Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2022-02-09
Finding the right balance with your B2B marketing campaigns can be challenging. You want to target prospects based on your current customers while being open to new markets and opportunities. Keep up with trends while staying true to your brand. Provide enough resources and information to prospects in the buying journey but not overwhelm them—or annoy them by reaching out too frequently.
It can be hard to keep up with B2B marketing, because when the environment changes, your campaigns must too. It’s both what you say and how you say it that matters. A recent ANA study, “Response Rate Report 2021: Performance and Cost Metrics Across Direct Media,” released in January, shares new data on media performance including channel preferences, plans for the future and ROI. There’s a lot to digest and apply for B2B marketing in today’s environment. Here are five of my top takeaways.
Channel Usage Is More Varied
The ANA study says multichannel “is the norm” and has increased, allowing organizations to leverage multiple media in their direct marketing efforts. That’s good news, considering the number of channels that B2B customers use has doubled in the past five years, according to McKinsey. Since buyers today are more likely to conduct their own research on various channels, there are many ways to reach a prospect. The right combination and coordination—campaigns working together seamlessly for a truly omnichannel experience—will drive a better customer experience for buyers.
Email Is Foundational
Email is the most frequently used medium for B2B marketers: it averaged an 82% adoption rate across industries in the study. The industries reporting the most substantial use for marketing campaigns were technology and communications (88%), financial services: insurance (82%), and retail (82%). While email still held a strong position, social media advertising was reported as the most used medium for B2C and B2B/B2C companies.
Email is a channel that has stood the test of time and continues to prove its relevance. It’s often the best way for marketers to introduce their company and services to their targets. Email is also a key identifier—a personal form of identification—for prospects. Other channels like social are increasing in use and importance, but email is a communications cornerstone and foundational for engaging prospects.
Programmatic Opportunities Abound
Not surprising to me, the use of retargeting with digital display advertising continues to grow. More than 60% of respondents use programmatic ads and over half of this study’s participants say it results in higher click-through rates. Mobile performance is edging up, with 77% of respondents reporting that mobile click rates are the same or higher than desktop, while 82% report that mobile conversion rates are higher.
Direct Mail Still Has a Place in the Mix
While many now consider “digital marketing” and “marketing” one and the same, the study had interesting things to say about direct mail marketing. Respondents who used traditional methods such as sending messages in a letter-sized envelope via the U.S. Post Office reported a 112% ROI, the highest from the study. These “traditional forms of direct marketing continue to be powerful engines for accelerating brand growth,” said ANA CEO Bob Liodice. This underscores the point that in our increasingly connected world, marketers need an omnichannel approach fueled by accurate multichannel data, including personal and business contact data.
Marketers Are Increasing Their Efforts
At least half of the ANA study’s participants plan to increase their use of email, paid search, social media advertising, and SMS this year. Also of note, marketers said they were least likely to anticipate that social media usage would decline. With everything that has changed—and everything that keeps changing—over the past two years, marketers are digging down to keep driving business growth.
As a marketer, you spend a lot of time, energy and resources on campaigns, so it’s only natural to do everything in your power to ensure those efforts are effective. A decision to buy isn’t usually made the first time a prospect receives an ad, whether it’s through email, direct mail, display or social. But understanding what’s working for other marketers, industry preferences, and what your buyers are looking for is vital for planning campaigns that drive business results.
Outward Media’s proven data cleansing services and targeted, accurate B2B data can enable you to achieve better digital marketing ROI and, ultimately, convert more prospects into customers. Go here to find out about leveraging our SMB and medical market data on the LiveRamp Data Marketplace, where 95% of our email data matches the identity graph for use with display ad marketing.
At OMI, we believe good things happen when you share your knowledge. That's why we're proud to educate marketers at every level - in every size and type of organization - about the basics of email marketing and the contact data that powers it.