The technology has been great for B2B marketers – it has allowed them to drive with a level of accuracy never before possible. As precise as your segmentation is, the increase in sales still depends on the effectiveness of the marketing message you are sending.
All technological clocks in the world cannot compensate for a message that does not resonate with the target on a personal and emotional level.
To earn successful revenue in today’s highly competitive B2B environment, marketers must find ways to build their brand and demand campaigns. Hyper-targeting and targeted conversion efforts are obviously an important part of the demand side, but it is also important to include elements of the emotional appeal that characterize most brand advertisements.
Successful campaigns should be driven by your customers’ unique emotions and challenges, not just the product you are trying to sell to them. This is the only way to break through the noise and confusion of a B2B market that has put it in a discreet and “confusing” way.
ABM for the Win
Account-based marketing (ABM) gives B2B marketers the ability to target customers and prospects with highly personalized messages, ending the confusion. But there is no magic ABM option, and the challenge is: how can you adapt your content on a large scale effectively?
Customers seek personalization and personalization based on their unique set of goals and challenges. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but customers have one thing in common: everyone is human. And at the most basic level, customers want to connect with B2B companies that understand their needs.
This end result – customers want personalization and personalization – is something that traditional demand-driven marketing cannot offer sufficiently.
Use branding for the emotional element
So how do B2B marketers address customer needs, challenges, and goals at the buyer’s specific level? They start by showing empathy and understanding.
The role of the brand campaign in this collaborative effort is to inject an element of emotion into the mix through the narrative – what is this person’s challenge? Can I sympathize with this challenge? Can I build a relationship with my target audience based on my understanding of what they need?
If your brand and demand marketing efforts go well, you should be able to exploit your brand’s campaign to get the right emotional notes in the personalized message for your demand campaign.
Options for identifying needs
Personality should be a defining characteristic of all B2B marketing messages, whether you target an entire organization, a group of decision-makers in the organization, or a specific buyer or another person. Achieving this level of adaptation requires a complete understanding of the specific needs of each organization at all levels. It cannot be built on the kind of general assumptions that underlie person-centered marketing.
Identifying these needs is an important first step and there are several ways to do this. Primary research, especially direct interviews with customers and prospects, can be very informative if you have the time and budget to do it. Another option is keyword research, which can provide information about the goals and attitudes of potential customers.
One of the most valuable resources for identifying the needs that B2B marketers have at their fingertips: sales partners. Because salespeople and account representatives are at the forefront, they often have first-hand knowledge and up-to-date insights into what their customers are talking about. Discussions with the sales team can help marketers identify trends and topics to use in their campaigns.
Sales and marketing alignment
The personification of marketing efforts can only reach its maximum potential if there is a real alignment between sales and marketing.
Experience shows that this collaboration is most effective when it is a top-down phenomenon, ideally from top to bottom. Sales and marketing alignment is most successful when the leadership sees the initiative needed to earn accounts and generate revenue.