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Digital Marketing for B2B – How to Effectively Use Your Data?

The B2B (business-to-business) sector is kind of like coriander — you either love it or hate it. For many, it’s nothing more than a maddening maze of acronyms: SaaS, CRM, MQL, SQL ABM, etc.  For others (like me), it’s a wonderfully complex ecosystem that requires every tool from your belt. Simply put, it takes a little knowhow to convert prospects to leads to clients.  When it comes to planning digital campaigns, the winning recipe generally looks something like this:

  •  Identify your target demo and assign it a persona

  • Assess the right message to speak to said target

  • Determine the assets needed to help us achieve your goals

In principle, these three ingredients—when expertly mixed—should always result in a happy client! It’s a tried and true recipe. But, like all recipes, it requires a working stove and well-stocked pantry. If you don’t have the right tools at your disposal, there’s no guarantee the cake’s going to rise. To execute a B2B campaign that generates real results, you must master the following (in no particular order):

  1. Data

  2. Targeting

  3. Automation

  4. Analytics

This first article in our series of B2B posts deep dives into the world of data.

The importance of customer data

The topic of data seems to be on the tips of everybody’s tongues, and for good reason. Now more than ever, data matters—specifically in the world of B2B, where conversion cycles are generally much longer and more arduous. Having a good grasp of your data lets you, among other things, know your leads by name and support them throughout the consumer journey (what we refer to in the industry as “lead nurturing”). Before thinking about your targets and determining how to reach them best, you must ask yourself the following questions:

What kind of data should I collect?

First and foremost, it’s important to know a lead’s name and contact info. For the next step, you need to strike the right balance. Requesting too much from prospects can significantly reduce lead volume. You risk losing them before they even complete the signup sheet. Remember, like all relationships, the one that exists between you and your leads improves over time. The more your leads get to know you, the more likely they’ll be to disclose info. On the flip side, if you request too little info, you can end up with a high volume of low-quality leads. A good strategy is always to ask if they “want to receive more information about this product.” Doing so lets you distinguish serious leads from those simply drawn to the lead magnet. From there, you can adjust your communications for the two segments. 

How should I collect data?

To compile useful lead information, you must provide prospects with a form. According to HubSpot, nearly 44% of B2B clicks send prospects to a company homepage rather than a dedicated landing page. That’s a lot of missed opportunities. Ideally, you should be directing them to a landing page designed for conversions. This way, leads have all the information they need in one place. For a more detailed description of how this tactic works, we wrote a helpful post outlining its many benefits. Of course, if limited time and resources mean a landing page isn’t an option, there are other avenues to explore. For example, if you launch campaigns on Facebook or LinkedIn, you can create personalized lead generation forms (lead ads) directly on these platforms. It’s a quick and easy approach with the added benefit of generating exceptionally low acquisition costs.

Linkedin lead gen formulaire

How does data get from one place to the next?

This question is probably the most difficult to answer. Unsurprisingly, it’s also the most important. 

In addition to ensuring that your leads’ personal information moves from point A to point B, it’s imperative that you record and measure your lead sources. Knowing where your prospects have been on the web lets you develop a strategy for generating the highest-quality leads, which, in turn, yields a bigger ROI. The easiest way to identify lead sources is by using hidden fields in your forms. This option is available for Facebook and LinkedIn forms as well as for most web forms. Hidden fields let you collect important info onto the back end without the user ever having to enter it. And if you use UTM parameters to track your URLs, you can collect this information with hidden fields, too. Strategies such as these produce more data fields in your CRM and, thus, better targeting! 

Final thoughts

Data collection is only the first step in your lead acquisition strategy. Once you have these tasty ingredients, you need to know how to measure, mix, and set your oven. Users who land on your site aren’t always ready to take action. Therefore, it’s essential to invest in a lead nurturing strategy that qualifies leads and optimizes results.

Nevertheless, the core of your strategy is undoubtedly customer data. This info lets you better understand your target and site traffic. By effectively collecting relevant, quality data, you’ll develop strategies that directly boost sales.

Download our white paper on implementing a successful B2B strategy!

Laura Dessureault - agence Dialekta

by Laura Dessureault – Senior media strategist. Laura Dessureault began her career at Dialekta five years ago, after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. From the offset, she developed a keen interest in B2B and the impact automated marketing platforms have on campaign performance.

Amazon Advertising: The Key to Online Success

Did you know that Google and Facebook’s duopoly reaches nearly 75% of the total digital market ad share in Canada (60% in the US)? But in 2019, Amazon’s hegemony will challenge the competition, which is great news for both the industry and advertisers.

Why are brands flocking to Amazon’s advertising platform? Many retailers have discovered that Amazon outperforms the competition in terms of the following:

  • Return on ad spend (ROAS)
  • Cost per impression (CPM)
  • Reporting cadences
  • Campaign management
  • Attribution

Amazon has also excelled at understanding buyer practices and has created new ways in which digital marketers can reach their target audience. So today, we’re going to discuss how Amazon is a new way to accelerate advertising success online. 

It’s challenging search engines

Yes, you read this correctly, Amazon is directly challenging the likes of Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Consumers are now opting to do research on the e-commerce website because it’s transactional in nature and provides authentic product reviews. Interesting fact, According to the Wall Street Journal, “some 54% of people looking for a product now begin their search directly on Amazon,” demonstrating its growing popularity. 

Should you advertise on Amazon?

Our clients often ask us whether it’s worth having an advertising presence on Amazon. If you’re selling a tangible product that appeals to a specific audience or if your brand would benefit from targeting people buying a specific product sold on Amazon, the answer is (almost) an automatic yes! After all, there’s no harm in trying out the platform as well for a short period. 

Demystifying Amazon’s advertising services

Want to start advertising on Amazon? Let’s start by demystifying the different advertising services. Often, advertisers get confused with Amazon’s advertising services. At a macroscopic level, they offer both sponsored ads and display solutions. The former is designed to increase conversions (mostly sales), while the latter is costly and intended to increase brand awareness. 

Seems simple right? Well, it’s a little bit more complicated but we’re going to explain everything in detail so you can learn how to effectively advertise with Amazon. We’re also going to share a few tips our media strategists learned from their recent visit to Amazon’s Canadian headquarters in Toronto

Amazon has a massive ecosystem

Our team was shocked to discover the magnitude of both the strength and size of Amazon’s vast ecosystem when they visited the Toronto office. Over the last decade, there’s been a real push to innovate and disrupt (two things Dialekta loves to do) by entering new markets and launching new services. Just take a look at the infographic below to understand how they’ve differentiated themselves in relation to both the business-facing and consumer-facing aspects. 

Understanding the different types of ads

During the research process for this article, we noticed there was a lot of confusion online regarding Amazon’s different types of ads, so we created a table to explain things clearly. 

Keep in mind that you need to have a vendor or seller account to create any type of sponsored advertisements. In other words, you need to sell products on Amazon in order to buy sponsored ads. The opposite is true with Amazon’s demand-side platform (DSP), which we’ll discuss later on. 

Sponsored Products

Ads are individual listings and appear at the top, bottom or margin of a given page on Amazon’s website. They intend to increase conversions (mostly sales) and work your typical pay-per-click ads. Amazon also uses keyword targeting which advertisers can then bid on. 

Sponsored Brands

Formally known as “Headline Search Ads,” these are intended to promote a brand or a product portfolio. They typically appear in the form of a banner just above result listing and also operate on a pay-per-click basis.

Stores

While this isn’t a paid form of advertising, this option is essentially a dedicated landing page that promotes both your products and brand. It’s free for all vendors and sellers and Amazon offers several customizable templates to personalize your space.

Amazon DSP (demand-side platform)

The DSP is a powerful programmatic tool that’s in a category of its own. It’s completely different compared to Amazon’s other advertising offers, and anyone can use it – even if you’re not an Amazon seller or vendor or seller. 

The DSP allows advertisers to buy both video and display ads at scale, plus it provides access to segment data regarding Amazon users. In-turn, savvy strategists can then create personas using this segment data to understand the wants and needs to a given audience. The ads are visible on Amazon, its owned and operated properties, and a vast number of exterior networks thanks to Amazon’s relations with third-party publishers. 

In essence, the DSP provides a unique 360 advertising solution that harnesses Amazon’s data so your ads can receive maximum visibility to active buyers, based on advanced targeting criteria. To get started with the DSP, you’ll often need to contact an Amazon ad consultant or work with an experienced digital marketing agency. 

Amazon’s targeting possibilities with sponsored ads

One of the main advantages of Amazon’s sponsored advertising platform is its limitless and unique targeting capabilities. For example, a skilled strategist can create a pay-per-click campaign that targets users who’ve interacted with a specific product. They’re able to do this because each Amazon product is given a specific identification number called an ASIN, which provides advertisers with a precise targeting capability that can yield exponential results. 

Keywords are king for sponsored ads

The bulk of Amazon’s advertising services rely on keyword targeting and most individuals are totally lost when it comes to this subject. Typically, a media strategist will use several tools to gather relevant keywords that have high search volume and low competition. The strategist will then create a campaign and essentially set your ads to appear whenever a targeted user searches for a related term. Some of the free keyword tools to help you select and expand your keyword list out there are SonarKeyword Tool Dominator or SellerApp

Should all companies be using the DSP?

No. As a rule of thumb, companies should only be using the DSP if their product or service influences Amazon shoppers. Keep in mind that you’re essentially using this programmatic tool to access segment information about Amazon consumers. But there are always exceptions. If you’re running a parental website, it could make sense to target Amazon consumers who’ve recently purchased diapers in the past month. 

On the other hand, if you’re running a personal finance enterprise, the relation between your service and Amazon is not immediately clear. Therefore, it may not be wise to use the DSP in this situation. 

Final thoughts

According to various studies, more than 30% of retail marketers are shifting their ad spend from traditional digital media giants like Facebook and Google to Amazon. This clearly represents a major trend that deserves our attention. 

For those interested in advertising on Amazon, there’s clearly a lot of opportunities options at hand. Given the complexity of Amazon’s advertising platform, we highly suggest working with a digital media strategist (or an agency) to maximize your chances of success. With or without this addition, it’s also crucial to always work out a strategy beforehand and orient towards quantifiable and realistic goals.