Welcome to a new generation of B2B marketing

entourage conference
We’re entering a new era of B2B marketing. There is no denying, things have changed a lot in the last few years. The way in which we work, our buyers, technology, the fundamentals of human behaviour. However, one thing has remained consistent – targets remain the same, if not are climbing.
What we know to be true is that the traditional ways in which B2B businesses go to market and generate, nurture and convert leads aren’t as effective as they once were.
If there was ever a time for evolution and change, it’s now. 
At Entourage we believe that in a world where everyone’s shouting the same thing, it’s our mission to whisper something truly distinctive in all the right ears. A mantra which has never been more important for B2B businesses to embrace.
We recently hosted B2B Elevated in London where we explored how to do just that. Our speakers included senior marketers from leading organisations such as Adobe, Armis, Bridge, JustEat, Coca Cola EPAC, Red Hat, CooperVision and Imagination to weigh in on how to build successful B2B campaigns through a series of discussions:
  • How to drive better quality MQL to SQLs – As part of our ‘Stand out or don’t bother’ panel discussion. 
  • How to increase creativity in B2B events and experiences – A keynote with global brand experience agency Imagination
  • Bridging the gap between sales and marketing teams by ‘Creating modern selling for modern buyers’ panel discussion hosted by sales enablement agency Bridge
Read on for the key takeaways.
‘Stand out or don’t bother’ panel discussion at B2B Elevated

Stand out or don’t bother

Avoid putting bad fuel into your engine. It’s just going to break it.
Traditionally top of funnel (MQL) targets have been focused on volume. However, flushing huge numbers of low quality leads into your system is invariably a waste of time for both sales and marketing teams. What the industry has seen over the past few years is a move away from quantity alone, and towards quality, peeling it back and focusing on the leads that matter most.
Revisiting your ICP’s, interrogating who you’re targeting (and why), and focusing on your most valuable accounts will help you streamline your targeting and ensure you’re only driving quality leads into the funnel.
Then curating a marketing programme that includes interesting content (that won’t bore your prospects to sleep) and events that are strictly aligned with the challenges of your prospects will allow you to capture the attention of all the right people.

Are you producing quality content?

Content can be a multifaceted tool to drive top of funnel activity, but it can also play a huge role in driving deal progression further down the pipeline. It can be easy to get bogged down on churning out a high volume of content in order to get on the radar of your prospects, but if your content lacks personification, value and audience engagement it can easily fall flat.
Our number one rule? Stand out, or don’t bother. 
Marketers need to constantly test and question the efficacy of content. From testing paid ads to changing copy regularly in order to see what’s really working at each stage of the funnel.
Focus less on lengthy, dry whitepapers that take a long time to produce and rarely get read, and more actionable and dynamic content that is presented in fresh and engaging ways.

Championing creativity in B2B marketing

Imagination, a global brand experience agency, took us on a visual journey to explore how to create emotionally engaging experiences for B2B audiences, before delving into how to use these principles for both hybrid and virtual events.
The ultimate formula for creating an emotional and immersive experience that goes beyond the boundaries of B2B marketing as we know it involves:
  • Not being afraid to remix the format. Start to think of events as carnivals of innovation for you to connect with your customers. Think about what you can do that is truly different, what experiences you can provide that are memorable.
  • Think beyond the screen, take your buyers on an emotional journey to connect on a deeper level. Tapping into emotion is a tool B2B marketers can draw inspiration from consumer marketing in their lives outside of work. 
  • Entertain, engage and engross your audience, and appeal to their senses. By connecting to senses you can create more memorable experiences that stick in your audience’s mind – like when you smell a familiar scent and it brings back a memory or experience.
Central to creating an experience that will leave a lasting impression is tapping into the emotional brain of your audience. Start by looking at your audience as what they really are, the humans behind the business. 

Creating modern selling for modern buyers

Coaching is critical to help your sales team be as successful as they can. The right collateral is important but giving your team the tools to have the right conversations is key, and often that starts with data.
Empower your team to understand exactly what they are selling, who they are selling to and we need to make it physical for them. Create subject matter experts who can offer consultative experiences to your buyers. Do so by making these conversations so simple that they can’t get it wrong.
Our advice? Look at your data, and how it can become part of the vocab for your sales team.
Now more than ever is the time to focus on re-imagining the way you connect with your audience. We are moving into an era of hyper personalisation, emotion driven marketing and consultancy based selling.

The quick version…

  • Stand out or don’t bother, quality over quantity has never been more important
  • Lead with value and align to your prospects challenges – stop just pushing features and benefits
  • Review and refine your targeting – buyers and influencers have changed, are you really engaging all the right people, challenge your traditional out-of-date ICPs
  • Embrace emotional connection to curate more effective B2B marketing campaigns and experiences
  • The closer marketing and sales work together, the more successful you will be

Life’s too short for boring B2B marketing

We’re a global business development and B2B marketing agency.
We specialise in starting and nurturing relationships between leading B2B businesses and their dream clients – generating quality MQLs and converting them into SQLs.  
How? With distinctive, carefully curated engagement campaigns, designed to get prospects thinking about their challenges in exciting new way, and placing you at the top of list when they’re ready to act.
We have a simple test for our work. Is it distinctive? The right angle, landing at the right time, presented in a way that demands attention. Anything less is ordinary and expected. And your prospects aren’t interested in either.
We’d love to chat if you’re ready to embrace a new era of B2B marketing, drop us a note here.

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entourage conference

Welcome to a new generation of B2B marketing

We’re entering a new era of B2B
marketing. There is no denying,
things have changed a lot in the last
few years. The way in which we
work, our buyers, technology, the
fundamentals of human behaviour.
However, one thing has remained
consistent – targets remain the same,
if not are climbing.

Read More