What does effective growth marketing look like for B2B in the 2020s?
A next gen buyer
There is a next gen buyer holding the budget in the 2020s. Long gone are the days of personal rolledexs, lengthy client lunches and stuffy material. The same digitally-native consumers - who buy from social media influencers and base decisions on google searches in their personal life - now also sit in the boardroom.
Their media diet is diverse and primarily digital, with an affinity for short-form and personalised content. As a whole, a larger percentage of the due diligence, brand building, and buying journey happens before a client and sales team ever meet each other face-to-face, or in a COVID-era, zoom to zoom.
Having become accustomed to personalisation in their consumer buying life, their ‘sources of truth’ and brand affinity are based on a certain innate buying pattern that has a knock-on effect on their B2B buying journey
B2B marketers who embrace this shift can see great results.
Personal doesn’t have to be unprofessional
Personal doesn't mean unprofessional - quite the opposite when done correctly. Borrowing from the B2C space empowers B2B marketers to create emotive connections with their buyers.
As much of the journey is now digital, there is the opportunity to test and optimise, which enables B2B marketers to speak to their clients in exactly the way their buyers want to be communicated to. You can connect with them when they want and in a way they can best hear your message.
Authentic and organic content increases brand trust. With the barrage of content in our personal and professional lives, people crave content that excites and, to some extent, entertains. Understanding and mirroring language while daring to be provocative and less formal allows B2B companies to be better heard.
Marketing as air support to sales
Marketing should be the air support to sales, tracking the sales process at every stage of the buying journey. Material, language and cadence should align closely to the client’s level of brand awareness, their proximity to closing, and it should match the level of product-market fit.
Omni-channel is also imperative and today, in B2B, communication must extend beyond email. At Minna, we are big fans of LinkedIn but regardless of the platform, it is critical that you engage in a multichannel strategy, and optimise your ads and wider content to target your critical audiences.
B2B marketing in 2020 - some things never change
Marketing fundamentals haven't changed. At the risk of oversimplifying, at its core, nothing is more important than really, REALLY understanding your target audience.
Where do they ‘digitally live’? What do they care about and when do they care about it? How much time do you have to capture their hearts and minds?
Mirroring their language and describing your solution in the way they describe their problem is key. Getting these right sets the foundation for everything you do.
Next is distribution: lots of companies have great content, but if you don’t double down on reaching the right audiences at the right time, the content becomes obsolete.
Finally, don’t try to be everything to everyone - particularly at an enterprise sales organisation. In reality, you have a very small target audience. Focus on making sure they hear from you and let go of reaching the ‘whole bank’ or ‘whole firm’.
Get specific. Make sure you aren’t generalising for stakeholders across all of your accounts. Account-based targeting, which adjusts your language even more specifically to the existing end-client, accelerates the sales cycle.
If you take these lessons on board, the rewards will speak for themselves. Businesses can grow engagement, move with the times, and tackle growth opportunities head on. The consumer of today responds to a slightly different set of rules and practices than in years gone by, but don’t panic - remember the fundamentals while embracing the change.