In the ever-changing world of B2B media publishing, it’s crucial to stay relevant and adapt to new challenges, especially during periods of economic uncertainty. CSQ spoke to the leaders of 7 Knots Solutions to identify five future-minded recommendations for B2B media brands that are looking to grow lead generation in an evolving world.
WHY IS INVESTING IN FIRST-PARTY DATA IMPORTANT FOR B2B PUBLISHERS DURING ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY?
James Karklins: Peter Drucker once said, “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” Investing in first-party data is a key step in creating a bright future for your B2B publishing business. Collecting and enriching data points such as job title, industry, and company name on your audience data can ensure that your data is of the highest quality. By standardizing and cleaning up your in-house data with the help of industry-leading vendors, you can make your data more actionable and valuable to advertisers, increase the quality and actionability of your data, and stand out from your competitors. Additionally, by tracking your audience’s health and comparing it to your peers, you can ensure that your data is accurate and up-to-date. It is also important to know the specific job functions, skills, interests, and focus areas of your most valuable audience segments to make your audience inventory more valuable for advertisers.
Justin Berger: In B2B media, the audience is everything. Your first-party data—from within your CRM, collected through form submissions or acquired through website and email engagement—is exclusive to you, a key differentiator in uncertain times. You can build a strong and targeted audience base by improving net-new lead capture through features like subscription forms and exit pop-ups. However, data capture is just half the battle. Existing databases often have information gaps or need to be standardized due to their sources and constant changes. It’s important to remember that there is an inverse relationship between the number of fields on a form and conversion—the less information you ask for, the more likely users are to complete it. However, additional data on those users—such as their job functions, skills, interests, and focus areas—is often available without requiring lengthy or complicated forms. Gaps in first-party data can leave your databases inaccurate, outdated, and difficult to monetize. But when adequately cared for, that same first-party data can be a valuable asset, providing advertisers with the opportunity to engage the right persona with the right message.
HOW CAN B2B MEDIA PUBLISHERS DELIVER LEADGEN RESULTS AT SCALE?
Justin Berger: One way to deliver results at scale is by creating audience extension programs and partnering with industry associations and agencies with larger database reach. Audience extension is growing your active database by identifying the right personas at the right companies and introducing them to your organization’s content in a responsible and gradual method that creates engaged subscribers. The result is a long-term investment in audience growth that counteracts the natural attrition as the database ages. This can support your clients with a continuous loop for nurturing leads and allow you to deliver results at the level your databases can handle while also putting less strain on your audience database. To achieve great things it is essential to demonstrate that you can deliver the outcomes your clients need and find the right partnerships and approaches.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DEMOCRATIZING YOUR AUDIENCE DATA?
James Karklins: By making your audience data accessible to all members of your organization, you can empower your team and uncover insights that may have previously gone undiscovered. This can lead to better decision-making and improved campaign effectiveness. Data democratization can also help you identify new opportunities and make data-driven decisions that drive business growth. You can no longer wait two to three weeks for counts to come back for a client query.
The best publishers leverage the latest BI platforms and analytics tools to provide real-time audience insights.
As the proverb advises, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.” By making data accessible to all members of your organization, you can drive better decision-making and improve the effectiveness of your campaigns.
Justin Berger: Democratizing your audience data can also help you better understand your target audience and tailor your clients’ messaging to their specific needs and interests, ultimately driving more leads. By having a deeper understanding of your audience’s demographics, behaviors, and preferences, you can create more targeted and personalized campaigns that are more likely to resonate with them. You can also identify areas that need improvement within your database—say, specific personas or industries where you lack audience size and may choose to invest in growth. This can lead to increased engagement and conversion rates and a more robust overall relationship with your audience and clients.
WHAT IS ACCOUNT-BASED MARKETING (ABM), AND HOW CAN IT HELP A B2B MEDIA BRAND GROW LEAD GENERATION?
James Karklins: ABM involves targeted marketing to specific accounts rather than broad-based campaigns. By aligning your marketing and sales efforts to those accounts where you are most likely to succeed, you can tailor your messaging to your audience’s needs and challenges. This targeted approach can reduce wasted spending compared to broader campaigns and help you achieve your clients’ revenue goals in the long run. It’s also good to stay up to date on the latest technologies and techniques for driving digital growth. This can help you stay ahead of the curve and position yourself for success in the B2B media publishing industry.
Justin Berger: In a downturn, companies are always asked to do more with less, and if your advertisers have yet to approach you, they will! ABM is more cost-effective than many traditional marketing channels. Working with our clients, we have found that targeting 200 to 300 accounts is the sweet spot. By helping your clients develop a targeted account list and applying the right orchestration plan to reach those contacts, you can create a winning strategy that will get impressive results and lead your advertisers to ask for more.
HOW CAN B2B MEDIA PUBLISHERS STAY RELEVANT AND ADAPT TO NEW CHALLENGES IN TIMES OF ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY?
James Karklins: B2B media publishers can stay relevant and adapt to new challenges by organizing their content into bellwether topics and adopting a global content taxonomy.
An on-demand editorial model is more responsive to market needs and allows you to be more flexible and responsive to the needs of your audience and advertisers in real time.
Additionally, it’s important to conduct thorough content audits for clients to ensure that their content is relevant and value-driven. An audit of what’s available, what gaps exist, and what needs to be changed or optimized is essential before creating any new content. If the advertiser is pushing a 3-year-old white paper, we recommend updating their content for them. Updating outdated content for your clients can be an upsell opportunity, demonstrating the value of your services and building trust. By evaluating your clients’ content and determining where it fits into the buyer’s journey, you can help them create more compelling content that resonates with their audience and drive more leads.
Staying ahead of the curve and adopting the latest trends in lead generation can help you navigate these murky waters and achieve your revenue goals in 2023 and beyond.