As the world of B2B marketing becomes more crowded within its niche industry, it’s the might of digital marketing that continues to drive innovation and growth in this busy space. The human dynamic is one of the key recurring topics at the Figaro Digital B2B Roundtable. With insightful presentations across a variety of key marketing practices followed by in-depth discussions, our partners and guests were able to chew the fat on the challenges they are facing as individual brands within the industry. We take a look at some of the day’s key takeaways.
The first presentation of the day was from the Co-Founder and CMO of the UK’s leading employee benefits company, Perkbox. Chieu Cao dug into some of the secrets behind the company’s success, and how an agile approach can give your brand the energy to grow, even if the brand purpose changes. “In the past six years, our business model changed three times.” Moving from a start-up mentality to a scalable business model requires two very different marketing team styles. “We had a team of generalists, on our marketing team we had people who would wear multiple hats. We didn’t have SEO specialists, or PPC specialists. But now we have a team of 25 marketing specialists.” The key, as Cao explains, is to be opportunistic, understanding where the opportunities are to spend and save, to teach and train, out-source or bring in house, and how these decisions must adapt and change as a business continues to grow.
“What are your goals, where are your audience, and who are they?” Asks Simon Douglass, Founder, Curated. These are the three questions that form the backbone of Curated’s action plan when it comes to lead generation. It’s through understanding the needs, wants and interests of their target audience that brands can most effectively segment and focus their lead gen efforts to gain the most cost-effective results. Across platforms, devices such as long-tail keywords, paid social and engaging content can connect business to customer, regardless of industry. Douglass reminds us that tracking your user activity on site and putting that data to use is vital for retargeting efforts. “If you can track every single element of your website, use that information to help us figure out how to get more leads.” Know where your customers are, what brings them in, and what pain points might make them leave. By combining this information with your data, you can get a great understanding of what customers are looking for from your brand.
“You are not Christopher Columbus.” Sam Roberts, Digital Marketing Consultant at Liberty Marketing, explains that brand discovery doesn’t happen without an end goal. “Data provides questions not answers.” Marketers need to consider their data as the fuel to identify patterns and isolate potential wins and losses, and this will enable them to improve the overall UX. Since most metrics are narcissistic, it’s important to consider the cause and effect that your KPIs are having on the bottom line, and draw useful, tangible results to prove your business’ success. “That’s when your stakeholders, your board, your directors, will really start engaging with what you’re doing digitally, and understand that what you’re doing on the website has an effect on the bottom line.”
“The B2B customer is a human too”. So says Andy Wood, Strategy Director, Freestyle Interactive. As a digital marketing communications agency, Freestyle are keen to bring the “love” back into the agency/brand relationship. “You’re committing to a relationship, rather than a project- what you’re buying is a way of thinking, a new approach.” More than just creating and honing a business relationship, it’s important to remember that brand and agency marketers are all just as human as the B2B customers on the other side of the product, and it’s only through balanced and valuable communication that brands can get the results that they and their agencies are looking for.
“Our part is trying to get B2B businesses to move faster.” Explains Billy Hamilton-Stent, Client Strategy Director at Octopus Group. “We’re under pressure as B2B marketers. B2B moves quite slowly, and there are upstart business who are much more agile, and are disrupting the market”. However, by drawing on the power of new martech developments, putting the customer first, rather than being internally focussed, and keeping a finger on the pulse of their customer needs, rather than what their competitors are doing, energy can be focussed most efficiently into the strategy that will deliver the most time and cost-effective results. “Strategy is the kind of thing which when it’s done right, has exponential value, and when it’s done wrong creates exponential challenges.” Says Hamilton-Stent. In order to make the most of tightening marketing budgets, it’s a careful consideration of your product offering and customer journey that B2B marketers can get their breath back.
Billions is spent on B2B advertising every year, 50 per cent of that online. But 68 per cent of B2B marketers are still struggling with lead generation. “If you’ve spent all of this time and money, wouldn’t you want to make sure that at the moment you hook a customer, you’ve put as much effort as possible into making that conversion?” This is particularly true for data verification. Where marketers aren’t tracking and verifying their data, they risk clogging up their CRM, wasting valuable time and money contacting fake accounts, and giving away their content to just about anyone. With B2B marketers wasting time and resources on this unchecked data, how can they be sure that they are giving their best service to a real customer interested in their business? Being aware of the data they have available to them, marketers can stay savvy, segment effectively and remain data compliant for the implementation of the GDPR legislation next year.
Is your B2B business struggling to remain agile in the digital space, or being challenged by constantly evolving martech capabilities? Would you like to discuss your challenges with your peers and industry experts? Then the Figaro Digital Marketing Summit could be the event you have been looking for! Join us as marketers from all industries meet for a day of fantastic presentations, interactive roundtables and dedicated one-to-one meetings with expert agencies. Request a ticket here now!
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