The first few months managing a B2B account I struggled. I could not understand the lifecycle of the customer, I could not grasp the client’s goals, and I did not understand how the account was structured. Further into management, I started to lose account efficiency because of my lack of understanding; I couldn’t even keep the client’s previous performance before I took over management.
In some ways, a lead generation B2B client can be a somewhat easier client to manage; get a user to fill out a form, collect the data, and remarket. What was tricky about my client was the incredibly long lead cycle; from the time a user lands on the landing page, the user will bounce, return, bounce, maybe return, fill out a form, and then be nurtured through a very long funnel that could last anywhere from 30 days to 6 months to over a year. My client was selling a very high-end, high price point product to businesses. This was something I could not grasp because I could not visualize.
Eventually, I told myself I had to figure this out. I buckled down and dove into this client’s business. I put together a deck that told myself (and eventually, told the client) what the digital strategy was doing in pulling in potential purchasers. It took an inordinate amount of time, a lot of frustration, and plenty of trial and error.
However, from these struggles, I was able to course correct and learn a few key strategies to execute in managing a B2B account.
Lay out the customer lifecycle
The second part to this step should be ‘lay out the customer lifecycle and pinpoint where digital makes an impact.’ It can be difficult to describe to clients (and their bosses) how digital plays a part in the whole marketing scheme. As an account manager, it is important to show your B2B client how much you understand their business. It is also important to know where digital persuades a user into a decision. This is the best data you could provide for your client to show how digital is influencing a customer’s lifetime value.
Integrate client’s CRM platform with Google Ads
It is important to integrate CRM with Google Ads for B2B clients because this will help account managers to optimize down the pipeline. If you as an account manager are only optimizing with partial data and limited insight, you could be seriously sacrificing your client’s business. Whatever you have to do, if there’s no other step that you can implement, take action on this step. You will be surprised at how quickly your account’s performance will turn.
(If Applicable) Structure Campaigns by Region
For my client, there were some states that significantly outperformed others – probably like every other client out there. With my client, their product was impacted by different state laws, so it made sense for us to restructure our account by region. This allowed us to 1) be more targeted with our budgeting, 2) be more specific with our ad copy, and 3) push more dollars if and when needed based on state laws that might pop up. It opened up a lot of freedom for us – and it lowered our CPL between $2 and $5 within one month (this was dependent on the campaign and on the region).
Identify Campaign Types
For any client, you need to understand how each of your campaigns is pulling people into different steps of the funnel. But for B2B clients, it is crucial that you understand where your campaigns fall within your marketing funnel. I would recommend even identifying where your keywords fall within the marketing funnel and get as granular as possible with your ad copy.
(If Applicable) Use Programmatic for Display
B2B audiences are typically niche and hard to find on the internet. Sometimes B2B clients may find it difficult to even give a persona to their audiences. In my opinion, some type of programmatic display will be of more value and worth to your client. Programmatic will allow you to be more intentional with your dollars for this upper funnel tactic. It will also allow for more narrowed targeting.
If you are struggling to produce the right results for your B2B client, try some of these steps to improve performance. Show how much you understand your client’s business and be consultative about how these digital strategies can grow their overall marketing efforts.
For more insights into managing a B2B client, check out this webinar on generating harvesting leads from Hanapin’s Kristin Forbess and Acquisio’s Marc Poirier.