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The Rise of Tethered Branding in B2B Marketing

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Building a great B2B brand remains fundamental for visibility, differentiation and capturing hearts and minds. Those hearts and minds are not just of potential customers of course; brand plays a powerful role in inspiring existing customers and employees too, empowering retention at times of economic instability.

Investing in brand is not a new trend in itself, after all during the Pandemic many forward looking companies sought to build brand equity at a time of upheaval. What’s different now is the urgency to measure the impact that it has throughout the whole customer journey. With the move to profitable growth, marketing budgets must now demonstrate an effective return to the CEO against business stability goals more than they ever did before.

Enter the term ‘Tethered Branding’. Brand marketing is the umbrella that sits over all other activities and strategic priorities e.g. product, partner and demand marketing. It provides direction, aircover and real points of differentiation. However this umbrella can’t just float about at the top of everything, it must be firmly tethered through all business efforts to demonstrate a cohesive gain against full-funnel KPIs.

True Tethered Branding takes a good hard look at marketing goal alignment, KPI mapping and the strategic use of data to provide an accurate picture of what is really happening. Identifying what isn’t working in your campaigns is always extremely beneficial, however so is identifying what IS working, but is not currently reported back as a win to business leadership.

Importantly, this can be done without investing in large attribution models or long-term views of marketing influenced pipeline. We’ve found that increasing the right internal communication streams, deploying sensible frameworks and betting on two or three metrics that can be clearly agreed is often a more successful approach.

Content and messaging is central to effective communication, but paid media is the sharp end of whether the message is seen or heard. Ultimately it’s delivery which will determine how a potential customers at scale will discover your brand, and be offered relevant content to continue their journey to sale.

Consider the core Red Threads to an effective media activation, and align those across everything that you do:

·       Audience Strategy

·       Data Strategy

·       KPI and Goal Mapping

·       Analytics

·       Web and UX

First, consider how you address persona vs. ABM targeting to link brand through the funnel to Sales. It’s important to consider the right category entry points to build relevance, however it’s just as important to be easy to buy, and conversions happen at the account level.

Secondly, understand product choice trends and use that insight to plan for brand activity from the start. Why would someone want to buy? How are we addressing those pain points in an emotional and logistical manner?

Finally, measure success based on audience exposure and action together. Reach and Frequency will always be important to gain visibility and change mindsets at a brand level, however brand is most valuable when it inspires someone to DO something.

Here at Realm we’re working with our clients to address these challenges head-on. This means maximising the efficiency and volume of B2B marketing budgets and increasing the effectiveness of media dollars in market. Contact us for a candid chat about how the B2B media market is moving and shaking:

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