It’s time to upgrade your B2B marketing strategy.
When I first started my career, I was afraid of numbers. I was unsure of how to use data analytics to inform my marketing programs and campaigns. At that time, there weren’t many software platforms that collected data and presented them in a way that’s easy for marketers to understand. I typically leveraged my in-house analysis team to help pull data, mine data and help me articulate an insight.
Over the course of my time working at large technology brands here in Silicon Valley, I began to explore data and learn how to use it affectively. the journey has not been easy but it has helped me become a more well-rounded, data-driven marketer.
There are two areas that I think are important for B2B marketers to embrace and leverage for planning purposes.
The first is audience intelligence. This really isn’t a new concept because marketers have been building personas and doing audience research for many years. But today, the way of thinking about research has changed and there is technology that can explore an uncover real people in order to understand who they are and what they care about. This type of analysis is critical to inform a B2B marketing strategy. It’s not really a nice to have either. It’s table stakes at this point.
I created this audience intelligence guide that is somewhat of a living document. It’s a compilation of years of experience of testing and learning different ways to understand and reach audiences. When I come across new thinking or methodologies, I tend to update the guide and keep it as current as possible.
The second area that is important for marketers as they begin to plan for their B2B marketing strategy is an understanding of influencer marketing. There are many ways to think about and deploy influencer programs. My philosophy has always revolved around the 1-9-90 model of influence. It’s a model that looks at a specific market and segments an audience into the following:
- The top 1% that leads a conversation. They have large communities and when they speak , others listen. These are the influencers. While they used to be traditional journalists, anyone today with a point of view and an audience can be an influencer.
- The 9% is what I call the general audience. These are people that matter to your business and are most likely influencing your buyers. My philosophy is that everyone is influential. So this group, while they might not be “influencers”, it’s extremely important to pay attention to them because they’re all online, sharing content, and having discussions about business and technology.
- The 90% is the general market. These are also your buyers. But they aren’t very active participating in social media. They would much rather use social media to listen, learn and lurk. They use Google for everything they do when researching products and services and are very much influenced by the 1% and the 9%.
I also put together this influencer marketing guide which is a living document where I add new thoughts and thinking related to the programs I am managing for clients.
Regardless of what industry you work in, data analytics must be the cornerstone of your B2B marketing strategy. It’s the only way to differentiate your brand and separate yourself from your competitors.