Money Changes Everything in B2B Demand Generation…Or Does It?

George is Keeping an Eye On You!

Allocating marketing spend wisely is important, but mindshare can’t (only) be boughtit has to be earned. Put my four tips in your pocket along with your B2B allowance.

I’m not going to argue with these findings from Sean Geehan of the Geehan Group…

“Spending trends for most B2B companies show that marketing dollars are spent targeting the wrong level of audience…Only 15% is spent at the influencer level, and (sadly) only 10% is spent at the decision-maker level…

B2B marketers who know and understand the breakdown of their spending can better allocate their budgets and make a huge difference in a short period of time.”

…but I think that last part needs some tempering.
When you allocate a third or more of your spending to reach decision makers and key influencers—which is not exactly a new concept for successful demand generation—you enter a steep competition for mindshare.
Even more so than end users or purchasers, decision makers and key influencers are:
  • Starved for time
  • Inundated by communications from hundreds of vendors
  • Protected by gatekeepers who filter out any ‘non-essential’ communications

So how do you break through the time barrier, the info overload, and the gatekeepers?

1. Know your audience:

  • Read the media they read.
  • Join or at least monitor the forums and LinkedIn groups they participate in
  • Talk to your salespeople to find out what gets your buyers’ attention.
  • If you have the resources, develop complete buyer personas based on research. If not, draft a two-paragraph profile of each buyer based on your own findings.

2. Plan your messaging, content, timing and media to be relevant to those personas.

3. “Relevant” doesn’t mean “predictable.” To break through the clutter, encourage the creative professionals you work with to develop unexpected and entertaining angles for messaging, content, and media. (You know they want to.) It can be as simple as an unexpected statement, or a “treat” delivered by Priority Mail.

The key here is to provide highly focused briefs and personas (or at least info gathered from audience research as per #1.)

4. Stay connected over time. The bigger the fish you’re trying to catch, the longer the cast (and therefore the rod) will have to be.

Research shows that many targets don’t respond until the third touch of any given marketing campaign. And we all know that B2B marketing plays out over a long buying cycle. So plan to throw out a number of lures and stay alert to how your targets respond—or don’t.

For more insight and case studies on allocating your marketing budget profitably, see Sean Geehan’s research on MarketingProfs.

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