When you think of recent B2C marketing stories that made headlines and caused a stir, it’s likely that IHOP’s name swap, Jack-In-The-Box’s racy double entendre, or Oreo’s Super Bowl tweet come to mind. As a B2B marketer, you don’t have to create controversial campaigns, but it would be a wise strategy to take a cue from some of your B2C big players with some of these best practices:
Reinforce your brand’s core values. Recent research shows that most Americans think a brand should address current relevant social and political issues. In fact, in one 2018 survey, 91% of millennials said they would switch brands if another championed a cause they support. What a brand’s stance on issues is increasingly important for B2B companies, and despite the difficulty in engaging in these conversations, B2B brands can’t afford to ignore their customer’s concerns, as they are looking for brands with a conscience.
Know your worth – and show it. Marketing accountability is one of the greatest sources of CMO anxiety and turnover, and it needn’t be. Being able to reliably assess and then communicate the value of those assessments and investments to the company is essential. Most CEOs and boards don’t understand marketing metrics, so being able to communicate the value of marketing campaigns as investments to your organization is crucial to developing a successful B2B marketing strategy.
Get Personal. Most B2B marketers historically trend toward account-based marketing targeting, while B2C brands have worked overtime at hyper-personalization as a marketing strategy. B2B organizations should follow their lead in order to run stronger campaigns. Because, in the end, an industry segment or manufactured persona doesn’t buy your products – individual people do. It’s easy to forget the need to appeal to individuals when you are targeting an entire industry or segment of the population. Think more about individuals and less about chasing accounts.
Get engaged with your social audience. B2B customers are no different than any other people on social platforms. They use the same apps and are just as human as B2C customers. A smart B2B marketer will take advantage of the connections and interactions by developing social marketing programs as part of their overall marketing strategy. LinkedIn is B2B marketers favorite social marketing platform, but don’t forget about other platforms – your employees probably use other platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, and brand messaging from employees has the highest reach.
Invest in online video. Video appeals visually like no other B2B marketing strategy can, and offers a massive opportunity to engage with your potential B2B audience online. In fact, many analysts that by 2021 82% of all consumer Web traffic will be videos. It doesn’t appeal to many marketers who focus on lead generation, performance, and metrics, but it’s a unique marketing funnel that generates interest, drives awareness, and builds a strong brand.