B2B marketers can strengthen their performance for marketing growth, balancing the brand, and demand marketing
Every brand earmarks a yearly budget, which is the holy grail for all CMO. Within this budget, they are expected to enhance its brand presence to drive growth. To achieve such an objective a CMO needs to make multiple choices around – advertising medium, platform, agency, partners, vendors, strategy, and others. However, one of the biggest challenges that a CMO faces is splitting the spends on ‘Demand Marketing’ and ‘Brand Marketing’ for enhancing the business impact.
‘Brand Marketing’ aims to create memorable links between the brand and different relevant
buying situations to drive long-term growth. ‘Demand Marketing’ creates sufficient urgency around specific services/ offerings to stimulate short-term growth. Till date, marketers have been continuously investing heavily in demand generation, regardless of their objective. This is because the impact of demand marketing can be simply measured in the short term in comparison to brand marketing.
It is time for a change – and the focus should be on:
Leverage both customer growth and acquisition strategies
Businesses grow exponentially by selling to maximum customers, and not by selling to the
existing customers alone. Most of the customers are already spending the maximum they can to buy what they need. And even if marketers can nudge the customers to buy more, the potential benefit is usually much smaller than that of acquiring a new customer. Breaking into the current budgets at new customers and also nurturing the existing customers, drives a faster and better-insulated growth strategy.
To achieve fame, striving for ad consistency, distinctiveness, and reach
Marketers need to worry less about what buyers think about their brands and be more
concerned about when they think about their brands. The primary goal should be to get the
brand involved in as many consideration sets as possible, as opposed to influencing the
consumers on which brands to choose. Famous brands are always considered first. And to
achieve fame, B2B marketers need to run campaigns long enough to drive sufficient awareness
Invest in short-term demand-gen efforts and longer-term brand campaigns
Firms need brand marketing to create long-term demand and activation, to convert the
demand efficiently into revenue for the short-term. When the balance becomes right, each
effort enhances the other. Applying the 50/50 rule is vital to create the split between the brand and demand investment – but the most important point is to measure ROI over the full sales cycle, to capture investment impact most accurately.
Target broader audiences to achieve the full buying circle and also acquire future buyers
The single most significant predictor of growth remains the reach. Targeting too narrowly gets ineffective as it ignores the greater multitude of people who are involved in a joint purchasing decision. One can often miss out on critical influencers of the buying committees. The widespread turnover within industries and employees means that one cannot just target the current buyer, but also needs to focus on nurturing the future buyer. Consider expanding reach beyond the existing decision-makers today to create maximum opportunity for future growth.
Using rational and emotional ads
Buying decisions are both emotional as well as rational, and marketing should be too. Rational ads are something more productive for customers who will buy, especially during the pandemic, while emotional ads will be preferred for customers who will buy later. Marketers need to be more strategic and thus use emotional ads to establish brands and connect with buyers much before they come to the market.