WHY YOU SHOULD'NT JUST MARKET TO DECISION MAKERS
Targeting decision makers and C-Level executives has been a primary strategy for many B2B marketers in the past.The belief being, why target people who ultimately can’t make the purchasing decision? This question has it’s ground, but with the ever-changing world of marketing and business structure, it may be time for you to investigate other options.
Create Gratis Salesman by Raising Awareness
In a world where there are more services and solutions online than ever before, building awareness of your brand is crucial. If you are only marketing towards the C-Suite, you miss the opportunity to create awareness and get buy-in from the specific individuals who would benefit most from your product or service.
While the C-Suite typically is focused primarily on ROI, the individuals who would use your product are focused on how to make their life easier, be more productive, etc. Once you’ve gotten buy-in by an individual who would use your product or service and sees the value, you’ve gotten the gravy. You can turn them into brand advocates who will then lead & pitch the C-Suite on why they need you and voila, unpaid salesman for your brand!
The Power of Influence
Business structures are changing, and corporations are looking more to internal data and resources. Company’s value employee’s insights, and are consistently asking for feedback. Qualtrics, a billion dollar Survey company in Utah, actually has a platform called Qualtrics 360 that was built to help employers find out more about the wants and needs of their employees.
So, not only is it easier than ever before for employees to tell employers about different products or services that they need and want, employers are listening. While the C-Suite will typically have the decision, the influence that other employees have is very powerful.
Google/Millward Brown Digital, B2B Path to Purchase Study, 2014.
Shift in Influence on Decisions
A recent study compiled by Google and Millward Brown Digital found that 24% of decision makers were not employees in the C-Suite. If you are only targeting the C-Suite you are consistently missing ¼ of the decision makers that would potentially care about your brand. And, nobody wants that.
Should every B2B marketer start doing A/B testing with targeting lower level employees? Ultimately, that can be analyzed on a case-by-case basis.