But what if B2B could apply some of the same creative thinking, targeting and strategy that B2C brands do, in particular in the advanced use of data to pinpoint prospects and nontraditional channels to reach them, crafting messages that more effectively connect with your target audience and drive them to raise a hand for more information?
Because people in the B2B space switch jobs, titles, needs or job function more frequently, you need a different approach and partners to reach them. Before big data, brands relied on focus-group and research-based personas that were often too broad or too narrow. Now, with the right data and the right combination of personal, social and business profiles, you can reach B2B audiences with scalpel-like precision.
Identity is critical to a successful B2B campaign, but having the right data, the right media partner and the right channel-level mix is even more critical, so you don’t waste costly impressions on the wrong audience.
Unlike B2B, B2C campaigns—especially sales-driven transactional campaigns—can provide immediate returns. Find someone who needs tires, sell them some tires and mission accomplished. B2B is more nuanced. You're generating leads and interest rather than transactions. Decision makers in the B2B space don't generally make hair-trigger purchases of SaaS platforms, for example.
But B2B companies do have a distinct advantage that most B2C brands don't. One is the use of account-based marketing or ABM (because, hey, we all love acronyms). ABM lets you tailor messages to your highest-level prospects and puts your marketing and sales teams on the same page. You can tailor messages that only those prospects will see via any channel in your media mix.
Reconsidering your media channels
The decline of linear TV viewing and the rise of OTT and CTV also present B2B marketers with a new and important opportunity. Remember that expensive brand video you weren't sure you were going to get enough eyes on? Now you can run it as a video ad or a CTV ad on Hulu, Peacock or any of the other streaming channels your audience is on.
And with the right data, you can match your ads and your CTV buy specifically to the shows and channels they watch, when they watch them. For example, our viewership data shows that the most popular shows on CTV among B2B marketers in June were “Tiny House Nation,” “Heartland” and the Giants versus the Dodgers series. You might be surprised to see that there aren't any news or finance programs among them.
So put it all together and start driving leads, not yawns, with your B2B campaigns. Just because SaaS may not be as fun as a car or a sports drink on the surface doesn't mean you can't create campaigns with great creative and great media placements, all powered by really great and accurate data.
Apply to your own campaigns the kind of thinking B2C brands do. And remember: Your B2B targets are consumers of content just like anyone else.