The 4 reasons a B2B business needs a B2B focused digital agency - Showtime Digital

The 4 reasons a B2B business needs a B2B focused digital agency

09 May 2019 Read 461 times

As we come up the end of the financial year many finance and B2B focused companies start setting marketing budgets and make their plans for the upcoming financial year.

The B2B sector is an inherently difficult one and is the reason most marketing agencies don’t outrightly say, ‘We love B2B’.

Agencies find its conservative and heavy compliance unattractive. 

When you investigate your agency options and you’re pitching a well known B2C focused agency against a B2B centred agency you’re really comparing apples to oranges. The goal of this article is for you to gain insight into what may happen in 3-4 months’ time and help you avoid a potentially devastating situation.

The key to our illustrations

The following three images show how a B2C agency likes to work, how they take those same practices into the B2B categories and how a B2B specialist conducts a B2B campaign.

Each is spaced out over a 4-month period and split by a green line. On the top of this line is the agency activity. Each movement or strategic change is represented as a yellow crest and represents an attempt to find consumer activity and buyer intent.

Below the green line is the consumer outcome. The yellow lines below the green line, which vary in length, lead to the nuggets of opportunity. The nuggets can be of varying size depending on the opportunity which has been discovered.
How a B2C agency likes to work

In the following image (Picture1) is documented the changes a well credentialed B2C focused agency commonly uses. An agency like this may be of a good size and have a solid list of well-known clients.

For the sack of simplicity, we’ll assume the channel they are marketing over is Google Ads.

 

Picture1

Below the green is represented the numerous nuggets of opportunity the campaign has uncovered. Notice there’s a lot of activity and the strategic changes are at regular intervals. With so many changes the amount of consumer outcomes is healthy.

This is a great campaign delivering some great results.

How a B2C agency works in the B2B sector

Below (Picture2) we see the same B2C focused agency working on a B2B campaign.

Their internal teams and set processes dictate fast movements and in their haste, they scratch the surface and move too quickly to another position. All the while building client anxiety as they go.

You will notice there’s still a good amount of activity (yellow crests) but it’s a little more sporadic. The initial changes are fewer than in the B2C campaign they usually work on, but the nuggets of opportunity have not been identified in the initial 5-6 weeks.

As time moves closer to the 5-6 week mark the changes become more regular. What you’re witnessing here is confusion, a bit of client anxiety and a potentially difficult agency/client conversation at the end of the month.

The reason of course is there’s no consumer activity and very little conversions.

 

Picture2

There’s a couple of challenges here. The first is the agency is treating the B2B campaign like a B2C campaign. In a B2C campaign there may be 1000-2000 conversions a month and with so much opportunity available, changes can be made swiftly in the knowledge there’s many thousands of people converting across the country each month.

In contrast, a B2B campaign may have only 30-100 conversions a month. But the quality of the conversations is impressive, and the lifetime value of each conversion is many times higher than that of a B2C equivalent.

How should a B2B campaign work?

Finding opportunity in B2B sectors is like placing a towel over a pool of water.

It must sit long enough to soak everything up.

Below (Picture3) is how a B2B campaign should be conducted. Much of what you see can be counter intuitive for B2C focused agencies and in almost total contrast to how a B2C campaign is structured.

Picture3

The reasons a B2B campaign is so different is –

  1. The B2B sector can be very, complicated and sophisticated with considered purchases
  2. The pool of opportunity is much smaller
  3. Strategy is extremely important because of the smaller pool
  4. You need to dig deeper and stay for longer to find opportunity

Notice when a B2B agency sets up a campaign, in the first month there is one movement rather than a multitude of changes.

You’ll also notice at the end of month one there is a small nugget, not huge, but a result none the less. That result is based on the determination to rest in the one spot for long enough, despite the anxiety the client may feel.

Once you find a small nugget you use the data from that movement to double down and find the next nugget.

Pools of opportunity in the B2B sectors can be scarce and as represented by the yellow lines below the green line in Picture3, the nuggets are always deeper and harder to find than in the B2C space.

Because of the scarcity of opportunity seen in the B2B space every campaign click is analysed.

Additionally, a heavy focus is placed on strategy which accounts for the consumer needs, pains and gains as well as language, psychology and channels.

If you’re looking to move to another agency look at the agency work they have succeeded with in your category.

And if you’re wanting to work with a B2B focused agency read some of our other articles and contact us or call on 03 8866 5551.

Steve Palmer

Steve Palmer is the Joint Founder and CEO of Showtime Digital. Steve has been in B2B sales since 1997 but influencing people and behavioural science has been a long-term passion.

The magic he brings to his clients is in knowing how to engage their audience. His goal is to help businesses understand the deeper reasons of why consumers convert online with them.