The primary objective for B2B media buyers in 2022 is to ensure advertising spend results in an increase in sales. Companies that can solve this objective will be well positioned to help their clients achieve their advertising goals. The top three goals for media buyers in today’s market being:
Media strategies are continuously evolving, but a recent market research study of 100+ global companies revealed seismic trends that will continue for the rest of 2022 and beyond.
Planning happens in a structured format. 75% of respondents indicated that they make B2B advertising buying decisions semi-annually or annually. Therefore, selling approaches and cadence must align with planning cycles to be effective.
Advertising spend is increasing. Over the next 12 months, 78.9% of media buyers plan to increase B2B spend. Sellers will win if they “connect the dots” and show how increased advertising budgets will lead to improved sales.
Media buying is growing in complexity. Over three-quarters, 76%, of study respondents indicated that there are 3-10 internal stakeholders involved in advertising buying decisions. As a result, understanding the key decision makers, influencers and other stakeholders involved is a critical component of a successful advertising sales strategy.
Linking the impact of media spending to sales is critical. Results revealed that 60.4% of respondents determine their B2B advertising budget using a percentage of sales approach. Hence media sellers must translate the impact on sales for each element of an advertiser’s media mix.
Understanding the value proposition for the buy is also critical. Over half, 53%, of study respondents indicated that the main value proposition for advertising spend is a positive return on their investment. The next two top responses were cost and value for money spent and measurement and attribution capabilities.
As spending increases, so do the number of people influencing how that money is spent. As mentioned, three-quarters of respondents have 3-10 internal stakeholders involved in a strategic buying decision and nearly 60% co-define their advertising buying decisions with their agency partners. Sales teams must understand who the stakeholders are and have clear ownership of who is covering whom, as part of their engagement strategy.
Successful media sales require having a clear picture of where opportunities exist and how to go after them. Uncertain economic conditions are expected to continue through 2022, thus determining how those shifts relate to media buyers’ spend is important to stay ahead.
Relationship Mapping. Who sets the B2B advertising budget (e.g., Chief Financial Officers)? Who controls B2B advertising spend (e.g., Chief Marketing Officers)? Who are the critical decision makers and influencers of the spend (e.g., Division Marketing Managers)? Are decisions centralized or decentralized across departments, regions, countries or product groups? Which agency partners are part of the decision-making process? Step one is having clear answers for each of these questions.
Prize Identification. Companies spend a percentage of sales to increase brand awareness and attract and retain customers. What are their sales projections, by industry, sector and or customer type and how are media buys expected to influence those sales? Successfully actualizing a customer’s go-to-market strategy is the primary goal behind every advertising dollar spent.
Message Alignment. Everyone on your team should be united in your sales approach and the value provided for each client. Tailoring your value message to each customer while promoting it across the customer ecosystem demonstrates focus, commitment and a unified alignment on needs and expected outcomes.
Advertising spend is up, but so is complexity. Media sellers, who understand the key players involved in a company’s B2B media buying strategy, can clearly identify the opportunity and are aligned on the ultimate value proposition of helping increase overall sales, will shine relative to their competition.
Complexity and nuance are part of today’s media buying environment. To remain successful, sellers must stay abreast of trends.
Alexander Group has time-tested strategies that help commercial organizations develop successful media strategies that help firms stay ahead of changing market conditions. For more information, please contact an Alexander Group Media Sales practice lead.