My journey with marketing started off like most people, with B2C. It was an experience I am grateful for because I learned a lot while being involved with strategizing, planning, and executing digital paid campaigns for various B2C industries. This formed the foundation of many things I learned the next 9 months in 2X, firstly by appreciating the differences between B2B vs B2C.
I believe the lessons I’ve learnt can be beneficial to other people especially if they are considering moving to B2B marketing from B2C as I did. So here are my top 3 learnings:
1. The Importance of Automating & Streamlining Processes
We were really lucky to have our client invest time and resources on training and explaining the processes they follow. However, we quickly realized that there were opportunities to automate and streamline certain aspects of the work. The lowest hanging fruit was taking the linear and predictable data work and automate them using tools and programs.
This allowed us to complete tasks with greater efficiency and effectiveness without compromising the quality of work.
For the other processes that we couldn’t automate, we focused on increasing efficiency by structuring the work to minimize errors.
Learning how to work smarter is an important lesson because what matters more is the outcome. In B2B marketing, what I realize is the accuracy and quality of data has a direct correlation to the increased effectiveness of campaigns. In other words, the faster we are able to provide data and insights, the faster our ability to respond and improve the next campaign.
2. Learning B2B Marketing Tools
Marketing tools for B2B clients are vastly different from B2C clients. Most of the marketing tools we used for B2C clients were the usual suspects – Google Analytics, Facebook Business Manager and Active Campaign. Which severely limited my knowledge of other marketing tools.
Things are different at 2X, our clients give us access to various salient marketing tools like Pardot (email automation), Sitecore (enterprise website content management system), and Salesforce (customer relationship management).
Thanks to the trust our clients have for us, I am able to collect a different set of skills to how these marketing tools work. The hands-on experience with these critically used tools is beneficial to my growth and development as a well-rounded digital marketer.
3. Running B2B Campaigns
Setting up B2B marketing campaigns is a different ball-game than setting up B2C campaigns.
With B2C campaigns, we would have social media ads sending audiences to respective landing pages. Once they opted-in, an autoresponder email was sent out. If they did not opt-in, these page visitors were retargeted.
We were not required to use different content assets (white papers, webinars, e-books to name a few). All we had to do was to run ads, and to make sure we captured the desired amount of leads.
For B2B campaigns, we are required to plan and strategize more carefully because the target audience tends to be of higher value and therefore harder to reach, this includes C-level Executives, Vice Presidents or Directors.
The focus of the messaging is to attract, engage and influence them to take action. We achieve this using content assets, such as thought leadership content and case studies where proof-points are presented to build credibility and trust. The assets used in every stage of the buying cycle must be relevant and tailored to the prospect’s pain points.
Another great lesson B2B marketing has taught me was the importance of segmenting and qualifying leads. With B2C, clients were more focused on top of funnel lead generation, and the onus to qualify the leads and close the sales fell back to their own internal team.
For B2B marketing, the onus to qualify leads and close sales are the responsibilities of both marketing and sales teams. Should marketing bring in unqualified leads with no purchase intent, the sales team would not be able to close sales, and therefore there is no revenue for the company.
At 2X we focus on generating Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) where leads fulfil the criteria of a potential buyer. This allows the sales team to focus on accounts that have a higher purchase intent, thus converting them into sales more efficiently.
The lessons I've shared here are just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many other facets to B2B marketing – account-based marketing, pipeline acceleration, and a whole list of other strategies that I look forward to learning.
Will this be a challenge I am excited to take on? Definitely!