The Multi-touchpoint Journey to Landing a B2B Enterprise Customer
B2B marketing heads generally start the customer sales funnel conversation by contrasting it with its B2C sister’s model. In B2B marketing, given you’re still selling to entities with a pulse, there should be some similarities that ring true across the siblings but one of the main differentiators, particularly with landing the big fish, is that there are multiple stakeholders that you have to impress on your journey.
Both B2B and B2C marketing strategies rely on multi-touchpoint customer journeys if the purchase requires a lot of consideration, an example in the case of the latter would be a car or a family holiday. An example in the case of the former would be more like an enterprise level software whose implementation would be game changing for the company, inch into the working life of all of not most of the staff and a decision, not to be taken lightly
We’ve created a more in depth guide to marketing personas for B2B here. In short, it’s important to understand who you’re selling to, gauging their pain points and shaping your messaging around how your product or solution is the answer they’ve been looking for. A trichotomy may be an over simplification of an exercise that demands time and thought, especially when you’re dealing with a multi-faceted target firm with varying levels of decision making powers but it’s a good place to start:
On the Ground Floor
You need to look at gaining interest from the ground up. Internal brand ambassadors are an integral driving force of awareness and appreciation inside a firm which is why grassroots marketing is super important. If you’re a tech company, consider dealing with the local coder crowds or running a hack day. Your constant interest on a grass-roots level won’t harm your recruitment efforts either.
Consider their interests, what they do in and outside of work and position your brand or solution as the one that they want to work with. The next generation entering the workforce may not yet be decision makers but they are influencers and don’t forget about the long game; pique this persona’s interest now and you may have life long fans on your hands, future-proofing your business.
Your team leaders, mid-level managers and ‘Heads of’ are a complex persona to pin down. Depending on your offering, you may be looking to target the head of PR, Head of HR, the Environmental Lead or even Accounts. Consider the specific discipline of that role, overlay that with the persona’s pain points and you’ve got a recipe for success. Rudimentary example of a persona:
Paula Head of PR
- She has to deal with managing her team and her own workload
- She also has to create reports for the team and wants to look good in front of her boss
- She’s smart, quick, dynamic and open to new tech that might make her life better while optimising the output of her team
Start producing content that’s going to help Paula in her every day life, PR hacks, how tos, webinars on the latest PR trends etc. That way, you’re creating brand recognition on an ambient level.
Here your’e looking at the decision makers, the people holding the purse strings and ultimately, the heads you’re going to have to impress with your product or solution. If you’ve properly carried out the ground work with the other two (or ten) personas, depending on the size of the company, there will already be some internal pressure to start using your services. You now need to consider the agenda of the people on the board:
- Fiona’s main priority is the profitability of this company
- She’s super switched on, detail-orientated and never misses a beat – you have to work hard to impress her
- This role may not be the final destination in Fiona’s career trajectory. She may be looking at this company as an opportunity to prove her worth, make a difference to the bottom line and use this as a case study for her next career move – get on Fiona’s level, convince her that your technology, service or product is going to get her where she wants to go, fast
The types of marketing strategies you may considering employing to get into Fiona’s, usually, fortified world would be high-level events. Think about inviting Fiona to speak at an FD’s roundtable or asking for her opinion on a high-level thought piece PR that’s going to get her some recognition in her industry.
For the really big firms, you may consider account-based marketing. We’ve developed a guide to ABM here which takes you through creating a hit list, strategies for engagement and reporting. There are so many levels when it comes to reeling in the big fish and your marketing strategy should reflect that. It should be made up of content, campaigns and other outputs that are relevant to stakeholders throughout the multi-touch point journey and at various levels throughout your target business.
If you’re looking for further advice on your B2B marketing strategy or execution, we’re happy to chat. Get in touch here.