The multi-layered strategy of relationship building in B2B marketing


In the lead up to Valentine’s Day, the commercialisation of romantic love steps into overdrive. As the internet becomes littered with gift guides and romantic gestures, many are left wondering, how do you find the right partner?

In the consumer world, online dating apps perpetuate our culture of instant gratification and quick fixes. But building truly successful relationships is a much more complex process. In the business world, this is something many B2B marketers know first-hand.

The UK government may have relaxed its working from home order, yet, two-fifths of workers have no plans to return to the office. This is further evidence that marketers cannot rely on building rapport in face-to-face environments; they must adapt their relationship-building strategies, using the online world and the latest technology to open doors. However, a difficult challenge for marketers is striking the right balance between targeted strategies and ensuring personalisation is not compromised in lead generation efforts. Nevertheless, it is a crucial skillset for every marketer and, if executed correctly, will accelerate the company’s overall revenue growth.

Finding the right partner, and maintaining a strong relationship, requires intelligence, personalisation and trust. Below, we explore the key elements of a successful, mutually beneficial relationship in B2B marketing.


Using technology as a building block

Before investing time into courting prospects, marketers need to know them.  Marketers must embark on a journey with the buyer, collecting intelligence and working to understanding where they are in the pipeline and how best to attract their attention. A strategic approach like this, based on knowledge and data, will simultaneously maximise conversions and ROI. Having the right tools to do this will go a long way.

By investing in technologies such as AI and predictive analytics, marketers can quickly analyse data to identify in-market buyers and target them in the right way and at the right time. Proper timing is essential – something that is reinforces by the fact that a third (33%) of UK software buyers say a positive and timely approach from a sales professional would trigger a move to a new software provider.

The efficiency and scalability of B2B revenue intelligence technologies also enables marketers to dedicate time and energy to creating bespoke content to get the sale across the line.


A personalised approach

The next step is building on the intelligence gathered. Recent research by DemandScience revealed 70% of B2B buyers believe personalised marketing content would make them more likely to purchase a product. When marketers know what their customers are looking for now, they can ground relationships with buyers and engage prospects.

A ‘one size fits all’ approach will not work in today’s competitive market. Marketers should be able to tailor their approach with buyers, including how they contact them. According to our findings, 33% of software decision-makers state they prefer to connect over social platforms such as LinkedIn, and 37% prefer email. Paying attention to detail such as these will strengthen a marketer’s effectiveness.

By employing intelligent personalisation, the likelihood of closing the sale will increase as buyers are being contacted in more relevant, timely and meaningful ways. In addition, customers will feel more valued as the relationship is built upon understanding their unique needs and where they are in the buyer journey.


Building trust

Trust is key to forming relationships in all walks of life. The last few years have shone a spotlight on data trust as businesses are experiencing an increasing amount of pressure to use data sensibly and securely, and to comply with important laws such as Europe’s GDPR. Compounding this, now more than ever, people are waking up to the ways in which their data is being used, and they will look for partners they can trust.

Those businesses who rely on data insights to inform their decisions should realise that it is a competitive advantage to use data models and analytics that do not compromise personal information in their lead generation efforts.

Businesses can do this by using contextualised data to identify potential leads. Contextualised data combines generic data with synthetic data, creating training data for AI models to accurately manage real-time behaviours, provide personalised experiences, and manage pipeline activities. Marketers that do this will build and maintain trustful relationships with their clients and improve the success of their demand generation initiatives.


Final Words

Cultivating relationships has always been an important part of marketing. However, marketers need to continue to adapt their strategies to align with today’s marketplace shifts. As opportunities for in-person interactions decline, marketers need to fill in intelligence gaps through technology. Armed with the right intelligence, they can adopt a customer-centric approach that focuses on personalisation and trust. This multi-layered strategy allows a strong relationship to be formed, maximising the chance of converting prospects into buyers, increasing ROI and contributing to a company’s overall revenue growth.