By Samantha Bammes, Behavioral Marketing Specialist at MultiView
As 2016 marketing plans and budgets are mapped out and media spend is allocated, digital marketers have two options: continue business as usual or evolve. With so many options, how do you decide which new tactic to try? How are you going to convince the risk-adverse CEO?
At the end of the day, marketers are trying to make it easier for their customers to find them. This can also be referred to as customer acquisition or customer optimization. As digital marketing evolves, end-user expectations also continue to advance. Marketers need to understand how to react to audience behavior, rather than just push messaging at prospects, to gain effective responses and optimal results.
Data-driven decisions – assumptions vs. live data
Sales, marketing and executive management regularly disagree on who the decision-maker actually is. The reality is that in most business-to-business transactions, there are many influencers contributing to the final decision. There are many analytics and predictive marketing tools and services available for marketers to establish a data-driven benchmark of who are already on their website, allowing them to verify prospective audiences or build look-alike models for future targeting. This can also validate the assumptions of who is making up the company’s customer base.
Recommendation: Before beginning any new digital campaign, uncover who is already on your website. Who are your current visitors? What is their demographic makeup? Which companies are researching your organization but not yet reaching out to your sales team?
Listings and directories still matter – getting found
Quality backlinks continue to be an important data point in search engine algorithms, including directories and business listings. Often, business owners think they can replace media or digital spend in one area of their marketing budget with another, when in fact, organizations need to balance their priorities around optimizing how they are being found by people who are intentionally looking for products, services and businesses like them.
Recommendation: Perform an audit of backlinks for the directories that your business is listed in. Make sure all listing information is up to date. Advertising is available on some directories and can be a premium spot for unique niche audiences, depending on the site traffic. Ask the publisher who is responsible for marketing the site and request regular, updated metrics for site visits (new and returning) and ad performance.
Better audience targeting – new customer acquisition and reach
The good news is that with the advancements in advertising technology, businesses no longer need to wait for new buyers to find them. Ads can finally “show up” wherever the consumer goes, whenever the consumer goes there, using recent behavior that signals they are in the market to make a purchasing decision.
By using real-time targeting, strategic messages can be delivered in front of the same customer you might be cold calling or trying to meet at a trade show. This type of marketing is just now being introduced to more traditional businesses, such as the industrial, plastics, oil/gas, manufacturing and automotive markets, who typically rely on traditional advertising.
Recommendation: In order to remain competitive, account-targeted marketing must be part of any 2016 customer acquisition plan. Take the time to understand how these campaigns can be developed to compliment or replace costly networking and exhibitor marketing. Work with a partner who can help you plan a campaign so that your 2016 digital marketing efforts are more cost effective and results driven. Everyone is leaving a “digital trail”, in both B2C and B2B online activities. Learn about how to leverage the competitor data to increase your own market share.
Final thoughts: An effective marketing plan includes strategic and measureable activities. How are you revising your digital marketing plans for more impact and better ROI in 2016?
Samantha Bammes (@samcole_digital) is a B2B Behavioral Marketing Specialist leading new business accounts at MultiView, the largest B2B Digital Publisher in the world, headquartered in Dallas, Texas. She specializes in collaborating with other agencies, including search, content and creative firms, B2B Startups/VC Firms, and any business who thinks their prospects aren’t online. She loves to debate and demystify all that is digital advertising — and break it down for real humans. She sometimes hits Publish, but always uses the Oxford comma.
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