With B2B Targeting, You Have to Go the Extra Mile to Know Your Audience

Go the Extra MileMuch has been written about B2B targeting in the digital advertising space. For good reason, too. B2B targeting is a complicated topic with myriad strategies that vary from channel-to-channel and industry-to-industry. One of the main ideas that all B2B marketers focus on is audience and personas. WHO are we trying to reach?

Who our audience is often is not a simple piece of information to land on. Other times, the information is right there for the picking. A recent discussion with a client resulted in easy-pickin’s for their target customers. But the resulting brainstorm that came from what seemed to be a simple target showed the complexity of how B2B targeting has to be layered and stacked to hit the proverbial needle in the haystack. The client came to the table with this:

  • SalesForce users.
  • Customer service, asset managers, fleet managers.
  • Transportation, field service and related industry.

OK. We’ve got this. Each level here is very specific in its own right. Job titles. Industries. Even SalesForce users. But it is the sum of each of these parts that results in a superb B2B audience target.

Consider SalesForce users as a single audience target. SalesForce does ALL THE THINGS: CRM, marketing automation, sales, customer service and anything new tech companies can dream up. Why is that a problem? These features apply to individuals in marketing, sales, customer service and more. Not only that, but this client’s software is an add-on to SalesForce. Now we’re talking the potential of needing to talk to someone in IT who understands how to connect this software to SalesForce. Or convincing someone in the C-suite or procurement department that this software fills a need and is worth the price tag.

At this point, it is necessary to leverage all of your B2B marketing skills and assets to go the extra mile and not only hit the right audience, but generate qualified leads.

  • Leverage the data you already have. Phone and email lists you’ve bought or scraped together need to become custom audiences. Create retargeting audiences that slice your website visitors based on the niche content they you write and they read.
  • Hone the messaging; perfect your elevator pitch. Sure, this has to do with finding clarity of message and pre-qualifying clicks and conversions. But this is also about crafting the BEST message for EACH PERSONA you have identified as your potential audience. Take the time to read The Challenger Customer.
  • Write ads and landing page copy that 1) matches your honed messages and 2) conveys the exact purpose and benefit of your product or service. Don’t mince words. Hit your audience over the head with it. “This is SalesForce asset management. Nothing else. Got it? Good.”
  • Layer your targeting. Think LinkedIn and layering SalesForce user groups with job title and industry targets. Think search keywords layered with RLSA or similar audiences. Think Facebook lookalike audiences layered with job title and industry targets. And so on and so forth.
  • PPC keywords should feel like playing Captain Obvious for the day. “SalesForce asset management”. Doesn’t get much more straight forward than that.

The point I’m trying to make here is that you can’t simply go for the obvious targeting criteria (and now I’m being Captain Obvious!). It is your job as a B2B marketer to dig deeper to find combinations of target layers and messaging that drive qualified leads and customers. In short… know they audience.

Main image used courtesy of Flickr.

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