On the 16th of March, Catalyst will be be attending #RethinkMedia: an annual event that sees media and digital professionals come together to discuss the future of the media landscape.
So, whilst we count down the days until the event (held at Birmingham City University), we thought we’d get you up to speed, sharing some of the insights we’ve also discovered throughout the years. Specifically, we’ll be focusing on what we’ve learned about engaging with a B2B audience.
#1 Marketing Automation
With pretty much everything going digital, it’s no surprise we’re living in a world driven by data.
And sometimes this means we’re working with more data than we know what to do with.
Fortunately, marketing automation is here to save the day. Grand, but user friendly automation platforms like HubSpot and SharpSpring allow marketers to automate essential, albeit time-consuming marketing activities - and they work.
Through automated workflows, CRM capabilities and a whole host of other features, marketing automation platforms are allowing businesses to effectively cleanse, nurture and ultimately, monetise their data.
When supported by Inbound and content marketing activity, marketing automation becomes an even more potent force for marketers. It removes hassle of marketers having to rely on spam tactics and constantly (and manually) push out data to purchased data lists. Let’s be honest here, the “spray and pray” tactic has always yielded debatable results and the facts don’t lie: with Inbound, you’re three times more likely to see a higher return on investment than when using traditional marketing methods.
These systems make it easy to deliver automated campaigns across different types of media, be it earned, owned or paid. But it’s about more than quantity. A common misconception is that automation removes the personalisation aspect of marketing, something that often marks the difference between effective marketing and well, the forgettable stuff.
But this is wrong.
Automation is driven by choice, prospects opt-in to recieve content of interest to them, allowing you to further nurture them and push them through the buyer journey with yet more personalised content and emails. Creating great content for your audiences, based on the pain points you’ve identified, you can begin to create automated campaigns that are more personalised than outbound and print collateral could ever be. The possibilities are endless.
Convenience matters when it comes to engaging a B2B audience. People are busy, especially professionals, and they’re not going to alter their habits just to engage with a brand. This means you need to bring them to you. In a world inundated with sales messages, no professional is going to go out of their way to find your content unless it’s in the right place, at the right time, with the right content.
As a result, you need to employ an omni-channel approach, ensuring that at every touchpoint, the messaging and branding experience are consistent and aligned with the brand.
#3 Brand Advocates
Statistics show that 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influence in their purchasing decision. Further research indicates that B2B audiences are willing to choose brands that are positively recommended by other people (in fact, we’ve written about the impacts of social proof here). This can come in many forms, whether it’s reviews, social media interactions or direct verbal referrals.
However, this doesn’t mean you should sit back and take a passive approach. As a marketer you have the power to shape the narrative of these discussions at your brand. By creating great content across various platforms, you can encourage your clients to become willing brand advocates that promote your business to their own peers, positively influencing an entire network of new audiences on your behalf.
The Power of 3
As we’ve shown, there are many ways that you can effectively engage with a B2B audience. And the best part is that they are not standalone solutions that exist in silos. In fact, with many platforms now introducing cross-platform integration by design, reaching the right audience with the right message has never been so easy.
At Catalyst, we call this The Power of 3: bringing marketing automation, omni-channel marketing and brand advocacy together to exceed your marketing objectives and business goals.
And this is exactly what our Advanced Growth Framework does for clients, helping them grow 3.5x faster.
Individually, each element addresses specific B2B marketing and commercial challenges. Combined, they form the Advanced Growth Framework, a complete service model proven to help businesses like yours outperform your market.
If you’d like to find out more about our Advanced Growth Framework and how it can help your business grow and engage with new audiences, just click the button below.