Business-to-business (B2B) marketers are under constant pressure to prove the impact of their investments to the C-Suite. When an organization’s sales are slumping and spending needs to be cut, marketing has historically been an easy target. But in more recent times, cuts to the marketing department have become a harder decision to make – especially when marketing and advertising efforts can be directly tied to business results and, more specifically, sales success and profitability. The more that marketers can prove that their efforts are producing desired business outcomes, the harder it is for their budgets to be cut and difficult personnel decisions to be made.
With the advent of digital, there’s ample technology at marketers’ fingertips that enable them to linearly measure their contributions to business success. Rising consumer expectations are causing marketers to rethink traditional approaches to marketing and advertising, and technology can be leveraged to navigate those expectations. As empowered B2B customers have brought their consumer buying behaviors into the business world, it’s also become increasingly important for marketing to work closely with sales to understand their needs and preferences. Those who aren’t using technology or working with sales to better engage and convert new customers are behind the times – and at greater risk for old school cut backs.
So, how can B2B marketers show the C-Suite that their efforts are aiding in the organization’s success? They need to prove they are contributing to the top and bottom lines.
The Top-Line: Working Closely with Sales
An organization’s top line is all about growth, both in terms of revenue as well as in net new customers. In order to produce top-line growth, B2B marketers must have a strong relationship with the sales team.
Most marketers tend to think in terms of features and benefits, but buyers think in terms of capabilities. The better a marketer understands prospective customers, their industry, and the challenges they face, the better they can communicate with them in meaningful ways. Working closely with sales helps marketers determine what drives new customer wins as well as what deters them. Focus groups and social listening can supplement sales learnings with deeper insight into what customers and prospects want.
Leveraging this insight, marketers can equip the sales team with the tools and resources that make them more efficient, and ultimately improve sales execution and revenue. Tailored sales enablement tools, such as case studies, videos, whitepapers and more, provide the sales team with the collateral and content they need to facilitate the buyer’s journey. It also drives more qualified opportunities that improve their productivity and closing ratio.
The Bottom-Line: Leverage People-Based Martech/Adtech to Be Effective
While the top line is all about growth, an organization’s bottom line is about profitability and centers around creating efficiencies. Marketers can ensure bottom-line success by creating effective and efficient marketing and advertising programs with a high return on ad spend (ROAS), but this can be difficult without the aid of martech/adtech.
Research shows that 56% of consumers feel more loyal to brands who “get” them and show a deep understanding of their priorities and preferences. Insights from the sales team can help inform marketing strategy, but marketers can’t curate the right experiences for the right audiences if they can’t measure the influence of each touchpoint along the path to conversion, or understand which creative messages, offers, content, and other tactics drive the best results.
Technology that enables marketers to target, measure and optimize their efforts by audience is the heart of creating better experiences, and a better return. With a holistic, people-based view of the consumer journey and insight into the channels and tactics that influence their desired audience, marketers can orchestrate better experiences and optimize their budgets to drive greater efficiencies and bottom-line business results.
Fusing the Top and Bottom Line to Demonstrate Value
To truly showcase value, marketers must create an attractive bottom line while helping to drive a more substantial top line. Success requires a close relationship with sales and the help of technology. The blending of these two elements is what leads to efficient growth, driving B2B marketers’ success and enabling them to prove their true value to the entire C-Suite.