Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Insights: 5 Growth Principles for B2B Advertisers

This week’s Westwood One blog highlights the works of Les Binet, Head of Effectiveness at adam&eveDDB, and Peter Field, acclaimed marketing specialist.

Dubbed the godfathers of marketing effectiveness, Binet and Field studied the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (the IPA) Databank of business-to-business (B2B) case studies from 1998-2018 to determine effective marketing strategies for B2B brands. 

Through this analysis, they have developed five principles of growth for B2B advertisers based on strategies and lessons learned in the business-to-consumer (B2C) realm. B2B advertisers can use the five principles on AM/FM radio as it has massive reach among business decision-makers, impacts this important audience when they are a captive audience commuting in the car, and connects with them on an emotional and intellectual level.

1. Invest in share of voice: To grow, insure your share of voice is greater than your market share. Share of market is a brand or retailer’s revenue divided by category sales. If share of voice exceeds share of market, brands tend to grow. If share of voice is similar to share of market, brands tend to be stable. If share of voice is smaller than share of market, brands tend to shrink.

2. Balance brand and activation: 62% branding, 38% sales activation. For B2B advertisers, brand building ads work harder than sales activation ads. According to the Binet and Field analysis of IPA B2B cases, the number of very large business effects reported for brand building ads (1.2) was higher than the effects reported from activation ads (0.7). On average, 38% of the budget should go to activation ads while 62% should go to branding.

3. Expand the customer base with mass reach media. There are three business models for B2B brands: retaining existing customers through a loyalty strategy, acquiring new customers, and a broad reach strategy that looks to target all customers in the category whether existing or new. Of these three groups, business effects reported were most significant among those reached by the broad reach strategy. For B2B brands, reaching the greatest number of potential customers yields the greatest results.

4. Maximize mental availability. “Make sure your brand comes to mind quickly and easily.” That’s the simple explanation of mental availability from Binet and Carter. They advise using “emotional priming” because “people are more likely to buy brands that make them feel good.” AM/FM radio works for advertisers because listeners remember ads. When making purchase decisions, consumers think of brands or retailers they know. To be known, be on AM/FM radio.

5. Harness the power of emotion in creative. For branding, emotional campaigns are far more effective at delivering increased outcomes. For activation campaigns that highlight specific promotions or information, rational communication strategies work best.

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