Whitepaper 1.0: B2B Marketing for High-Tech Solutions – Part Two
Implementing a B2B Marketing Strategy
Firms need to set themselves apart not only in terms of their product but how they market and advertise their brand. This combination is vital to attract customers in a highly saturated field. A recent study conducted by Deloitte shows that high-tech B2B companies allocate around 15% of their overall budget to marketing each year. Yet for many start-ups, they are not investing at all and they have the most to gain from implementing a cohesive marketing strategy.
As the world becomes increasingly more digital, marketing follows suit. Digital marketing is now the most widely used form of marketing and it is especially applicable to the B2B technology market. It is predicted that 50% of high-tech B2B sales are expected to come from digital channels this year.
Research conducted by the Content Marketing Institute showed that some of the key tools used in the B2B market is blogging (52%), email newsletters (40%), social media content (40%) and organising events (36%). Although each of these are highly applicable to the B2B segment, it is important to understand each tool in detail and how it can be applied to the technology sector.
Content marketing is a key element of inbound marketing which uses high quality content to pique a customers’ interest. For content marketing to be successful, companies need to truly understand their customer base, so they can create content their target audience would search for. To achieve this, businesses must consistently research key trends and search words and orientate content accordingly.
Content is particularly beneficial in the B2B technology sector as these companies provide highly technical services, so creating written content explaining the technology in detail would allow customers to gain a greater understanding of the product. B2B buyers in this market deemed technical specs to be the most relevant content (53%) in their decision making process closely followed by case studies (48%). Case studies have been shown to be one of the most effective tools at converting leads with a conversion rate of 73%. Case studies prove the viability of a product, making it easier for a decision maker to sign off a purchase.
Search Engine Optimisation refers to when a business improves the ranking of their website to increase its visibility in search engine results pages. A business has full control over their website and can edit content to increase its relevance through the use of specific keywords, this practice is referred to as onsite SEO.
Offsite SEO refers to the building of links from other sites, the volume and quality of such links are also positive indicators to Google (and other search engines) that your site deserves further exposure when users are searching for terms relevant to your company. Link building is generally an exercise that comes under the umbrella of digital PR.
When launching a new technology, especially one that is set to ‘disrupt’ a sector, the novelty itself will be enough to interest the technology press. But if you’re not selling to the tech world, you’re going to have to consider how you’re going to gain coverage in the press that is relevant to your target audience.
Consistently producing quality press releases on talking points within your sectors will eventually establish your company or the member of staff you attribute the content to as an expert in the sector. And many publications will allow for a link to the site, driving even more traffic to the website and bolstering your offsite SEO effort.
Events are a great form of marketing that can generate lots of leads and accelerate the sales process. Events come in all different forms; from attending industry conferences to private networking events.
A company needs to decide which is most likely to attract their target audience. Reverting back to Moore’s theory, companies need to tap into a niche market, so it would be beneficial for companies to host their own events. This enables them to make the event topic as specific as possible, only attracting a niche audience. Technology companies could host events on new product releases, or a networking event based on a key industry topic.
Recent studies have shown that 58% of organisations treat social media as one of their go-to platforms to research on potential vendors. So, if businesses don’t have a presence on social media they are missing out on potential business. Social media can be used to express opinions on important trends or as a way to start conversations with a target audience.
Social media copy needs to provide value to readers and have a specific talking point in order to engage a target market. It doesn’t necessarily have to be sales-driven; it can also be educationally focused. Social media is a great opportunity for high-tech companies to showcase their technologies and key points, promoting customers to find out more. Companies should focus on perceived benefits on their product as a way to engage Moore’s ‘early majority’.
Account Based Marketing (ABM)
Sales and marketing strategies need to be completely intertwined in order to reach their mutual goals. ABM is a business marketing strategy that concentrates resources on a set of target accounts within a market and basing the marketing messages on their needs. Relating back to the TAM model, the messaging should direct the products perceived usefulness and how it can ease customer’s core pain points.
ABM can encompass all of the above marketing tools but each part focusing solely on these accounts. This form of marketing is particularly relevant to the B2B technology field, as these companies mainly deal with a few large accounts and integrate their system across the entire business. Referring back to Moore, these accounts will essentially act as the niche, in which companies should focus all of their attention. This approach is particularly beneficial to companies as it allows them to create more personalised messaging, wastes less resources and produces more accurate ROI reports.