By Patrick Shea, Co-Founder, AdDaptive Intelligence
Remember the quaint days when simply capturing, sharing and using data was a competitive advantage for agencies marketing B2B brands? Welcome to 2022 — when every brand customer demands more scale, higher accuracy and richer data sets that can be linked directly to performance.
Typically, B2B sales cycles are longer and involve more decision-makers, higher-priced products and harder-to-reach audiences than B2C sales cycles. As complexity increases, marketers may struggle to meaningfully link data with performance. Those who can develop a data-integrated strategy, however, hold a distinct advantage that drives more effective ROI for their campaigns.
Marketers will need a team of experts and strong partnerships to merge multiple marketing systems, buying platforms, data vendors and reporting suites. Otherwise, your data is likely to be disjointed and hiding in silos.
Create a self-improving cycle
Sales and marketing data needs to feed segmentation, targeting, messaging and frequency. Then, marketers can use those campaign analytics and insights to bolster the brand's marketing stack. The output of each process becomes an input for the other, creating a self-improving cycle. This feedback loop is the only surefire way to fully optimize the incredible tools at their disposal.
B2B has clearly defined sales-funnel stages and deal progression that require a complex buying process with multiple research points and internal teams. Marketers can use granular and validated data from every stage to make a feedback loop that improves outcomes while establishing a layer of accountability. Every action – including every impression, click, view, conversion and content placement – reveals rich and ongoing insights when traced back to the actual accounts the brand wants to engage.
Discover the value of proven agency expertise
Some brand marketers are trying to evolve – or at least change the way they advertise. Many brands have brought some capabilities in-house. And some ad tech companies have adopted a brand-direct SaaS model to circumvent agencies entirely. These marketers may have experienced how effective it can be to inform their advertising decisions with the data produced in their marketing stacks. Hopefully, they’re able to use the data from their advertising campaigns to inform their sales and marketing funnel, too.
But there’s a lot to learn about the complexities of the programmatic ecosystem – and many brand organizations may not have the resources to handle them effectively. As a result, they’ll need a proven, experienced agency with the talent, resources and multichannel capabilities to manage data complexities and interconnectedness consistently.
Agencies have a storied history of bringing new advertising technologies and media channels into their repertoire, so they can execute complex, multichannel marketing campaigns that evolve and cover a wide range of client goals. Those capabilities are not easily replicated. Forward-thinking agencies know how to share data with the client’s marketing stack. As a result, the deep insights and granular analytics generated by complex strategies aren’t reduced to lowest-common-denominator KPIs.
The next stage of the digital marketing space is here. New tools and techniques are available to seamlessly and safely share data between brands and agencies, allowing each partner to do what they do best and create outcomes neither could on their own.