Your company made the leap to partner with a B2B agency to lead your marketing efforts and to give your personnel more time to do what they do the best—research, develop, manufacture and provide the highest quality products in your industry. The right agency can provide expertise in devising an integrated strategy that grabs the attention of your customers as they search for information to guide purchasing decisions.
Here are three ways to get the most out of the relationship with your B2B agency:
1. Make Sure It’s the Right Fit
Before you sign the contract, take the time to review the B2B agency’s history, work and results. If your business is a B2B tech-based company, then you want to partner with an agency that specializes solely in those two areas. In other words, an agency that focuses mainly on business-to-consumer clients that sell shampoo or pizza might not be the best fit for you.
B2C agencies aren’t as likely to have personnel who understand the technology or the marketing strategies needed to capture the attention of B2B buyers and build your brand leadership. You need an agency that’s at ease with complicated technology in its many forms— software, biotech, electronics, instrumentation, chemicals, you name it. Your agency also must understand the complex markets that you need to reach, your buyers and their buying cycles.
2. Regularly Communicate
Partnering with a B2B agency doesn’t mean that your company never has to think about marketing again. You own the ship and your leadership team is the captain. The agency is the B2B tech marketing navigator. While you should trust that the agency is guiding you in the right direction, you need to make sure that it is delivering the services defined in your contract agreement. You also want to regularly discuss goals, results and next steps. We recommend scheduling regular calls, for example one 30-minute call per month, to update each other on ongoing program strategy, progress and your latest company news.
It’s important that you keep the agency informed of new products, personnel, trade show participation, R&D lab renovations and any other events that it can promote. And it’s your responsibility to make sure everyone in your company is on board. Despite their busy schedules and workload, key members of your team need to be available to serve as subject matter experts who agency personnel can contact to learn about your products, services and technology.
It’s also helpful for you to provide access to personnel from various areas of your business, so the agency’s experts can contact them to discover new information to promote. Some of the best suggestions come from customer-facing team members, like tech support and salespeople.
3. Review Monthly ROI Reports
At the start of the marketing program, work with your B2B agency to establish key performance indicators (KPIs) that the agency will measure. Each month have your agency contact person provide a report on how the program is tracking against the goals. Make sure the agency is also analyzing the month-to-month results and optimizing the program. They should place emphasis on the tactics and messages that are working the best and tweak or eliminate those that aren’t performing as well.
Keep in mind that some marketing activities are easier to measure than others. For example, an inbound marketing program is easier to track than an outbound program. That’s because marketing automation technology can track and monitor the success of your digital inbound marketing campaigns.
Your agency can gather the performance information and provide the expertise to accurately interpret that data to precisely determine what’s working and the best way to structure future campaigns. Analytics can be found for number of emails opened, length of time spent reading an email, most popular web page on a site, conversion rates on landing pages, number of visitors, number of downloads and more.
In B2B tech marketing, tactics should be thought of as part of a larger whole, rather than separate pieces. By strategically integrating new and traditional marketing tactics, your marketing program become more effective and cost efficient. To learn more about how you can increase your lead generation and overall marketing, download our free eBook: Modern Integrated Digital Marketing—A Better Path for B2B Technology Marketers.
Lisa Goetz is a public relations executive at Schubert b2b, where she primarily writes content and manages media relations. She brings 20 years of editorial and communications experience to Schubert b2b and holds a PhD in English literature from Duquesne University. When not in the office, Lisa likes to take excursions with her husband and hang out with her cat and a good book.