getting their attention, how do you do it? Understanding them is the first step.
B2B marketing begins there in the modern era.
How to identify your target audience
- Decide who you want to reach
- Plan your marketing strategy
- Use the right channel to communicate
- Technology can help B2B marketers
- B2B marketing should be holistic
1. Decide who you want to reach
Two parties make up your audience:
- Those who have bought from you
- Those customers who haven’t been reached yet
Communicating with different people requires different strategies.
Knowing what they need is crucial, but it shouldn’t be different.
If you get that right, your B2B marketing campaign will be successful.
It’s easier said than done, but it’s not impossible.
A three-stage process takes place:
- Ask existing customers for feedback
Speak with your paying customers if you have any. Identify the ways in which your product and services can improve their workday and how you can assist them. The feedback your existing customers provide can help you improve your products and services, ensuring they stay with you for a long time.
- Identify your ideal customers (ICPs)
You’ll be able to determine who gets the most value from your business once you have spoken with enough customers. Make an ICP or buyer persona that clarifies the type of customer you are targeting. You now have a list of prospects.
- Engage both groups in communication.
Having identified your target audience, you need to develop a marketing strategy that addresses their needs. Prospects might not know about your company, but customers are. With both groups, it is not always possible to use the same message. Setting a goal will help you achieve it.
1. Planning B2B marketing strategy
Acquisition and retention are two types of B2B marketing strategies.
A successful acquisition marketing strategy involves attracting new customers by targeting and marketing to them. Acquisition strategies target leads in the consideration stage of the marketing journey, so they aren’t introducing your brand to brand new audiences.
The importance of acquisition marketing can be summarized as follows:
- Ensures that new customers can be systematically attracted and converted by a company
- Converts more leads and generates more revenue
- Boosts the revenue of the company as a whole
- Increases the number of customers a company has
- Offers a company’s products and services to other potential customers
By expanding and upselling to customers, retention marketing increases the likelihood of customers renewing their subscriptions.
Retention marketing is important for your organization for the following reasons:
- It is cheaper to retain customers than to acquire new ones
- It is more profitable to have loyal customers
- Feedback is more likely to be provided by engaged customers
- Finding out what your customers want
- Reduce churn among customers
A huge advocate of retention marketing is Fredrik Selander, CMO at SuperOffice. Listed below are his reasons for including this in B2B marketing plans.
Your business will die if you have a high churn rate!
Customer retention is one of the most important aspects of your business if you don’t care about it.
Your brand reputation and virality within your market segment will suffer, and you’ll lose money and momentum.
In comparison with nurturing your existing customers, finding new customers is much harder (and more expensive). If you lose a lot of customers in a tight market segment, you cannot afford the badwill that comes with it.
Turn this advantage into your biggest strength by delivering a superior customer experience.”
In B2B marketing, these two strategies are not interchangeable.
Marketing goals determine your action plans:
- Boost business growth?
- Are you keeping your existing customers?
Depending on your marketing goals, here’s how to measure acquisition marketing and retention marketing.
Are you using the right strategy?
The answer depends on the
Whether you are a start-up or a Fortune 500 company, your marketing strategy is the same. In any case, they shouldn’t be (at least, that’s what should happen).
How far are you along your journey of growth?
The focus will be 100% on acquisition when you launch, because you don’t have any existing customers.
Ø Gaining traction
Your resources begin to be allocated to retention marketing as you begin to see sales.
As you grow, you need to balance both acquisition and retention as you bring in more new customers.
The acquisition and retention strategies in your business will be split 50-50 by the time you become an established company.
Ø Preferred brand
By the time you reach profitability and become the preferred brand within your industry, you will have leaned heavily on retention marketing rather than acquisition.
Here’s something you should consider before making your next move.
Neither strategy competes
with the other.
Both are important for companies to succeed. It’s much better now.
What you see is:
As your business scales and competition grows, acquisition costs will increase. It may not be as affordable to acquire a new customer in 10-12 months.
Investing in building relationships with customers and delivering high quality products and services will, however, decrease your customer lifetime value costs over time. When customers see the value you deliver to them, the cost of retaining them lowers.
This is why it’s important to take both short- and long-term strategies into account.
Marketing flywheels play
a crucial role here.
A traditional marketing funnel stopped once a prospect became a customer, that is, after conversion.
However, that doesn’t mean the relationship is over. I don’t think it’s the beginning.
There is no linear A-Z process in B2B buying.
B2B Marketing Flywheel
There is a relationship there. There is wholesomeness in it. There is a cycle to it.
B2B marketing teams are increasingly focusing on flywheels rather than funnels.
The marketing flywheel: what is it?
The approach is repeatable, scalable, and continuous.
Each section becomes more powerful as you invest and build upon it.
B2B marketing flywheels consist of attract, engage, and delight, whereas traditional marketing funnels include awareness, consideration, and decision (conversion).
Let’s examine each one in more detail.
Building awareness of your brand is the goal of the “Attract” stage of the marketing flywheel. Your brand name must become synonymous with the products and services that you provide so that customers will think of you when choosing what to buy.
Through your website, social profiles, and blog, you can share insights, knowledge and expertise with your audience – increasing your online visibility.
Your prospects and customers will be able to decide if the products and services you offer are right for them by sharing relevant content.
A marketing flywheel’s “Engage” stage isn’t just about distributing leads to sales departments. Flywheel is a marketing process in which both prospects and customers are engaged. Provide real value to your customers and strengthen your relationship with them.
Guides, tutorials, webinars, and free trials are all effective ways to engage prospects and customers.
In addition to B2B marketing, this stage opens up communication between sales teams (demonstrating the product to prospects) and support teams (resolving any issues the customers report).
An experience – and a positive one – turns into a process in the “Delight” state of the marketing flywheel. A B2B buyer, unlike a B2C buyer, is looking for a relationship; they seek someone who can consult with them and empower them.
By continuously innovating products, offering exceptional customer service, offering omnichannel support, tracking customer feedback, and promoting customer loyalty, you can delight prospects and customers.
How does delighting your customers affect your business? You are once again set in motion by the flywheel when they spread the good word about you.
The following B2B marketing channels can help you communicate your message and reach your target audience now that you know the strategies and how B2B marketing has evolved.
1. Channel your B2B marketing in the right way
What comes to mind when you think of B2B marketing channels?
Is LinkedIn helpful? Marketing via email? How about events? Is TikTok safe?
All of them work, of course. Their effectiveness is undeniable.
In place of narrowing down a specific channel, let’s discuss categories instead.
B2B Marketing Channels
A variety of channels exist to reach your audience, namely owned, earned, and paid channels.
Ownership, earned media, and paid media can be summarized as follows:
- Owned media: Channels you own, like websites or email newsletters, are run, controlled, and operated by you.
- Earned media: Content and messages shared about your organization through channels used by others.
- Paid media: Advertisements in search engines, banner ads, advertorials, and product placements are all examples of paid exposure.
Taking a closer look at each one as part of your B2B marketing strategy will give us a better understanding of how to use them effectively.
Owned (In-house) media
Customers, partners, subscribers, and prospects are the intended audience for the media owned by a company.
- Website and blog:
- Communication with your target audience can be accomplished through a website and a blog. Google search (SEO) will more likely discover you if you publish more content.
- Social media: Sharing content on social media allows companies to reach people in their networks. If you want to share it, you can use your branded profile or personal profile. B2B marketers use LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube as their most popular social media platforms.
- Newsletter: Using email to communicate with your target audience is a great way to build a verified list and maintain an active readership. You need to stand out and deliver value in your email content with so many emails shared daily with subscribers.
Brands can still communicate effectively with their audiences through email marketing. In addition to being preferred by customers, it delivers a higher return on investment than any other marketing channel.
Media earned by an organization
Among earned media are blogs, forums, groups, and websites run by third parties.
- Review sites: Review websites such as Capterra, G2 and Software Advice allow users to leave reviews or ratings.
- Social media: Sharing your content on social media creates a discussion and increases awareness for your brand because people see your content as relevant, interesting and valuable.
- Online mentions: Your brand is mentioned as a trusted resource on third-party websites that compare your products or services to those of your competitors.
The paid media
In paid media, you distribute your communication to your target audience using channels you pay for. Advertisements such as search ads, banners, advertorials, and product placements fall under this category.
- Paid search: For specific terms their target audience searches for, companies can purchase top placements in Google. Remarketing, display, and text ads are all available through Google Ads.
- Sponsored updates: Social media platforms are experiencing a decline in organic reach, so sponsored updates give you more exposure. You can target ads on both Facebook and LinkedIn based on a variety of factors.
- Advertorials: Online advertorials can help you attract your ideal customer by placing them on sites that are relevant to your business. Advertising in industry magazines is another way to reach relevant buyers.
Added bonus: Sales increase
For B2B marketing, B2B sales are essential. This must be the case.
The sales and marketing teams are not aligned enough, and billions of dollars are lost every year as a result. Teams need to be aligned more as the buying process becomes more complex. A sales team can provide marketing teams with first-hand insights and distribution through a variety of channels.
- Selling Through Social Media: B2B buyers primarily use LinkedIn as a social media channel. Sales teams can start conversations with decision makers by sharing relevant content with 830 million members.
- The Outbound Process: Start small by linking to content from the company blog rather than sending cold emails to book sales meetings. If you are contacting someone in the construction industry, share your construction trends article. Specificity is key.
- A thought leader’s perspective: Their buyers provide them with firsthand insight. Make use of that knowledge by creating content and sharing it via email, social media, and industry news websites. Lead generation forms can be used to capture leads from people who visit your website due to your expertise sharing.
Clearly, you should focus your efforts on the channels in which your potential buyers reside-or are likely to reside.
Are you planning to research your solution in five years with that TikTok influencer?
It’s time to start building those relationships. A brand that does will gain an advantage over you if you don’t.
Marketing to people is still the primary goal of B2B marketing. Marketers and salespeople are talking to buyers, CMOs, whoever – a person – in their target market.
It doesn’t matter what channel you use, relationships matter at SuperOffice.”
Using owned, earned, and paid media in conjunction
It’s best to combine channels and tactics when it comes to acquisition and retention marketing.
To accomplish this, follow these steps:
- Create a LinkedIn blog post (owned) (paid)
- Make it easy for people to leave product reviews on your website (owned)
- Make your product pages more appealing by adding product reviews (earned)
- Paid Facebook ads based on reviews (earned)
Let’s get to the point…
How do you choose the right channel?
Answers to this question are not universal.
You can start by following these steps:
What’s the most popular place your customers and ideal customers hang out?
Then you can begin.
Technology can help you succeed or you can do all this manually.
This is the technology every B2B marketing team needs to invest in, from automation to tracking and reporting to data collection and security.
1. Support your B2B marketing efforts with B2B marketing technology
B2B marketing technology is necessary for your business.
Excellent! It’s now up to you to decide which is best for you.
Best of luck! More than 8,000 options are available!
It shouldn’t deter you, though.
Don’t spend time testing every new tool (also known as shiny object syndrome), but concentrate on the technologies that are crucial to your strategy. If you do not invest in paid search, you do not need ad tracking technology.
Rather than focusing on everything, focus on the areas of your strategy where technology can help.
By content and advertising, analytics, intelligence, insights, and platforms and data, we have gathered the key match that B2B marketers need.
Here’s a closer look at each of them.
A combination of content and advertising
- CMS: Content management systems (CMS) enable website owners and online businesses to manage their content. Blog posts, landing pages, and product pages can be created and managed using a CMS.
- Attribution of advertising campaigns: You can pay for top placements in Google search for decision-makers looking for solutions using ad platforms like Google Ads. Despite its costs, it is a great way to raise brand awareness with buyers who may not be aware of your business.
- Provider of email marketing services: Prospects and customers can be reached through email marketing. New product announcements, company updates, and new content can be communicated through email marketing.
- An effective conversion optimization strategy: In order to convert people into buyers, you must first have “enough” people visiting your website. This can be done by performing behavioral analyses, A/B tests, and optimizing forms.
A combination of analytics, intelligence, and insight
- Tag Manager: Your website will slow down more the more tracking scripts you have. By combining scripts into one, tag managers make it easier for you. Your website will not be affected by the number of scripts you use.
- Web analytics: In order to be successful with digital marketing, you must understand how people interact with your website, where they came from, and how long they stay on it. It’s possible to do this with web analytics.
- Lead scoring: In order to handover sales ready leads to sales teams, B2B marketers must identify leads that are ready to be engaged in a sales process. Instead of sending sales representatives to buyers who aren’t ready to buy (which only annoys them).
- IP tracking: Your website doesn’t provide much information about visitors unless they complete a form. By showing you the company name of people visiting your website, IP tracking solves that problem, to some degree. By doing so, you can determine which audience is right for your business.
Automation, platforms, and data
- A cloud-based CRM platform allows you to collect, store, and manage prospects and customers’ data. Personalize marketing communications based on interests, behavior, and interaction history using data and automated insights.
- From signup through nurture, from deal closing to lifecycle campaigns, marketing automation reduces the number of manual tasks required to communicate with prospects and customers.
Customer data platform:
- Using customer data platforms (CDPs), you can view everything about a customer, including their emails, tickets, and sales representative contact history on one dashboard. Using it, you can see a customer’s entire profile.
It’s understandable. You can choose from a variety of tech.
SuperOffice CRM is the CRM of choice for B2B marketers.
A complete CRM, email marketing, and data platform are included in SuperOffice CRM. In addition, the majority of your martech tools are grouped together in one platform that provides deep integrations with CMSs, marketing automations, and IP tracking tools.
Here’s something to keep in mind:
It is impossible to separate strategies, channels, and technologies.
The two aren’t mutually exclusive. Together, they accomplish a lot.
Taking a holistic approach to marketing is the key to success.
2. Holistic marketing is essential for B2B
The number of times a buyer interacts with your brand has decreased over the past five years. Having a presence on just one or two channels made sense then.
There is no longer a need for that.
Consider the journey of the customer. Take a moment to think about how you have purchased in the past.
There is no linear progression. This is why marketing must be approached holistically.
Our very own Niklas Stattin, Director of Digital Marketing at SuperOffice, is the perfect expert when it comes to holistic marketing. A holistic approach might be worth considering, according to him.
There used to be between six and eight interactions between B2B buyers and suppliers.
Twenty-seven interactions today!
When it comes to B2B marketing, traditional single-channel approaches cannot compete.
In order to solve the problem, we must take a holistic approach. In order to build a marketing infrastructure that covers all the different steps in the buyer’s journey, each marketing channel you invest in should support the next one.
Marketing relies on doing everything well.
It is the dream of every marketer to reach this point:
At the right time and in the right channel, deliver the appropriate message.
Google calls it winning the moments that matter.
B2B marketing has long regarded it as the Holy Grail.
The importance of data and technology cannot be overstated. Using CRM platforms, we gain insights into who the buyer is, where he or she is in their journey, and what stage they are at.
Your ability to understand a buyer on a deeper level increases as you engage with them on channels they are active in. Personalized marketing communications are possible when you understand them better.
They are acquired in this way. It’s the only way to keep them.
In this way, a successful B2B marketing strategy can be created.
The CRM platform is the cornerstone of every B2B marketing strategy, whether it’s acquiring new customers or retaining existing ones.
Additionally, customers ask about
B2B marketing vs. B2C marketing – what’s the difference?
Businesses selling to other businesses (B2B) and businesses selling to consumers (B2C) target different audiences. B2B marketing strategies appeal to businesses, while B2C marketing strategies appeal to consumers.
What is the importance of B2B marketing?
Companies benefit from B2B marketing by acquiring new customers, retaining existing customers, and growing their businesses. It is possible to withstand economic and market crises with the help of a solid B2B marketing strategy. You will be ignored by your audience if you do not use B2B marketing.
For B2B marketing to succeed, what is most important?
B2B marketing success revolves around empathy – a genuine understanding of who your ideal customer is and their challenges and pain points. By using empathy to build long-term relationships with your customers, you can use storytelling and creativity to craft marketing strategies that engage them.