IT marketing has become more complex than ever, B2B tech buyers expect more from vendors than traditional marketing and sales experiences. IT marketers can no longer succeed with conventional tactics, they'll need a more innovative marketing model in order to move from popularity to profitability.
While popularity and profitability may facilitate each other when it comes to B2C companies, B2B companies don’t have the same liberty. Popularity doesn’t mean profitability.
A great number of marketing agencies are mostly focused on brand recognition. But serving a client in B2B, especially in the tech industry, requires a completely different strategy.
So, how can you make sure your marketing agency is making you profitable? In this blog, we’ll discuss if B2B companies should focus on popularity, profitability, or both.
Marketing for B2B companies has often been a struggle between new technologies and traditional marketing models. Popularity is not enough for B2B companies, and their marketing strategy needs to contribute to the sales and business growth of the company. This needs to be done in addition to adopting new solutions and rapid changes in the expectations and behavior of B2B buyers.
Today, B2B buyers expect B2B marketing to be personalized and data-driven. They will grow frustrated if their buying journey changes hands or if they must repeatedly remind vendors of who they are. New marketing technologies are supposed to use data to enhance B2B marketing personalization and deliver this experience.
As a result, typical B2B marketing strategies such as events and newsletters are no longer effective, and just gaining popularity through digital channels is no longer sustainable.
Performance marketing focuses on marketing operations that provide tangible results, such as ROI. You can learn more about effective marketing solutions for the B2B industry in our comprehensive whitepaper, ‘Marketing in IT: Time to Move from Popularity to Profitability.’
B2B buyers have changed dramatically over the past decade. They are behaving more like consumers than ever before, and they are bringing new expectations to the marketplace.
According to Forrester, “B2B marketers need to rethink and evolve every aspect of their strategies, programs, and tactics, from branding to lead generation and post-sale engagement.”
This is especially true in technology marketing. B2B IT buyers will expect to be able to shop online, make purchases through marketplaces, and chat with representatives in real-time through a variety of digital channels just like they might with a B2C company.
It's important for the marketing agency you are working with to understand the changing buyer behaviors so they can create an effective and customized marketing strategy.
IT marketers must also navigate a new regulatory environment, which means placing new restrictions on how they use and collect customer data. Tech companies are also competing on a global scale. The marketing strategy for one region may not be relevant — or complaint — to another. For example, contact data obtained from EU citizens must be stored and used in compliance with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), whereas the United States has no such regulation.
While there’s no doubt that brand awareness is crucial for all types of companies, businesses in the B2B sector need to think a step ahead. After all, popularity means nothing if it doesn’t translate into sales.
So when hiring an agency, it’s important to make sure that they understand the key differentiators between popularity and profitability and understand the different strategies that B2B companies require.
Never had this type of discussion with your marketing agency? Then it’s possible that you are running a brand awareness campaign instead of a campaign that will make you profitable! If that’s the case, you might want to check around for someone that understands the complexity and needs of your buyers. 😉