4 Ways to Unlock B2B Growth in The Era of Buying Groups

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Blog post By Paula Chiocchi on 2024-06-26

The opportunity for growth for B2B businesses is massive today, according to research conducted by LinkedIn together with Bain & Company, but it won’t come without effort. As many marketing leaders know, B2B success is determined by knowing not only how to connect with buying groups behind critical purchase decisions but to also meet them where they are to streamline processes.

The research suggests these groups are complex and typically made up of six to 10 stakeholders. Whether they come from accounting, legal, IT, or another team, one thing they all have in common is Fear of Messing Up (FOMU), according to the study: They don’t want the decisions they make to cause their businesses harm or negatively impact their careers.

Understanding what drives group stakeholders and engaging them on their terms is critical for influencing their decisions. Here are four key consideration to keep in mind as you strive to connect with diverse buying groups:


  1. Build Trust: Emphasizing “safety” is crucial when marketing to B2B brands, especially the larger companies, the study shows. They want to choose a brand that colleagues and peers trust, and building trust is a process that takes time. Your organization’s leaders, its reputation, and the quality and impact of its solutions as well as the customer experience it delivers all impact trust.                                                                             
  2. Uncover “Hidden” Decision Makers: Forrester has stated that “the best buying signal you will ever get is the presence of multiple individuals from the same organization researching your solutions at the same time.”


One way to find the “hidden” buyers within these groups – the people who are not typically targeted in marketing campaigns – is through intent monitoring. It involves tracking digital buying signals based on online behavior, such as search engine queries, repeat website visits and content downloads. This data provides powerful insights into decision-makers’ top preferences and concerns, including the risks they face. It paves the way for you to not only reach the most relevant individuals across buying groups – the people most likely in-market for solutions just like yours – but to also target them with messages that are personalized to their interests and concerns.


Our approach to intent monitoring at OMI includes:


  •  Monitoring more than 14 billion new B2B digital intent signals for our clients each week. Clients can make selections from these signals based on keywords and topics.


  •  Grouping intent signals into buckets by industry and interest level, with additional insights added about the types of departments and contacts most likely to be associated with these buckets.


  • Filtering with NLP and AI: All signals are filtered using natural language processing (NLP) and AI to enable tremendous speed and scale during the intent monitoring process.


  • Linking a prospect’s web search history to company-level behavioral pathways, with signals that aren’t based on the websites that are being viewed but on the content that’s being consumed on those websites. This provides deeper insights into the prospect’s interests and preferences.


  • Matching the intent data, using a variety of identifiers, to the company associated with the searches and to the potential buyer contacts across that company. This is performed using our Living File® database of more than 18 million companies and 145+ million contacts – all manager-, director- and professional-level and above contacts with email addresses.


  • Through an intent data program, you gain valuable intelligence about the individual decision-makers who make up buying groups, giving you a way to market with precision and speed up sales cycles. Go here to read more about our intent monitoring services. 


  1. Create Agreement: When it comes to companies with less brand power in the market, LinkedIn  says marketers need to create a sense of agreement across the targeted buying group by delivering a cohesive digital buying experience. Since everyone in the buying group has some level of influence on the buying decision, it’s easy to understand why the experience should resonate with all of them. In 2021, Forrester said that solutions costing more than $5,000 involved a group of three or more making that decision 84% of the time. That percentage no doubt has grown.


Intent data can fuel your ability to identify and prepare automated sequences and triggers, using digital ads, email, and other channels to tell a brand story in a cohesive way that makes sense for the entire group.


  1. Go All In on Self-Service: According to Forrester, the pendulum has swung from helping sellers sell to helping buyers buy. Regardless of their role, today’s buyers want to tap into self-service tools and information as they research solutions online. In fact, Gartner says 75% of buyers prefer a rep-free sales experience. Sellers need to keep pace, using everything from pre-recorded webinars to self-guided demos, product quotes and more to streamline the buying process. This is especially important when you consider that Millennials and GenZ decision-makers, who hold tremendous influence across buying groups today, adopt self-service at higher rates and are digitally savvy.


Reach out to our team for more information about these and other strategies for driving success with today’s all-important B2B buying groups.


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.

  • The Executive's 15-Minute Guide to Building a Successful Email Marketing Database

  • A 15-Minute Guide to Fortune 2,000 Businesses and Executives

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