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Why we care about B2B marketing: A guide for marketers

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Why we care about B2B marketing: A guide for marketers


The B2B buyer journey is evolving rapidly as it becomes more digitized, less predictable, and more complex. The challenge for B2B marketers is to support what is now largely a self-guided journey involving numerous personas on accounts and increasingly expanding buying teams. Strategies that were once traditionally B2C are now being adopted by B2B marketers.

As companies speed up the adoption of digital processes and technologies, it is likely you will soon be interacting with increasingly tech-savvy customers. As a result, you can no longer appeal to buyers using traditional tools. Marketers need a more analytical and innovative approach to selling.

This article will walk you through various marketing strategies to help you reach your target business audiences and tell you about a few of the latest trends in the industry. Key points covered include:

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

What is B2B marketing?

B2B marketing refers to the marketing strategies employed by firms selling their products and services to other businesses. In B2C marketing, companies sell directly to the end customers and are more transactional, with a higher volume but a generally lower price per sale.

B2B marketing often relies on educational content to communicate with business clients. This is because buyers seek expertise when dealing with other businesses, while consumers typically seek the best deals and most exciting products. So your marketing needs to be more personalized than it might otherwise be when targeting B2C customers. This difference often results in longer sales cycles for B2B marketing than for B2C marketing.

Types of B2B marketing

There are many different B2B marketing strategies. While companies tend to focus on B2B marketing channels that produce more leads, it may make sense to prioritize the ones that produce the highest ROI for your company. The following section lists a number of strategies that you can mold and adapt to suit your specific needs and target audience.

Email marketing

Email marketing has long been the mainstay of B2B e-commerce. It is a cost-effective and efficient way to reach potential clients and, as a rule of thumb, has the highest return on investment (ROI) in B2B marketing. It is this simplicity and high ROI that makes email marketing the cornerstone of any marketing operation. According to a study by Litmus, four out of five marketers find email marketing more essential to their operations than social media marketing.  

Email marketing gives you direct access to buyers without relying on any intermediate party, as is the case with search and social media.

As for B2B marketing, email marketing should be used in conjunction with other useful strategies like account-based marketing (ABM). ABM involves triaging potential accounts and optimizing your marketing strategy to target the accounts that are likely to be most valuable.

Ultimately, you need to remember that the most important element is to personalize the content for your audience. The more your clients feel valued, the more likely they are to use your services and keep coming back for more. Prioritize quality over quantity.


Everything you need to know about email marketing deliverability that your customers want and that inboxes won’t block. Get MarTech’s Email Marketing Periodic Table.

Click here to check it out!


Content marketing

Content marketing strategies have consistently been one of the most reliable tools at a B2B marketer’s disposal.

If customers regularly see your firm as a source of top-quality industry content and thought-leadership, their trust in its products and services increases accordingly.

Remember that your content marketing isn’t restricted to written blogs; you should also focus on publishing e-books, white papers, images, infographics, GIFs, podcasts, and videos that you can share to engage and retain your audience. Webinars are not only an important part of a B2B content strategy, but excerpts can be re-utilized on websites and landing pages.

Social media marketing

Most successful businesses today have an online presence on at least one of the top social media websites. In the B2B marketing space, LinkedIn and Facebook are the most commonly used social media platforms, according to survey data from Databox.

Typically, firms use these platforms to achieve the same goals they seek to achieve through other forms of digital marketing — high engagement and advertising. However, to be successful on social media, B2B companies need to find a middle ground between creating engaging content and ensuring they don’t ruin their audience’s experience on the platform. To do this, marketers should identify the kind of content their target audience wants to see on social media platforms.

While developing and posting social media content, firms need to consider what their buyers’ collectives are after. Buyers’ collectives are groups of important stakeholders whose approval is mandatory if the company is to make any business purchases. They are an important audience that should not be overlooked while planning your social media marketing strategy.

Your social media content should also project values that align with the concerns of the buyers’ collectives of your target firms. Create content that is relevant to their needs and speaks the language of their industries.

You should also track your competitor’s social media marketing strategies and measure their success. However, while keeping tabs on your competitors is crucial, it doesn’t mean a parting of ways with original content. In order to catch buyers’ attention, your social media content needs to offer them something they haven’t seen before.


New features are making marketing automation platforms more powerful than ever. Learn about trends and capabilities of marketing automation software in the latest edition of this MarTech Intelligence Report.

Click here to download!


Frequently asked questions about B2B marketing

B2B marketing is a straightforward concept, but marketers still may have some reservations about the process. Here are some of the most popular questions marketers have about B2B marketing.

What are the key differences between B2B and B2C marketing?

One of the main differences between these two forms of marketing is the target audience. B2C marketers seek buy-in from individual consumers while B2B marketers engage with decision-making teams’ brands.

Another difference is that B2B marketing tends to focus more on providing educational resources to customers to help them become better leaders in their respective industries.

What are the benefits of B2B marketing?

B2B marketing programs meet executive-level buyer needs via highly targeted promotions. These tactics can help marketers increase customer lifetime value and overall brand loyalty by speaking more effectively to their needs. This helps brands craft better customer experiences and reduce churn.

Brands who practice B2B marketing also get to engage with a growing market — one that’s expected to hit $18.57 trillion by 2026.

What are the types of B2B marketing platforms and software available?

Most B2B marketing platforms use automation technology to help professionals better scale their efforts. These platforms offer features such as AI-based predictive lead scoring, product recommendations, and ABM and social media campaign integration. Some of the biggest names in this sphere include Marketo, HubSpot and Salesforce Pardot.

What are the top brands in the B2B marketing space?

Many of the top B2B brands have been around for decades, helping pave the way for others in the space. However, several newer companies have become big players as well. Today, the B2B space is led by brands such as Adobe (which owns Marketo), HubSpot, Oracle and Salesforce, with many other leaders in the mix as well.

Top platforms specializing in ABM capabilities include Demandbase, MRP, 6Sense, Terminus and Triblio.

The future of B2B digital marketing

The growing number of brands in B2B suggests a bright future for marketers in the space. Yet, as we’ve seen over the past few years, a combination of societal factors has transformed the ways B2B marketing engages with customers.

Online events and interactions

The COVID-19 pandemic has permanently altered the format of events and interactions in the B2B marketing sphere. An increasing number of marketing events are now virtual or hybrid. And, 72% of marketing professionals expect to attend the same number or more once in-person events return, according to a survey conducted by Vimeo.

As buyers become more willing to access digital spaces, marketers must make the most of their potential. This includes expanding digital marketing strategies to the metaverse, which could be a great way to connect with millennial and Gen Z buyers as over half of both groups are interested in using the technology, according to a survey from Morning Consult.

For B2B marketers, the metaverse represents a unique opportunity to interact with a large audience at an unprecedented scale. It enables B2B vendors to provide remote assistance to their clients, create immersive training programs, and get involved in the production process right from the manufacturing stage.

The metaverse’s virtual reality capabilities also allow B2B marketers to give customers a 360-degree view of their product.

Leveraging AI in marketing

Artificial intelligence has the potential to be used in several stages of the marketing process, making it an invaluable asset for marketers in many ways.

Integrating customer data. Most brands interact with their clients both digitally and physically. AI can bridge the gap between these two modes of interaction and help you get a bird’s eye view of all customer preferences.

You can use AI-powered nurture campaigns to send personalized emails to individuals who may have visited the company’s website. AI can also be used to keep track of intent data, which enables marketers to understand a customer’s actions. This is preferred over clicks and download statistics since it gives you a better idea of whether the customer is willing to buy.

More efficient programmatic advertising. AI can also aid B2B marketers in segmenting channels to identify the most effective way to engage with potential buyers. Artificial intelligence completely revamps media buying and programmatic advertising through this process. This is essential for personalizing your advertisements.

Account-based marketing

Account-based marketing allows marketers to focus their efforts on best-fit accounts to boost conversion rates. In today’s highly competitive environments, marketers must make the most of the data they have at their disposal. ABM ensures that companies focus on the accounts with the highest potential ROI. This allows sales teams to prioritize boosting relationships with bigger accounts.

While account-based marketing is not a new concept, the abundance of information now available to prospective clients makes this easier to undertake at scale. In fact, the proper implementation of ABM can mean higher attributed revenues and lead to more conversions, improving marketing ROI.

Successful ABM requires a strong alignment between sales and marketing on which accounts to target and the ability to provide clients with a personalized experience.

The pandemic has re-emphasized that change is the only constant. B2B marketers must keep up with the latest trends in the industry to differentiate themselves and stay well ahead of the curve.


More B2B marketers are adopting account-based marketing than ever before. Find out why and explore the ABM platforms making it possible in the latest edition of this MarTech Intelligence Report.

Click here to download!


Resources for learning more about B2B marketing

The B2B sector represents a compelling yet constantly shifting market for marketers. The proliferation of digital channels increasingly puts pressure on marketers to generate engaging content that can drive leads.

Here are some B2B marketing resources to help you choose the best solution for your brand:

Account-based marketing: A snapshot

What it is. Account-based marketing, or ABM, is a B2B marketing strategy that aligns sales and marketing efforts to focus on high-value accounts. 

This customer acquisition strategy focuses on delivering promotions — advertising, direct mail, content syndication, etc. — to targeted accounts. Individuals who may be involved in the purchase decision are targeted in a variety of ways, in order to soften the earth for the sales organization. 

Why it’s hot. Account-based marketing addresses changes in B2B buyer behavior. Buyers now do extensive online research before contacting sales, a trend that has accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of marketing’s tasks in an ABM strategy is to make certain its company’s message is reaching potential customers while they are doing their research. 

Why we care. Account engagement, win rate, average deal size, and ROI increase after implementing account-based marketing, according to a recent Forrester/SiriusDecisions survey. While B2B marketers benefit from that win rate, ABM vendors are also reaping the benefits as B2B marketers invest in these technologies and apply them to their channels.

Read next: What is ABM and why are B2B marketers so bullish on it?


About The Author

Akshat Biyani is a Contributing Editor to MarTech, a former analyst who has a strong interest in writing about technology and its effect on marketing.



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Drive Conversions and Generate Engagement With Instacart Promotions

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Drive Conversions and Generate Engagement With Instacart Promotions

Through deals and coupons, Instacart has saved consumers more than $700 million in 2022. As we dive into 2023, the leading grocery technology company in North America has big plans to help consumers save even more while also helping CPGs generate sales. Instacart recently announced an advertising solution that helps both sellers and consumers called Instacart Promotions. This exciting feature is designed to help drive conversions, boost sales, and generate overall engagement on the app.

Interested in this feature and how it can help your business on Instacart? Read on as we dive into everything you need to know about this ad solution including benefits, how to get started, and more.

 

What are Instacart Promotions?

 

Instacart Promotions is an advertising feature that’s now available to all brand partners, including emerging brands, within their open beta program. Promotions give CPGs the opportunity to offer new deal structures, promotions, and incentives with Instacart Ad campaigns. With this feature in place, consumers will have access to more promotions, coupons, and deals that are tailored to them within the Instacart Marketplace.

“With the launch of our new Instacart Promotions, all of our brand partners now have the ability to set up coupons and promotions that can drive meaningful business results while also passing on more savings opportunities to consumers. We’re proud to continue expanding our portfolio with additional self-service capabilities, ad formats that drive results, and measurement that brands need to understand the true impact of their campaigns on Instacart.”

 

– Ali Miller, VP of Ads Product at Instacart

 

Source: Instacart

 

How Do Instacart Promotions Work?

 

Promotions, now available in Ads Manager, gives consumers the ability to discover more promotions and savings opportunities within the Instacart app. These promotions now show up directly on product item cards before checkout for easy accessibility. Promotions allow advertisers to customize their campaigns to sync with their goals and objectives whether that be driving sales, building baskets, or boosting trials.

Instacart shared a recent example of a brand successfully utilizing Promotions… 

Athletic Brewing, General Mills, Sola Company, and Wells Enterprises (maker of Halo Top) are strengthening campaign performance by pairing Instacart Promotions with ad formats such as Sponsored Product and Display. Instacart Promotions include two new flexible and customizable structures: Coupons (“buy X units, save $Y”) and Stock Up & Save (“Spend $X, Save $Y”). 

According to Instacart, in the coming months, the company “will work to further enhance the new offering with new deal structures such as Free Gifts and Buy One, Get One (“BOGO”). The new deal structures will help brand partners run “Free Sample” programs that can win new customers and serve personalized discounts for different customer segments, such as “new to brand” and “new to category.”  

 

Example of Instacart Promotions

Source: Instacart

 

Instacart Promotions Benefits

 

Deliver Value and Savings to Consumers

 

With Instacart Promotions, you have the opportunity to deliver value and savings that will have consumers coming back for more. With this savings feature, your brand can stand out among the competition and offer a variety of deals to shoppers ie: “Buy X units, Save $Y”.

 

Hot tip: Ensure you are selecting products for your promotion that are well-stocked and widely available.  

 

Tailor Your Campaigns to Specific Objectives

 

With a variety of savings options available, your brand can structure deals to fit specific business goals and objectives. 

 

Hot tip: If you’re looking to drive visibility and awareness, try pairing promotions with Sponsored Product campaigns. 

 

Access Real-Time Performance Insights 

 

The Promotions beta program is live and can be accessed within Instacart Ads Manager. Within Ads Manager, advertisers can access real-time insights to maximize performance and adjust campaigns as needed.

 

Hot tip: Make sure your budget matches your discount and objectives.

 

“As an advertiser, Instacart’s unique offering to self-manage promotions is so exciting! Historically, making adjustments to offer values and other promotion parameters was a more manual process, but now we’ll be able to easily make optimizations in real-time based on redemption performance.”

Emily Choate

Emily Choate, Senior Specialist, Marketplace Search at Tinuiti

 

Interested in Instacart Promotions?

 

With Instacart Promotions, you have the opportunity to reach new customers, build bigger baskets, and drive sales. Interested in testing out the beta program or looking to get started with advertising on the app? Drop us a line – we’d love to help elevate your CPG brand on Instacart.

 

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(Re)Introducing your favorite Optimizely products!

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(Re)Introducing your favorite Optimizely products!



It’s important to us that you, our valued customers and partners, can identify with the tools you use daily.  

In that pursuit, Optimizely set out to simplify the way we talk about our product suite. That starts, first and foremost, with the words we use to refer to the technology.  

So, we’ve taken a hard look at everything in our portfolio, and are thrilled to introduce new names we believe are more practical, more consistent, and better representative of the technology we all know and love.  

You may have seen some of these names initially at Opticon 2022 as well as on our website. In the spirit of transparency, the team here at Optimizely wanted to make sure you had full visibility into the complete list of new names, as well as understand the context (and rationale) behind the changes. 

So, without further ado… 

Which names changed?  

Some, but not all. For your ongoing reference, below is a complete list of Optimizely products, with previous terminology you may be familiar with in the first column, and (if applicable) the new name in the second column.  

Used to be… 

Is now (or is still)… 

Meaning… 

DXP 

Optimizely Digital Experience Platform 

A fully-composable solution designed to support the orchestration, monetization, and experimentation of any type of digital experience — all from a single, open and extensible platform. 

Content Cloud 

Optimizely Content Management System 

A best-in-class system for building dynamic websites and helping digital teams deliver rich, secure and personalized experiences. 

Welcome 

Optimizely Content Marketing Platform 

An industry-leading and user-friendly platform helping marketing teams plan campaigns, collaborate on tasks, and author content. 

DAM 

Optimizely Digital Asset Management 

A modern storage tool helping teams of any size manage, track, and repurpose marketing and brand assets (with support for all file types). 

Content Recs 

Optimizely Content Recommendations 

AI-powered and real-time recommendations to serve the unique interests of each visitor and personalize every experience. 

B2B Commerce 

Optimizely Configured Commerce 

A templatized and easy-to-deploy platform designed to help manufacturers and distributors drive efficiency, increase revenue and create easy buying experiences that retain customers. 

Commerce Cloud 

Optimizely Customized Commerce 

A complete platform for digital commerce and content management to build dynamic experiences that accelerate revenue and keep customers coming back for more. 

PIM 

Optimizely Product Information Management 

A dedicated tool to help you set up your product inventory and manage catalogs of any size or scale. 

Product Recs 

Optimizely Product Recommendations 

Machine-learning algorithms optimized for commerce to deliver personalized product recommendations in real-time. 

Web 

Optimizely Web Experimentation 

An industry-leading experimentation tool allowing you to run A/B and multi-variant tests on any channel or device with an internet connection. 

Full Stack 

Optimizely Feature Experimentation 

A comprehensive experimentation platform allowing you to manage features, deploy safer tests, and roll out new releases – all in one place. 

Personalization 

Optimizely Personalization 

An add-on to core experimentation products, allowing teams to create/segment audiences based on past behavior and deliver more relevant experiences. 

Program Management 

Optimizely Program Management 

An add-on to core experimentation products, allowing teams to manage the end-to-end lifecycle of an experiment. 

ODP 

Optimizely Data Platform 

A centralized hub to harmonize data across your digital experience tools, providing one-click integrations, AI-assisted guidance for campaigns, and unified customer profiles. 

 

So, why the change?  

 It boils down to three guiding principles:  

  1. Uniformity: Create a naming convention that can be applied across the board, for all products, to drive consistency 
  2. Simplicity: Use terms that are both practical and concise, ensuring the names are something that everyone can understand and identify with  
  3. Completeness: Develop a framework that showcases the full and complimentary nature of all the products and solutions within the Optimizely suite 

 As the Optimizely portfolio comes together as a complete, unified platform, it’s important that our names reflect this, as well as support our 3 key solutions (i.e. orchestrate amazing content experiences, monetize every digital experience, and experiment across all touchpoints).  

Other questions? We’ve got you covered. 

Q: Why have you made these product name changes? 

    • We wanted to simplify how we talk about our portfolio. The renaming applies a naming convention that is both practical and concise.  

 

Q: Do the new product name changes affect the products I own? 

    • No, there is no impact to product functionality or capabilities.  

 

Q: Do the new product name changes affect who is my Customer Success Manager or Account Manager?  

    • No, there are no changes to your Customer Success Manager or Account Manager. 

 

Q: Do the new product name changes affect the ownership of the company?  

    • No, ownership of the company has not changed. We have only made changes to the Product Names. 

 

Q: Have any contact details changed that I need to be aware of?  

    • Only contact details for former Welcome customers has changed. These are the new contact details you should be aware of: Optimizely, Inc.| 119 5th Ave | 7th Floor | New York, NY 10003 USA. Phone: +1 603 594 0249 | www.optimizely.com 

 

Q: Where can I send any follow up questions I might have?  

    • If you have any questions about the Product Names, please contact your Customer Success Manager or Account Manager.  


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Email Marketing Trends 2023: Predictions by the Industry Stalwarts

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Email Marketing Trends 2023: Predictions by the Industry Stalwarts


Every year, we see new trends entering the world of email marketing.

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