As work culture continues to evolve, the way marketers communicate with business decision makers must evolve with it. Remote work is one of the trends which will not go away. This brings along its own unique challenges for marketers. In the world of business to business, or B2B, marketing, the challenge becomes even greater when trying to reach the C-suite.
Executive decision makers are a core audience for every industry. This makes their already very limited time even more valuable to marketers trying to make an impact. There are a host of services and tools which claim to use the latest business to business targeting technology to reach this elite group that wields the purchasing power. But what happens when the C-suite leaves the office? Does work-from-home turn your marketing strategy upside down?
It doesn’t have to.
Over the last two years, MHP/Team SI has leaned into our spirit of innovation to keep up with a rapidly-changing landscape and test new ideas against tried and true principles. For B2B clients looking to reach the C-suite, our work has yielded 4 key takeaways:
1. Find Power in Specificity
If you’re looking for creative that resonates and goals that are actionable, specificity is the key to both. In a creative context, we sometimes refer to this as “personalization.” The C-suite audience has very limited time to consume information. Therefore, content needs to be catered to the pain points of the individual in order to stand out. Our B2B testing indicates that using industry-specific terms, imagery, and downloadable assets increases engagement over general executive-themed creative by 730%.
Account-Based Marketing, or ABM, has been a popular choice for businesses looking to stand out during this season of work-from-home. It allows you to identify your audience at an extreme level of specificity that greatly refines targeting and content personalization capabilities.
Another area in which B2B marketers need to be more specific is campaign goals. Different industries have been affected by the current business climate in different ways. This leaves C-level executives with varying amounts of time for decision-making research. Are you trying to get decision makers to understand your service? Are you looking for measurable interest in your new product? While sales is almost always the big picture goal, getting specific about what you need your audience to do is the key to crafting optimized campaigns that work on every level of the funnel.
2. Test Your Tactic Mix
One constant in digital marketing is that what once worked will not always work. This has been especially true as work cultures have changed dramatically. Marketing strategies that are future-proof require an element of consistent testing.
One of the best ways to do this is to “cast a wide net.” Start your campaigns with several tactics to see what platforms resonate best with your audience in that given moment. After a few weeks, check in on which messages, formats, and tactics are earning the most engagement. Then, adapt your mix accordingly.
3. Consider the Decision Influencer
As B2B decision lifecycles grow longer, the inner circle of the C-suite executive plays a larger role in decision making. Consumers want to get 70% of the way through their research phase before talking to a person– and the decision influencers (the VPs, Directors, and Analysts) are the ones actually doing that research. Consider campaigns designed to capture the attention of the decision influencer with specialized content like case studies and reports that shows real ROI.
4. Use New Technologies to Solve New Problems
New technologies allow marketers to utilize more first-party data to reach people no matter where they work. Venue Replay and other retargeting technologies are cutting-edge ways to get in front of decision makers as long as there is an initial location that can be used to capture their information, such as an event or hybrid office space.
Sponsored direct messaging is another clever way to bypass the office space entirely. Share personalized content, particularly on LinkedIn, to provide a genuine connection. Sponsored messages that come from a real personal profile stand out. When compared to the average open rate of a B2B email (14.5%-22%), our sponsored LinkedIn messages have blown the benchmark out of the water with average open rates of 50%.
Partner with an Experienced Agency
Do you have a brilliant product or service but run into trouble reaching the right decision makers to close the deal? At MHP/TeamSI, we have experience reaching all industries with integrated creative strategies that consider every step of the buyer journey. If you’re tired of testing one-off campaigns that provide minimal return on investment, we’re here to help take you to the next level.