A Better Approach to Revenue Starts with Buying Group Marketing
By Nirosha Methananda, VP of Marketing for Influ2
Many B2B marketers struggle to close the gap between sales and marketing while maxing out their budgets and still not achieving meaningful results. With shifting buying behaviors, marketers can no longer rely on their old standby strategies. Approaches need to be revised and refreshed, enabling businesses to connect directly with decision-makers, meet customer needs and organize around revenue growth.
Buying Group Marketing (BGM) is a modern marketing framework that takes a practical and tactical approach to strategy. It aligns sales and marketing teams and impacts the bottom line by creating a better experience for prospects throughout the buying journey. While Account-Based Marketing has historically focused on engaging an entire account, BGM gets down to a granular level. But how?
Let’s take a closer look at the fundamentals of BGM:
- Dial in on strategy
In today’s marketing environment, customers are hit with thousands of ads a day. While ABM is essential from a strategy perspective, businesses need to build on it to cut through the noise and connect with audiences in a more effective, focused way. Buying Group Marketing helps center an organization’s marketing efforts. But the shift doesn’t happen overnight. It takes planning and effort to implement the approach effectively, and data and strategy to take a granular focus on buying groups.
Organizations must first identify and understand their audiences, solidify a strong, well-resourced team and develop a basic strategy to build and expand on. Where there are many different opinions and ways to approach ABM, BGM is more tangible from the outset with aligned metrics, forward planning of the pipeline and aggregated data, shared among teams contributing to a successful strategy.
Once the strategy is set and the business understands the target individuals in the buying group, they can begin to focus on reach and engagement. Starting with strategy and audience is fundamental to the success of BGM.
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- Bring the buyer and customer journey back to life
Internal silos, lack of data and failed communication lead to a disjointed customer experience. But better buying journeys are possible with BGM. Where marketing typically focuses on engaging an entire account, BGM pushes businesses to focus on specific targets within an account that should receive more focused marketing and sales attention. It forces organizations to consider the target’s needs and the best ways to engage them and validate their decisions.
Once targets are identified, it’s time to deliver and orchestrate on the customer experience. The journey may look different depending on the members’ roles within the buying group like influencer, key decision-maker or user. But BGM opens up the opportunity to engage across large accounts with multiple buying groups and ensures each target receives relevant content aligned with their current location in the purchasing journey.
An essential piece of the customer experience is also in creating impactful content. If the content in front of buyers is stale, boring, poorly timed or not relevant to their buying journey, a customer won’t look at it, and marketers would have wasted time and resources producing it. BGM helps businesses know what’s important by measuring engagement. Those engagement signals are critical signs for intent to buy. And because marketers are no longer left in the dark, the ‘spray and pray’ approach can officially be retired.
BGM is also a way to protect revenue. If a connection is made with only one individual on the account and that advocate takes a new role, renewal is unlikely and guaranteed revenue goes out the window. With BGM, retention is higher. Marketing and sales teams have a broader web across an account and they measure engagement with key decision-makers.
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- ‘Smarketing’: Unify marketing and sales teams
Businesses often attempt to unify marketing and sales teams and efforts; however, creating alignment is challenging.
Legacy processes have often created siloed operations between sales and marketing teams and building alignment is challenging without shared goals, metrics and a certain level of collaboration. BGM empowers teams to look at an account holistically instead of viewing internal processes as strictly sales or marketing tasks.
BGM removes these internal silos and creates a strategy and unified funnel where the two teams share metrics and work together to close deals. The BGM approach allows marketing to go beyond the top of the funnel and seamlessly work with sales teams and prospects to create better buying experiences. A prospect’s experience shouldn’t be impacted by a handoff from one team to another or a faulty internal structure. After all, clunky customer experiences don’t result in sales.
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