Today’s economic headwinds make it more tempting to test new ad platforms, explore “shiny” new products and revise your original B2B marketing strategy.
For risk-averse or conservative marketers, trying something new can be intimidating. Here are key considerations before expanding your B2B portfolio.
Assessing your readiness for change
B2B marketers tend to be conservative when testing new marketing tactics, and rightfully so.
The vast majority of ad platforms are designed for B2C or DTC initiatives.
But with its unique target audience and complex sales cycles, B2B marketing requires different strategies and platforms explicitly tailored to its needs.
Most B2B companies also spend more on traditional marketing (magazines, radio, broadcast TV, and street furniture, to name a few) than digital ad spending.
If you are in a very traditional, risk-averse business, you will struggle to get the company outside “true and tested” methods.
Here are two questions to ask when determining if your company needs to think about change and diversification:
- Are you currently meeting our business goals?
- If the existing approach is not effectively contributing to the desired outcomes, it signals the need for change and diversification in marketing tactics.
- Is your sales team happy with the work of the marketing team?
- This question indicates a misalignment or gap between the marketing activities and the expectations or requirements of the sales team. This misalignment can hinder the generation of quality leads and impact overall sales performance.
The third “question” to ask is a statement.
Suppose sales says, “We need more leads,” and the only action indicated is, “Let’s increase the budget and keep doing the same.”
In that case, the company needs to evaluate the effectiveness of current strategies and explore diversification opportunities to support sales objectives better.
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Always start with your audience
After recognizing the need for change, marketers must analyze their target audience. This involves understanding:
- Where they spend their time, both during and outside office hours.
- The type of content that resonates with them.
- Their position in the marketing funnel.
While tools and publications are available to provide insights into how specific users engage online, acknowledge that not everyone has access to such extensive resources.
In such cases, a simple and cost-effective method to determine the presence of your target audience on platforms like Reddit or LinkedIn (you can do it with all major platforms today) is to upload an email list to the ad platforms.
This allows for a comparison of match rates, indicating the overlap between your ideal persona and the users on those platforms.
Another approach is to install the advertising pixel of the ad platform you are considering (which is free) on your website and wait for the audiences to populate.
By monitoring the traffic and engagement, you can gain insights into the quality and relevance of the audience.
In cases where you notice a significant amount of low-quality traffic on your site, implementing two different triggers can help assess the total website visitors versus lead forms.
By placing one trigger across your entire site and another specifically on key confirmation pages, you can estimate the number of spammy or unqualified leads expected from each platform.
With these methods, you can gain valuable information about your target audience's online presence, engagement, and potential lead quality, even with limited resources.
This data can then inform the decision-making process and guide the allocation of marketing efforts toward the most effective platforms and channels.
Designing the right test and measurement plan
Designing the right test and measurement plan in B2B marketing involves a systematic approach to ensure accurate evaluation and actionable insights.
First, define clear objectives for the test, identifying the specific outcomes or insights you aim to achieve. This could include:
- Improving lead generation.
- Optimizing conversion rates.
- Assessing the effectiveness of a new marketing channel.
Next, identify key metrics that align with your objectives (i.e., click-through rates, conversion rates, cost per lead, or ROI) to serve as benchmarks for measuring the test's success and providing actionable insights.
During the implementation phase, continuous monitoring and measurement is essential. Track the performance of the test in real time and collect relevant data.
Tests are often stopped because they may not generate many leads. But not all platforms in ecommerce are designed to generate leads or sales.
If the user you acquired is correct but not ready to engage with sales, that doesn't mean it failed.
It just means that you must re-engage that user and move them to the next step of the B2B buyers’ journey.
Embracing a culture of innovation
This decade will be pivotal for B2B marketers, as success or failure will hinge on their ability to adapt to a rapidly changing environment.
Many will succeed by challenging themselves and embracing innovation, while others may falter, especially if they resist this ongoing change.
A significant shift is expected as B2B mobile traffic is projected to surpass desktop traffic.
This raises an important question: Is your website – and funnel – prepared to handle the influx of mobile traffic?
Privacy regulations are also shaping the use of customer data. It's essential to have a contingency plan in case you need to cease using customer lists to comply with unexpected changes in compliance.
Another crucial consideration is whether you have a dedicated testing budget separate from your regular marketing campaigns.
Are you actively utilizing this budget to experiment with different tactics, or do you use it repeatedly for the same marketing approach?
As the landscape evolves, B2B marketers must stay ahead of the curve.
Adapting to mobile-first trends, addressing privacy concerns, and embracing a culture of testing and innovation are key factors that will determine success in this dynamic environment.
By proactively addressing these challenges, marketers can position themselves for growth and capitalize on the opportunities.
“Diversification is a component and, in some cases, a very good initiation of value creation,” Pearl Zhu once said.
The B2B space is changing more quickly than ever, and unless we diversify when it makes sense, we won’t be able to beat our competitors or reach our goals.
The post Diversifying your B2B paid media portfolio: When does it make sense? appeared first on Search Engine Land.
Blog Post added on June 1, 2023 at 3:02 am | Powered by All The Way Digital