The rapid growth of new environments like CTV and In-Game, an increase in omni-channel marketing, changing customer preferences and growing ad fatigue has made it that much more difficult to cut through the noise to target business to business (B2B) buyers.
In this blog post, we will outline key ways to stay relevant amongst B2B decision makers to inspire action and drive campaign success.
Background on B2B Decision Makers
Typically, a B2B solution involves six to 10 decision makers, each coming to the table with independent research and a set of diverse options and solutions that are continuously expanding as new technologies, products, suppliers and services emerge.
These dynamics make it more difficult for B2B buyers to come to a decision. In fact, according to a recent survey by Gartner, more than three quarters of customers described their purchases as complex - highlighting the importance of coming up with the right strategy to reach these buyers.
Whether it is B2B programmatic advertising, account based marketing or buying on multiple ad exchanges, B2B buyers are more informed, self-reliant and now more than ever, the ultimate end-users — fully equipped to make their own business purchases.
So, in order to effectively market to B2B buyers, it is important to understand who they are and what they respond to in terms of online marketing. Below are a few key characteristics of B2B buyers.
Characteristics of B2B Buyers
THEY ARE HARD TO REACH
B2B buyers have a very short window in which they are ready and willing to engage with digital marketing content. According to Entrepreneur Magazine, 49% of executives in B2B are now more selective about content so marketers have to ensure their ad messaging is relevant and delivered the right way.
THEY LEAD THEIR OWN SEARCHES
Today's B2B buyers are identifying and diagnosing their own problems, exploring and prescribing their own solutions, building requirements, and product shortlists to match — all on their own terms, digitally, before ever speaking to sales.
THEY ARE SKEPTICS
Marketers face an uphill battle in winning buyer confidence even before they enter a buyer's radar. Often times, buyers will default to distrust and will seek validation from a number of sources, including a vendor itself, to make sure that products and services work exactly as advertised and are worth the purchase.
THEY HAVE SPECIFIC EXPECTATIONS
According to a recent survey by DemandBase, an account-based marketing technology provider, 97% of buyers said it was important that vendor websites have relevant content that speaks directly to their company's needs. Therefore, B2B buyers have high expectations from the content being presented to them and want that content to speak to a certain pain points or business drivers.
Now the big question is, keeping these characteristics in mind, what are the best ways to connect with B2B decision makers?
Case Study: How You Can Drive Product Consideration Amongst B2B Buyers
One of the world's leading software companies, SAP, leveraged GumGum's high-impact ad solutions and accredited contextual targeting solution, Verity™ to significantly boost brand awareness and product consideration for its individual business lines and gain traction among top business decision makers.
GumGum, along with global media agency OMD, partnered with research giants On Device Research (ODR) & Lumen Research Ltd for the measurement of this campaign.
The campaign proved to be highly successful, so much so that it was shortlisted for the Internationalist Awards for Innovation in Media and won the gold prize.
Watch Now for the Full Study Breakdown and Results.
Activating the The Mindset Matrix™ for SAP
GumGum activated its game-changing advertising framework, The Mindset Matrix™ to serve engaging creative in contextually relevant environments where B2B decision makers were present. The campaign was fully automated, scalable and self-optimized across different vendors.
Combining true contextual understanding with engaging creative and consumer attention measurement, The Mindset Matrix™ empowered the GumGum team to better align their digital ads with B2B consumer mindset and what they are viewing and feeling in the moment.
3 Steps to Create a Successful B2B Strategy
Using Verity™, GumGum served its high-impact Desktop Skins unit across a premium roster of publishers, on contextually relevant articles, targeting key business decision makers. Verity™'s contextual expertise was able to scan everything from copy and imagery, to audio and video, for accurate and safe ad placement, without the need for cookies or any personally identifiable information (PII).
As mentioned, for this campaign, SAP leveraged GumGum’s high-impact Desktop Skin unit. This unique video unit natively surrounded the publisher content and remained 100% viewable throughout the user’s journey on the page - holding consumer attention.
For a closer look at GumGum's ad unit offerings, please click here.
Lastly, with a focus on consumer mindset, GumGum used The Mindset Matrix™ to target hard to reach B2B decision makers only when they were open to the message in the right environments to grab their attention long enough to inspire action.
For the B2B decision makers targeted through this campaign, GumGum's contextual solution drove,
- 3.4x higher attention for SAP products vs the standard benchmarks
- 2x higher engagement rate vs. standard benchmarks
- Significantly increased the preference for SAP solutions:
- +11% for "optimal solution to digitize my business"
- +18% product consideration
- +15% usage intent (vs. pre-campaign)
While B2B decision makers are harder to attract, they will pay attention to the content that offers them a compelling, impactful solution. To reach them effectively, marketers must develop excellent content that is delivered in in the right contextual environments. After all, the future of digital advertising in this cookieless, privacy-first era is all about contextual, and tapping into the consumer’s mindset at the right moment to engage and influence their imagination and behavior.