This week I am attending both Tech Marketing 360 (for B2B technology companies) and Digiday’s Agency Summit. I find the compelling nature of both agendas to be way too similar, despite the disparate audience focus.
In looking at the agendas of both events, I noticed similarly titled sessions such as “Building Community,” “Content Marketing Strategy,” “Ad Retargeting” and many more. It struck me that both agency strategy folks and B2B marketing ops chose to harness these powerful fundamentals to drive reach, awareness, leads and, of course, sales lift. The only differences are what we call it, how we use the fundamentals and what we can learn from each side to improve what we are doing. In essence, consumer marketers can learn a ton from the B2B advances, and marketing ops can gain much insight from consumer marketers.
Nothing can be more fundamentally universal than retargeting. For B2B marketers, this may sound a bit off. For the agency serving the consumer brand, they know this truth and are reaping the rewards. B2B folks can learn a lot from this simple effort. Here’s what it comes down to: tag your site, track who’s coming and then carve out a small test budget to run ads on Google Display, Facebook and Bizo network to have ads served to people who came to your site. There’s no better use of your ad budget than keeping the consumers who looked at your product and left in the B2B funnel.
This starts to get really interesting when you look at the buzz on programmatic marketing. Take retargeting and add the technology to automatically give different ads to different folks based on their previous activity. For example, show someone who clicked on your last ad an ad for a different product. You can also send someone who had visited your detail products pages (or spec sheet) a more focused ad around that product vs. your overall offering…and it goes a lot lot deeper than that. Consumer marketers are just starting to get their arms around this and the winners will accelerate their efforts. B2B needs to start thinking about this strategy and make it a viable opportunity to explore.
Related Class: Understanding Retargeting on Social Media and Display
What is marketing without content? How can we harness this to drive brand awareness, customer engagement and general market share opportunities? The B2B marketer knows this strategy well. Using blogs, videos, eBooks and downloadable content to drive leads is a well-worn tactic that drives enormous returns. It’s the consumer-driven agency that needs to get a clue and learn how to use content to engage vs. sell, how to inspire vs. shout and how to engage the consumer and get him or her closer to a purchase. What you write, post and say online as a brand is who you are as a brand. You can no longer just tell people “we care” - you must prove you care with heroic content efforts and true examples that then get retweeted, liked and shared (and drive awareness much greater than any single Super Bowl ad could ever drive). Agency compadres, check out what the B2B folks are doing, then parlay that into your own efforts. You’ll look like a genius.
Sharable content, building community, virality, retweets and on it goes. Each side needs to use social media to distribute great content and leverage the unique targeting available to get their word out. Social isn’t a channel alone, it’s an amplifier of all your other channels, and, if measured correctly, it will accelerate your efforts. No secrets here, just a reminder. If you see a shareable piece of content from consumer marketing or B2B, take note and say, “Why do I like this and how can I apply it to my efforts?”
The world of marketing becomes ever so simpler once we align with the fundamentals that have always driven marketing: audience, awareness, engagement and measurement. Apply, retool and apply again.
My dinner conversation last night summed it up well when I asked my friend, VP of marketing at AdRoll, “What’s the difference between B2B and consumer-driven digital marketing and advertising?” The answer was, “Hmm, it’s a lot harder than I thought to answer that question because I know too much. The only big difference is those consumers doing ads for brand awareness have a lot less accountability, but in essence, it’s the same!”