Most business-to-business (B2B) companies have used traditional marketing tactics like trade shows, cold calling, direct mail and print advertising to generate leads and build awareness of their organization, its products and services over the years.
In the last decade, a significant change has taken place. Digital marketing has completely transformed how business buyers seek solutions and make buying decisions. Digital marketing – from online ads to email to social media – has become mainstream, and most companies have shifted at least some of their budget to digital.
The secret to good B2B marketing is to use a combination of tactics. If you’ve read the whitepaper, 17 Winning Tactics from the B2B Experts, you’re already familiar with the best tactics that B2B marketing agencies and companies use.
The most successful lead generation and awareness campaigns happen when a combination of tactics are used to gain broad and frequent exposure to prospective customers. By blending tactics, you ensure that you’re hitting your prospect multiple times (important since people need to hear the same message at least 7 times before they retain it). It’s also helpful because it gets your message to your prospects in different formats, which helps get their attention.
If your company is holding out, here are 4 strategic reasons to include some digital lead generation tactics in combination with traditional marketing:
1. Data, data, data
Revenue leaders today care about one thing, data! Metrics are critical to the success of lead generation and marketing in general, for many reasons. It helps with the analysis and understanding of what is working and what isn’t. This is vital to be able to adjust the current campaign or improve future campaigns. Today, we have visibility to almost everything which can cause analysis paralysis, so it’s important to understand what metrics you want to track and why. If you are promoting an event, then having visibility to the email system your prospects are using would be helpful to ensure your calendar reminders are set up in the correct format. Do most of your prospects use Outlook or Gmail? Not only does data help you improve your lead generation campaign performance, it also helps you quantify the success of a campaign. It allows you to generate reports to tie things like revenue to your marketing activity, making it easier to justify your investments.
2. Opportunity to engage with your customer
With traditional marketing, you work tirelessly on your content and format and then it goes out. And then you wait. Whether it is a print advertisement or a postcard in the mail, it takes time for people to react. With digital lead generation activities like social media, you have the ability to engage immediately with your prospects and get instant feedback. You can chat, have alerts and run live polls. There is no end to the opportunity for immediate engagement.
3. Flexibility to optimize
Both the data and ability to engage with your audience provide you with the information you need for improvement. Thanks to digital marketing, you have the ability to adjust and optimize as you go. You can continuously update the ads you post and the landing pages you publish. Even your most amazing campaigns have room for improvement. With digital lead generation you can leverage the data to continuously refine to ensure you maximize the potential of each campaign and you get the most out of the investment you’ve made. This also allows you to get in market quicker with campaigns as you can add and refine as you go, also allowing you to do more in less time.
4. Cost efficiency
The cost difference between traditional and digital marketing is mind-blowing. For radio and TV ads you have to make a huge investment, while social media can have as big a reach at a fraction the cost. The average cost to reach 1000 people through television is approximately $28, compared to $2.50 through social media. And that is just the beginning. The cost of email is pennies for the send compared to the cost of printing and postage for a direct mail piece. Cost savings are also realized from online catalogues and collateral that can be updated regularly, compared to the high printing cost and the short shelf-life of their traditional equivalents.
While digital has many great advantages, you should not ignore traditional marketing. We highly recommend incorporating a mix for your campaigns, because the higher cost and the other deterrents of traditional marketing have also made those tactics less common which makes them more unique. While 74 trillion emails are sent annually, only 13.8 billion letters are mailed. The average lifespan of an email is now just 2 seconds and brand recall directly after seeing a digital ad is just 44%, compared to direct mail which has a brand recall of 75%. There is no question that standing out from the crowd has impact. Incorporating the right amount of traditional and digital marketing together can give you reach and impact. If you are left feeling confused about how to leverage both digital and traditional, read 15 Tactics to Get Your B2B Marketing on The Right Track and explore each of the tactics further.
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