The Rise of Branding in B2B Marketing

Posted on February 6, 2024 by Ramin Zamani ‐ 3 min read

The Rise of Branding in B2B Marketing

B2B marketing is undergoing a significant change. It will not happen overnight, but a transformation is underway.

Studying technology trends and following the industry thought leaders, here are three fundamental shifts I have noticed:

1) The traditional B2B marketing tactics are no longer effective.

Jon Miller is a visionary marketing leader whom I respect tremendously. He co-founded Marketo and defined the B2B marketing playbooks that most marketers follow today, like eBook promotions, nurturing emails, and SDR outreach. He co-founded Engagio, created a new B2B playbook, and brought Account-Based Marketing (ABM) into the marketers’ vocabulary.

In his recent post, he predicts that “the traditional B2B demand gen playbook will continue to decline in effectiveness.”

To be successful in the new era of B2B marketing, Jon invites marketers to “invest in brand creation that speaks to buyers’ emotions before they are in-market.”

2) B2B marketers must invest in their brand equity to grow reliably long-term.

LinkedIn and the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute have conducted studies showing how branding is becoming more important in B2B marketing.

Ty Health, Director of Market Engagement at LinkedIn, writes about the 95-5 Rule, which shows that 95% of your potential buyers aren’t ready to buy today. These 95% are “out-market” today but will be “in-market” sometime in the future.

Their joint research with the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute shows:

  • 75% of companies buy computers once every 4 years,
  • 80% of companies change banking services once every 5 years,
  • and even in B2C, 90% of consumers buy new cars every 10 years.

So, most of the time, most category buyers are not “in-market.”

To follow the 95-5 Rule for growth, marketers should invest in lead-generation efforts targeting the 5% of people who are “in-market” today and invest far more heavily in reaching the entire category with brand advertising that resonates with future buyers.

3) Ending third-party cookies means B2B marketers must rely more on owned media and communities.

If you want to learn more about third-party cookies, what they are, and how they impact marketers, read my post titled “Direct Mail Marketing in a Cookieless World. "

The ban on third-party cookies means that most advertisers must rework entire strategies.

David Temkin, Director of Product Management, Ads Privacy and Trust at Google, writes: “Developing strong relationships with customers has always been critical for brands to build a successful business, and this becomes even more vital in a privacy-first world.”

B2B marketers must invest more in their brands, communities, and owned media to build stronger customer relationships.

Building strong brands and engaged communities is where B2B marketing is headed, and the best direct marketers will evolve and adapt accordingly.

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