We’ve written about it many times in the past. The growth marketing teams behind B2B companies, whether PLG, subscription-based SaaS, or anything in between—they’re left having to do more with less these days. The expectation is basically to spend less on CAC (despite the ever-rising cost), while increasing profitability, all while keeping UA and retention rates going up up up…!!! But how? Where to start?
Well, if you’re reading this, I’m sure you already have a few growth loops set in place, but you need additional bases covered. So with that in mind, I decided to offer up some ideas worth exploring, testing, and implementing to exponentially increase the impact of your growth campaigns.
Ad networks, browser and operating system restrictions, consumer actions, and privacy regulations, are limiting advertisers’ ability to collect and process data. You’re going to need robust first-party data to build, match, and expand B2B audiences for advertising purposes.
As you know, first-party data includes details on demographics, interactions, website visits, purchase history, time on websites, interests, and other goodies. This type of information is precious for your brand. Moreover, it is GDPR-compliant, crucial in today's privacy environment. By using first-party data, you can deliver personalized experiences to users and show them relevant ads.
But if you ask me though, I’d say zero-party data holds greater value, because it is more personal and comes straight from your customers, and allows you to do so many things. You will receive detailed information about your audience that helps give you a better understanding of their needs at the individual level. Therefore, you can use this information to develop a personalized campaign based on each customers' preferences. Additionally, zero-party data enables your brand to understand different customers' LTV better. In turn, this helps you acquire more customers who demonstrate similar LTVs.
This situation is particularly apt when utilizing an LTV predictive model. These models help acquire loyal users who are more likely to make purchases for the long laul. Therefore, you can increase your sales and reduce your churn rate.
Of course, simply having the data in front of you isn’t everything. You would need to have a solid data team to support you in data modeling, predictive modeling, and other advanced uses of your data. A solid data infrastructure will also enable you to optimize your budgets and segment spending, thereby maximizing your growth team’s potential and boosting campaign results.
In one of our previous posts, we went over how CAC has significantly increased for all companies, and by as much as 7x for B2B subscription companies. So what are B2B’s doing about it? Well, there isn’t a quick fix to instantly lessen CAC, at least not yet. However, there are some workarounds that are being practiced by the most sophisticated data-driven brands, that are indirectly reducing CAC while also increasing profitability, thereby collectively saving them a heck of a lot of marketing budget.
These approaches, which we delved into in the post, include placing focus on customer retention and loyalty (to identify the most loyal customers); introducing a freemium option (to get a foot in the door), and using internal data to fuel predictive marketing. The latter provides the growth teams of B2Bs with an added edge, because it enables them to make major campaign decisions based on what could happen in the future—essentially futurespecting, instead of acting in retrospect. In order to save the best for last, I’ll elaborate more on that in the final point of this post. 😇
It’s important to change up, and rotate your advertising campaigns so they’re always reaching in-market targets and buyers. However, according to the Forrester Analytics Business Technographics® Priorities And Journey Survey, 2021, 27% of B2B purchase influencers say they often know what they intend to purchase before they begin exploring solutions from providers. Make sure you reserve a portion of your paid media budget for ads that are always on and working to seed future demand. After all, the reality is that buyers could be on the hunt for new SaaS services at just about any time. That's why marketers need an "always-on" approach to providing relevant content, making sure they get on the short list of potential suppliers right when the time is right.
Of course, for always-on advertising to be effective, efforts should be made to increase the effectiveness of different digital channels through testing, review, and optimization throughout the customer lifecycle. The following framework by SmartInsights brilliantly illustrates this point.
If your brand has only ever focused on one or two ad networks, now would be a good time to evaluate your ad tech capabilities and expand your reach into new channels to cast a wider net on prospects to increase profitability.
Take TikTok for instance. It is known to be a powerful B2C marketing tool, due to its visual nature and potential for collaboration with content creators. But for most B2B companies, TikTok is likely at the bottom of their priorities. Now’s a good time to change that. More and more B2B companies are recognizing that TikTok can offer more than dance challenges and cute animal content. For instance, the popular graphic design platform Canva uses TikTok to provide tutorials on using certain features, helping users to get the most out of the platform. In addition to product demos, SaaS companies can create campaigns that revolve around educational content, and even user-generated content, which Adobe Creative Software is known to do.
As crazy as it sounds, Snapchat may also be a good contender for B2Bs if relevant, and the strategy can be similar to TikTok, in terms of showcasing insights, demos, behind-the-scenes footage, and the like.
The turbulence of the growth marketing space made it clear that growth teams, especially those behind B2B SaaS companies, can no longer rely on making major campaign decisions in retrospect. Retrospective decisions call for using real-time (to-date) data, and the decisions themselves being made based on proxy-metrics and rules of thumb.
The new need is for growth teams to futurespect, in a future-proofed manner. The best way to go about this is by putting LTV data at the forefront, and using it to build predictive models that benefit companies for the long term. Predictive models can be used to gain hyper-specific and accurate insights into metrics such as predicted conversion rates, predicted ROAS, and predicted revenue starting from day one. Once marketers are armed with these insights, they can make informed campaign decisions, such as bid adjustments, budget allocation, and other elements that stem from campaign optimization.
Long-term optimization strategies yield more profitable users by default. This is a practice that is already being used by the biggest brands that are building models to project LTV and make keep-or-kill decisions about their campaigns based on predictions that can look ahead a few months, or even a few years.
Here at Voyantis, we firmly believe that futurespection is quickly becoming the standard in growth marketing, as marketing teams realize the importance of making smarter data-driven decisions to secure profitability.
By taking these insights into account, you’ll definitely be making the most of your marketing budget, and get on the clearer path to profitability much sooner. Because after all, instead of relying on luck, you will be making well-informed decisions with the backing of your data team and martech solutions.