It’s no secret B2B marketing presents serious challenges. With the gigantic amount of content being churned out in the global marketplace, the competition for customers gets fiercer by the nanosecond. These days, investing broadly in an online presence no longer guarantees a robust return. For a smart, targeted online campaign to turn browsers into buyers, it takes more than captivating presentations and queueing up rich keywords. Although both are equally important in their own right, there’s been a paradigm shift in the way B2B businesses are spending their advertising dollars.
The last notable shift happened decades ago when we entered the era of Programmable Display Marketing, or PDM. Unlike text-based ads, display advertising introduced a far more innovative approach by combining images, audio and video to communicate an advertising message and grab audience attention.
Over the years, online marketing has become more complex as the Web proliferated into social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. To that end, PDM has become even more integrated, now enabling agencies, brands and technology providers to connect on a deeper and more personal level with their customers by creating richer interactive engagement experiences.
Today, connecting with customers means reaching them on a variety of devices, mostly their cell phones. How effective the experience is in that mobile moment will decide the fate of brand loyalty. By delivering rich interactive experiences to consumers with ads designed to gain deeper audience insight, campaigns can successfully build a brand-loyal base.
The PDM strategy has long been a game-changer for B2C marketers, giving users a leg up on the competition by tapping into consumers’ buying habits as they happen and turning that data information into intelligence.
Now B2B companies are better positioned to reap the same benefits in real time.
Recently another shift, this time for B2B advertising, has changed the way companies are marketing on the Web. Account-Based Marketing, or ABM now offers a more strategic approach that saves time, energy and money. Rather than investing too broadly, marketers are targeting their advertising dollars where they’re bound to reap the highest potential for revenue — with their top accounts. In this way, marketing becomes far more focused and aligned with sales.
Although for ABM to work successfully, knowing where the highest sales potential lies is key. It’s essential for companies to identify their top accounts and understand their business value. Establishing a list of high-profile customers and documenting their sales information helps ensure delivering relevant and valuable content to the decision-makers. Further, contacting these accounts to find out what’s actually important to them is a proactive way of getting on their radar and improving campaign results.
Stronger Relationships with ABM
The focused approach of ABM integrated with the sustained interactivity of PDM appears to be a win/win strategy. B2B companies report developing stronger relationships with their key accounts while ultimately realizing a greater return on their investment.
Of course there’s a learning curve when adopting any new platform as well as a transition period before seeing significant results. And just as we begin to embrace the latest new marketing trend, the paradigm will surely shift again.
Major players like Microsoft, Samsung, Facebook and Google, among others, are betting on virtual reality and/or augmented reality as the next big platform. With its predicted rise, VR/AR is poised to transform digital advertising in amazing new ways. Innovative data gathering like eye-tracking is the vision for the future to improve targeting and customize the user experience — an experience so sophisticated, the consumer won’t even realize they’re consuming ad content. Or, if they do, they may finally enjoy experiencing it.