Part 2: 4 Tips to Focus B2B Marketing Budget on What’s Working

B2B Marketing Best Practices Part 2
By Craig Weiss
True Influence Chief Operating Officer

If you look at Part 1 of this B2B article series, you’ll get a quick sense of what the experts think about B2B marketing budgets. I can’t explicitly disagree with any of these predictions, but I also believe uncertainty still looms over every sector of the economy, making long-term speculation not worth the risk.

A COO’s Advice on B2B Marketing Budgets 

So, what works for B2B marketing budgets? Stick to the data.

1. Your KPIs should still define your B2B marketing budget

Remember that 60 percent of CMOs in the 10Fold study said their KPIs held steady last year, despite dramatic cuts in their budget. Smart, measured marketing still works, even in a tight economy. The indicators that a campaign is successfully engaging in-market accounts are still every bit as valid as they were two years ago. Follow those paths, and don’t make the mistake of throwing good money after bad.

2. Make sure you have the tools to react

While I’m not big on the idea of investing this year in the bleeding edge of martech, you do need to ensure you have the tools in place to quickly shift resources to channels and campaigns getting results. Again, I suspect (or at least hope) that the CMOs in the Gartner study who plan on spending big this year on martech are playing catch-up on overdue projects of this nature.

Learn about cross-channel campaign orchestration and analytic platforms – such as the True Influence Marketing Cloud™. Many of the toolsets are now offered in SaaS models, and so come with very little buried risk. And their capabilities, such as publishing successful audience segments across multiple channels in real time, pay for themselves.

3. Get all the data you can

The key to maximizing ROI on marketing spend is finding in-market accounts. There’s just no point in trying to sell to someone who isn’t buying, particularly in a tight economy. And you can’t be in a position to waste money on scatter-shot email or display looking for a bite.

Third-party intent data is a requirement for any modern B2B marketer. We helped define the category with our True Influence Relevance Engine™, and continue to use intent as a pillar of our demand generation and data feed services. Intent is the best tool for measuring real demand for products and services, and pinpointing accounts actively researching a purchase.

Interest is also a critical filter for contact database augmentation, and another key area where you will fairly immediate return on your investment. Filling out your contact list with buying group members at target accounts is essential for ABM and other marketing methodologies. Put data at the top of your B2B marketing budget.

4. Follow the digital revolution with your B2B marketing budget

I probably don’t need to repeat this, but if you haven’t already made programmatic display an anchor of your B2B marketing strategy, you’re already behind. Shift B2B marketing budget to this channel soon. If there’s one channel where you can afford to experiment a little, this is it. Digital display is relatively cheap, and, more importantly, you can throttle it back or ramp it up, based on what the data tells you.

It’s an informative, dynamic, cost-effective tool, whether you’re looking to elevate a late-stage offer or build brand awareness ahead of long buying cycles that may not close until 2022.

Build Day-to-Day Success for a Successful Year 

2021 is going to be a year when smart B2B marketers get their share of the business that’s out there. The risk is still too high to hope for longshots to make your quarter, or to gamble that Q4 really is going to be that much better than Q2. The key to success will be focusing your B2B marketing budget on data and managing your operation for maximum return today. Long-term success will follow.

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