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Dove Direct Print & Marketing Blog - B2B Engagement Marketing Strategies for 2018

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Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today’s post, “B2B Engagement Marketing Strategies for 2018” brings forth proven B2C marketing strategies the B2B sector needs to adopt. And moreover, some B2B organizations that are taking the plunge of incorporating those B2C marketing strategies are experiencing a new line of growth. That said, for many years, B2B executives have consistently maintained that the notion of using B2C engagement marketing strategies was at best a misguided concept, and at worse a waste of time and money.

These age old notions that B2B marketing strategies were a completely separate beast stemmed from several mindsets, such as for one, the sales funnels of B2C versus B2B were and are a completely different beast, with the B2B sales funnel being a much slower and thus longer process to complete.  In addition, most B2B executives also believe that targeting a B2B concern meant the targeting had to speak to corporate decision makers versus the manner in which marketing strategies target regular B2C consumer types.  Not anymore!

The Emotional Marketing Directive

Enter the eyes, ears and minds communicating via social media, including the instant communication models found on the web, and inherent in today’s camp of mobile devices, and Wala,! the game has changed. In fact, with videos, slideshow presentations, and instant communication interaction capabilities leading the way, both B2C consumers and B2B buyers/sellers are able to gain more in-depth knowledge about a product/service at a much faster clip.

As a result of the advanced technologies in play and to be crystal clear, the product knowledge acquisition process takes much less time to complete, and that’s across both the B2C and B2B platforms. Further, this reduces the sales funnel completion windows for both B2C and B2B concerns. You may remember that now infamous quote the former GOP Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney famously quipped, “Corporations are people too!” Well to a degree, while the former presidential candidate was alluding to a particular campaign objective, in today’s communication world, yes, in fact, B2B executives and their B2B buyers/sellers both have instant access for the information they need to purchase from B2B organizations.

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the successful elements found in the B2C marketing strategies are making their way into the B2B mindset. And to that point, the emotional factor B2C marketing has employed over the past few decades is one that resonates with most people, regardless of the primary target market. Budweiser’s dog and pony show commercial, typically aired during Superbowl, has reached into the heartstrings of most of us, evoking an emotional response, leading us to believe that a Clydesdale and a Labrador puppy love each other. Turned out to be a very powerful emotional trigger.

In fact, every holiday season we have been inundated with heart stealing ads that push us toward purchase considerations, and recent data suggests that B2B marketing strategies based on emotional content are beginning to take hold. Salesforce points out, using Google data, provided by Thinkwithgoogle.com, “B2B purchasers are almost 50% more likely to buy a product or service when they see personal value — such as opportunity for career advancement or confidence and pride in their choice — in their business purchase decision. They are 8x more likely to pay a premium for comparable products and services when personal value is present.”

Personal value can equate across a wide swath of instances that are basically emotional based content. Emotionally triggered communications, similar to the personalization tool that the commercial printing industry uses with its variable digital printing technology, is for the most part, an emotional trigger.

One aspect B2B buyers and sellers share is the idea that the purchase decisions their prospects make are the right choice, above the others, and that is an emotional feeling that drives the conversation to the final purchase decision. At the end of the day, B2B buyers and sellers strive for their prospects to be delighted in their purchase decisions.

More Socialization Required

B2B marketers are continually being challenged with the ability of being on top of the social game. In effect, the rules of the social media construct dictate that focusing on sales conversions is a huge misnomer. Conversely, social marketing works best when the objectives are focused on audience growth aimed at increasing engagement and gaining influencers to help disseminate brand information. In addition, developing emotionally based content that includes the “cool” factor increases the prospect the brand is targeting to rise above the rest as the top choice among other competitors.

This emotionally anchored socialization content development is a stark contrast from what the rank and file of B2B marketers are used to, and further, what they believe the type of marketing content they should be creating. However, studies have borne out that once any marketer, B2B or B2C, has entered the ranks of competent social media content creators, their marketing efforts yield increased engagement for the brand, along with the brand being chosen first more times than not, including the high probability that some of the customers will become brand evangelists.

One-to-one communication engagement is the end goal prior to prospects making their final purchasing decision. Customers and prospects are allured by being able to converse with a qualified social media communicator within the brand's social media channel. This provides a platform for customers to engage with each other as well as the increased probability that the brand conversation will be shared, both with the conversations and the unique stories being generated by the brand’s leading & loyal customers.

Event Engagement

Event marketing is not exactly new to the marketing game. However, what is taking precedent in event marketing is the emotional experience customers and prospects are looking for and responding to. Emotionally based experiences tend to capture the imaginations of most folks, and offer a high probability that those types of experiences will be forever lodged into their memory banks. In recent posts, we covered account based marketing techniques, and one method of targeting better engagement from that sector is to invite those accounts to special events.

Designing those events with personalized customization as the focal points is a productive use of marketing funds. In fact, creating special events that the brand hosts, represent an opportunity to create live content that speaks to issues pertinent to the accounts, and moreover, can address their concerns, issues and challenges. In the event the marketing department decides to create these types of content events, it is important to measure the expense, and target those most likely to close, in short, those on the purchase bubble that require that last informational push to purchase.

The Net-Net

The B2C content marketing strategies aimed at engagement and emotionally driven content is no longer isolated for just B2C targeting. B2B marketing has now come full circle in that B2B buyers and sellers are people too; people that share the emotional responses generated by engaging marketing content. Happy 2018 B2B Engagement Marketing Strategies Development!

Let’s have a conversation about printing, print software, transactional documents, variable digital printing, brand equity and unified marketing collateral during our next Open House. We invite you to join us on Thursday, March 29th, 2018, from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Let us show you how to improve your document processes to optimize your workflow, reduce your costs, and maximize your organization’s printing, letter shop and mailing capabilities. Dove Direct does have an official USPS certified bureau located within our offices that will save you time and money. And, if you bring us your files, we will create a demo file for you. For more information call Carla Eubanks at 404-629-0122 or email Carla at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Dove Direct, your Atlanta based print and mail solutions provider offers organizations end-to-end data, printing and mailing solutions: Data Management, Variable Digital Printing, LetterShop and Fulfillment, Fully Automated MLOCR Presort Bureau, Marketing and Production Management Support and Secure Data Life Cycle Management.

If you don't want to wait for the Open House, you can reach Dove Direct today by calling 404-629-0122 or use the contact form for Dove Direct.

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Leland Hicks is the CTO of MatterMax Media, a digital marketing agency that provides business strategy, web design, social media management and training.  He can be reached at lahicks@mattermaxmedia.com