By Erik Frantzen, President, Nurture Marketing
Even though COVID-19 has disrupted how we all conduct day-to-day business, you can still launch effective, long-term-focused B2B marketing campaigns if 3 vital elements work seamlessly together: Creative, Database and Offer. And not in that order.
Contrary to popular thinking in the image-centric advertising world, “creative” should not be the dominant focus. In fact, marketing experts have long claimed that a good offer to the right audience beats flashy creative every time.
In his 1990 book “Direct Marketing: How You Can Really Do It Right,” the late marketing great Ray Jutkins introduced the formula that the Nurture Marketing Team still believes is true today:
The formula is maybe even more accurate today when you factor in the plethora of additional ways you can connect digitally, including social relationships – through leading personal and professional social media channels – social sponsorships, virtual events (presenting/participating and sponsoring), and search or display advertising tactics.
Yes, great design, brilliant copy, and engaging, viral-ready video will always be important. You have to catch people’s eyes. But your creative won’t do much good without an appealing offer and list optimization targeting the right people. Here’s how to link offers, as part of a complete marketing process, to the other 2 components of your B2B campaigns:
When developing offers, connect them as directly as you can to individuals in your targeted database and/or audience. For example, if you were to sell a piece of custom software to dentists and lawyers, you would offer different promotions to each, tailored to specific needs.
Savvy sales leaders know that at least 50% of a company’s technology purchases are being made by the people and lines of business (LOB) using the solution. Most CIOs do not select each product for each technology requirement. He or she looks for recommendations from those who have the direct need and have likely already researched the potential solutions. But how do you find those crucial influencers?
Here is where the principles of Account-Based Marketing (ABM) come into play. Align your sales and marketing efforts by addressing each sales prospect as a market of one. You can do this by unlocking your own data and intelligence about each targeted brand – and its decision makers – to create stronger offers based on those individuals’ current or future needs.
Other marketers agree. In a recent ITSMA survey, 85% of marketers reported higher ROI on ABM than other marketing plans.
While developing your outreach, take special care when focusing on different job functions within the same industry. Let’s use a manufacturer as an example. You would want different campaigns targeted to decision influencers (at the fabrication shop level), decision makers (mid-managers), and the overall brand and business executives in the C-suite. You wouldn’t want to make the same offer to the big boss that you’re making to the lathe operator.
Once your database is segmented into different demographic groups, you also need to keep an eye on psychographics. People’s motivations to buy will be affected by their perceptions about your product’s benefits. Also, consider each individual’s mindset and where it places them within your database or sales cycle.
Back to our manufacturer example: Certain phrases will mean more to the machinist than to the quality control chief, so you should use different language in approaching them. Overlay the offer onto the creative. For example, for the end user, a free trial means a chance to get a feel for the product and determine if it is useful. While for the middle manager, the trial is a way to mitigate risk and/or cut expenses. For both individuals, the free trial is the same exact offer – but subtle changes in copy can calibrate the benefits of the promotion for the intended audience.
Once you’ve specified the lists, determined the offers, and developed the creative, it’s time for one final overhead look to make sure each piece works well with the others. This may sound simple, but you’d be amazed at how many times a strong list, seemingly good offers, and great-looking creative fight with each other – because they weren’t developed with the other elements in mind. The 3 components of marketing, when developed as part of a complete process, can sync up together to make any campaign a success – no matter how a pandemic has impacted your business.
This is the latest in a series of articles by Nurture Marketing to help you identify, create, and grow winning one-to-one connections with customers.Contact Nurture Marketing
Please contact us to learn more about our solutions for developing compelling marketing and sales content for the Partner Channel, including case studies and more. You may reach us by calling (732) 636-1001, Extension 27, or by visiting the CONTACT PAGE of our website.