Rbb Communications - Competitive Landscape

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B2B Marketing Best Practices

Some best practices in B2B marketing for fully integrated marketing agencies are utilizing the right metrics to measure results with a large focus on ROI; making the best of social media channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram; and employing the use of automation and marketing technologies.

Measure Results with the Right Metrics

  • The capacity to measure B2B marketing campaign results effectively while laying focus on engagement can provide further insights than the basic vanity metrics. Engagement insights can reveal where B2B marketers should focus their resources, efforts, and time. Effective B2B marketing strategies that enable growth and contribute to the company’s objectives will prove to be a “competitive advantage rather than cost center for organizations”.
  • According to an article published by Marketing Insider Group, over 60% of B2B marketers admit to not having the right measuring tools that can effectively compute their ROI and other metrics. B2B marketing firms are advised to eliminate these barriers by formulating the right ROI metrics and investing in technologies that will allow marketers to properly demonstrate their ROI and other quantifying outcomes. About 63% of B2B marketers claim that over the next 3-5 years, demonstrating ROI will become a basic requirement.
  • In terms of customer relationship management, B2B marketers are advised to attribute their Campaigns to Opportunities. Based on the specific tracking abilities that the marketing agency employs, B2B marketing campaigns can determine their value by aligning them with various attribution models such as first touch attribution, last touch attribution, and multi-touch attribution.
    • The first touch attribution model indicates the first touchpoint that a customer interacts with “before converting gets credit for the sale”.
    • The last touch attribution model indicates the last touchpoint that a customer interacts with “before converting gets credit for the sale”.
    • The multi-touch attribution model analyzes several touchpoints that a customer engages with before the sale is credited.
  • Some general revenue metrics that B2B marketers must consider for every marketing campaign are pipeline generated in value, revenue closed in value, and conversion percentage of pipeline generated to revenue closed.
  • B2B companies’ purchasing decisions and organizational goals depend primarily on financial incentives, logic, and ROI. Thus, B2B marketers are increasingly investing in ROI calculators and automation tools that offer effective tracking of the metric.
  • The Verdi Group, Inc. and Elevation are two B2B marketing agencies that include an integrated structured reporting and monitoring system that gauges ROI, tracks effectiveness, and provides intelligent insight for every segment in a B2B marketing campaign.

Make the Best of Social Media Marketing

  • Social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are powerful tools for increasing brand awareness, improving an enterprise’s online presence, and humanizing a business. While marketing on social media would not convert as fast or frequently as other marketing strategies like email or content, B2B marketers claim that social media is an integral aspect of their overall marketing strategy.
  • According to a survey conducted by Hootsuite, over 54% of B2B marketing agencies claim that they have acquired several leads from these platforms and about 92% of B2B marketers admit that social media marketing is a significant component in any marketing strategy.
  • Social media channels can be effectively leveraged to showcase expertise by sharing expert content by thought leaders and communicate an organization’s culture and core values to improve brand image. According to Digital Authority Partners, video content marketing on social media platforms is “gaining more and more traction in the B2B marketing space”.
  • For B2B marketers, LinkedIn is found to be the social media platform of choice with over 90% of B2B marketers claiming to periodically share information and launch campaigns. According to the co-founder of Room 214, Jason Cormier, LinkedIn is social media’s most effective platform for B2B marketing since this channel still supports non-paid, organic advertising and exceeds the other platforms in terms of basic engagement and video views.
  • A report published by Content Marketing Institute reveals that over 44% of B2B leads are gained through LinkedIn. The report also indicates that LinkedIn users are more likely to engage in B2B websites than their Facebook counterparts. Lead conversion rate is also found to be higher from LinkedIn (2.75%) than from Twitter and Facebook combined.
  • B2B marketing agencies are advised to set smart goals for social media marketing strategies that are time-bound, relevant, attainable, measurable, and specific. Powerful multimedia tools can be effectively leveraged to improve engagement and increase ROI. Examples of such tools are Instagram stories, LinkedIn documents, and Twitter polls.
  • Gyro and Bader Rutter are two leading integrated B2B marketing agencies in the United States that strongly focus on creative work and undertake some of the best social media practices to improve their clients’ brand awareness, improve engagement, and increase their conversion rates. General Electric’s Instagram page indicates how storytelling can humanize technical B2B services and products by making them relatable.

Automation and Marketing Technologies

  • With the rise in machine learning and artificial intelligence, B2B marketing agencies are found to increasingly employ various technologies to gain powerful insights. Several marketing firms are already utilizing cognitive computing capabilities and aligning them into solutions to drive decisions in various areas of business such as marketing, product management, and e-commerce. The adoption of automation tools and marketing technologies can help B2B marketers personalize communications and achieve the desired outcome of complex campaigns.
  • According to a digital marketing expert, Danyal Effendi, marketing automation is an essential aspect of any marketing strategy and generally includes A/B testing, drip emails, and customer segmentation. To generate better conversion numbers and increase engagement, B2B marketers would have to use the data leveraged from marketing automation and ROI metric tracking tools to optimize campaigns.
  • The use of marketing technologies can be reviewed by auditing the tools used under different marketing categories such as marketing experiences, marketing operations, marketing middleware, marketing backbone platforms, and infrastructure services.
    • Marketing experiences include aspects such as SEO, A/B testing, marketing apps, social media, email, and other experience-related tools.
    • Marketing operations refer to tools such as MRM, data analytics, agile marketing management, and DAM technologies.
    • Marketing middleware enables a firm to integrate marketing systems with marketing platforms such as cloud connectors, API services, data management platforms, tag management, and data protection.
    • Marketing backbone platforms refer to content management systems, customer relationship management, e-commerce, and other automation tools.
    • Infrastructure services cover the marketing structure which includes big data management, software development tools, database tools, and cloud computing tools.
  • Stein and Jellyfish are two award-winning, fully integrated marketing agencies in the United States that utilize cutting-edge technology and the latest marketing automation tools to develop some of the most compelling B2B marketing campaigns and gain strong insights.

Research Strategy

We began our search by looking through industry-specific reports, market research studies, media articles, publications, reports published by industry leaders, and blog articles related to best practices for B2B marketing. Our primary focus was on best practices intended for fully integrated B2B marketing agencies in North America. In compiling the required information, we examined expert opinions, case studies published by leading marketing agencies, and best practices identified by thought leaders in the B2B marketing space. We identified the "best practices" as those that were frequently mentioned by industry experts.