Business-to-business marketers generally enjoy an advantage over their business-to-consumer counterparts. With average lifetime customer value reaching the five-, six-, or seven-figure range in many cases, the breakeven point on B2B marketing programs is often quite low.
At our marketing shop, we’ve created B2B programs needing just one high-value conversion to make an entire campaign profitable. This isn’t uncommon: Odds of success have traditionally been outstanding for higher-end B2B marketers with worthwhile offerings, evolved sales teams, solid demand levels – and smart marketers.
Now they’re even better.
Until recently, it could take B2B marketers years to dramatically expand a prospect database. Now, thanks to newer data sources, you can do it quickly – for a small fraction of the conventional cost.
These records include email addresses in compliance with CAN-SPAM. So you’re able to regularly market to prospects via cost-effective email advertising – without constantly paying rented media or offline production charges.
Of course, this also means prospects can tune you out by ignoring your email – or simply opting-out. And if you ask prospects to fill out a form to receive a reward, the overwhelming majority will essentially say “Thanks but no thanks.”
So while B2B marketers are able to grow the database rapidly, they won’t win hearts and minds so fast. What’s typically needed is an email campaign that breaks through, makes the right impression on prospects, and gets them to act.
This brings us to the all-important offer. B2B marketers have a story to tell. One that’s multi-faceted. Tied to prospect challenges and opportunities. Product or service differentiators. And benefits.
After saving substantially on media and production, it’s important to plow some of the savings into the experience you provide prospects – from the email advertising to the content series that educates and nurtures prospects as they move through the pipeline to the sale.
Web video is an increasingly popular way to educate B2B prospects. It’s the power of television, without the waste. Video enables you to run a conceptual series packed with emotional ideas – pulled off in brand-appropriate ways. When Web video is executed properly, engagement rates often soar.
In addition to being educational and fascinating, these short movies are easily digestible. Because the campaign is aimed at database prospects, no forms need to be filled out by viewers. And these interactions are measurable. When a prospect has a meaningful moment with your brand through video, the session is recorded. The same is true when a prospect interacts with some of your other marketing content.
Marketing automation technology not only takes results reporting to another level, it transforms the relationship between sales and marketing. The two functional areas agree on precisely what constitutes a sales-worthy lead. Marketing finally stops hearing “All the leads suck” from sales. And sales continually sees more genuine prospects to pitch through real-time reporting and instant lead-routing; triggered campaigns; and other good stuff from the marketing team.
Place all the stars in alignment and B2B marketing really, truly can become a consistent revenue machine. What say you?