Every business has a unique brand and a distinct audience, and so is its digital marketing mix. Adding more channels in your digital marketing strategy can definitely expand reach, but with diminishing returns and increasing costs, so finding the right combination can be tricky.
Digital marketing enables B2B marketers to reach out to their target customers across a wide range of communication channels — including email, owned & affiliate websites, digital forums, social media, organic & paid search, online directory listings, mobile and display ads etc. With so many options, a common question B2B marketers ask is: Which digital marketing channels should I use and how? Before planning an effective digital marketing strategy, marketers need to understand the different channels, including their pros and cons.
B2B Marketers should make 3 key considerations when working on the channel mix
- What do my ideal customers look like?
- Where can I find my ideal customers online?
- What channels are working for the competition?
Let’s understand this with an example – say a fictional entity named Logistics International Pvt. Ltd. (a dummy business name), a company that offers Logistics or Delivery Fleet Management Software as a Service (SaaS) to Small Businesses. Let’s see how we could approach the channel mix decision below.
Know your Ideal Customers
A Fleet Management SaaS business can have clients across industries and business types, with a wide target geography. However, your channel mix needs to be fine-tuned by market and customer segment niche that is most valuable to your business. Start with identifying your target customer segments in order of profitability and stickiness with your business, and define each segment in as much detail as possible with shared attributes like industry, geography, organization size, fleet size, fleet type, price point etc.
You need to narrow down and shortlist the most attractive target customer segments that you would want to go after, and craft a channel mix specific to each one.
Lets take in this example, one segment of interest could be Pharmaceutical distributors in Southern India with specialised fleet requirements. These are mostly small scale B2C regional operators, private family-owned businesses, with a typical fleet size between 15-30, and handling average 150-200 shipments a day. They operate on thin margins with high volumes and are currently served by local fleet management service providers.
Next, Know where to find your Ideal Customers
Now that we know what segment we are after, we need to narrow down on the decision makers and identify channels where we can find these people in the context of their logistics/fleet management needs.
You need to look for sources to get a list of these decision makers if possible, identify what keywords would they be searching for in the context of your business offerings, identify what forums and events they attend, what websites/mobile apps they are likely to browse or use, directories they subscribe to etc.
In the example, we are looking for proprietors of Pharmacy Delivery Companies – South India – B2C Businesses.
Based on some research you have identified the following channels where you are most likely to engage with them.
- Outbound (Push) Channels
- Email: Well, because almost every business proprietor uses email. You found a list of contacts through business directories like Indiamart or Justdial or through 3rd party data providers.
- Facebook: Family run businesses often have strong social connections and spend a fair amount of time on social media, and also use Facebook business pages. You can target with Ads in Facebook Feed and Business Pages for specific interest based audiences related to pharmacy and logistics.
- LinkedIn Ads & Inmail: If some in your customer segment are mid-sized enterprises and digitally savvy, you could find them more approachable on LinkedIn.
- Display & Video Ads: targeting placements on pharma and logistics industry portals, blogs, forums, aggregators and content. A good choice of platform here could be Google Ads. You can also target regional news websites for specific interest based audiences
- Inbound (Pull) Channels
- Google Search: Target high relevance keywords for people looking for related services or content
- Quora Posts and Ads: Use both organic content and sponsored content to promote your business in response to threads highly relevant to your target audience.
- SaaS and Industry Directory Listings: There would be global or regional directories for your industry and related services where you need to have a strong presence, push ads and find affiliates/partners to direct traffic.
Finally, learn from your competition
You need to identify your competition for each segment and their marketing tactics and channel mix, to square off any gaps. This competition need not only be competing products or service providers same as you, but could be substitutes also.
Various intelligence tools and sources are available online that can help you analyze the traffic sources, marketing campaigns, digital ad spend and search keywords targeted by your competitors.
Automate your Channel-Mix
When you signup for Markey and begin to boost your brand’s online presence, this analysis is done by the AI-powered algorithm on your behalf. It understands your business, industry, ideal customers’ personas, competition, and delivers to you a performing Digital Mix.