Using B2B Performance Marketing to Increase Customer Engagement

“Change is the only constant in life.” The wise words of Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, have been used through the centuries to reiterate the importance of adaptability, or the quality of being able to adjust to new conditions. This is true for every aspect of business and life, and marketing is no different. 


Marketers are constantly finding new ways to reach prospects so they can sell products and services. It’s a tale as old as time. Even the earliest merchants needed a way to differentiate from the competition. The printing press revolutionized communication, and seemingly overnight businesses could reach more people faster than they ever imagined. 


However, it wasn’t always easy to prove marketing’s efficacy or return on investment (ROI) because there was no way to reliably or consistently track how a customer or prospect came to know a brand or what convinced them to purchase. That’s no longer the case. As technology advanced, the need to change how businesses marketed to customers also changed. Just as printing revolutionized marketing, so did digital evolution. 


The internet altered the makeup of marketing. Today, businesses are challenged with marketing to an audience whose attention span has shrunk to mere seconds as they’re constantly bombarded and overstimulated everywhere they turn. There are various ways, outlets, and channels to reach customers at every hour of the day, which is why it’s particularly challenging for B2B marketers to grab and keep the audience’s attention. As a result, B2B performance marketing ranks high as the preferred strategy among marketing leaders because of its ability to measure impact and quickly pivot.


Increasing audience engagement with insights from B2B performance marketing


There are many trends to watch for in 2023 regarding B2B performance marketing, but all are geared toward finding new ways to increase audience engagement. Engaged customers are more likely to interact with the business, seek more information, and, ultimately, make a purchase. 


Here are three ways B2B performance marketing can help increase audience engagement.


Double down on data. Of the myriad benefits of B2B performance marketing, data collection reigns supreme. Data shows you when there are subtle changes or seismic shifts. Data tells you where you should continue to invest and what you should chalk up as a learning experience. Simply put, the data gathered through B2B performance marketing definitively indicates which channels are working and which ones are not. If a digital ad flops, reconsider the image or messaging then relaunch the ad and compare results. If a bylined article receives positive interaction on organic social media, consider repackaging it into a syndicated content strategy.  


The bottom line? Numbers don’t lie. And because a B2B performance marketing strategy is targeted, short-term, and data-driven, marketers can analyze the results and quickly pivot to test another channel or make the decision to invest in one that performs well. Use the data to identify the channels that show high customer engagement and double down there.


Personalize the path to purchase. Personalization in B2B marketing used to mean adding name tokens in email and calling it a day. However, new marketing strategies — like account-based marketing (ABM) — emerged to help B2B marketers penetrate key accounts by providing information and data to help understand intentions, goals, and behaviors. This enables marketers to be more strategic with their messaging and audience rather than deploying a spray-and-pray campaign and crossing their fingers. When B2B performance marketing is coupled with personalized and curated content, marketers can identify the products or services prospects are looking for and prove they understand their customers’ wants, needs, and pain points. 


In addition, marketers can enhance personalization with segmentation to ensure messaging is specific to where customers are on the journey, whether it’s where they tend to convert most or places where they fall off the path. By adjusting messaging and content to address each buyer on a specific leg of the journey, marketers create long-term relationships through recognition and interaction, providing more opportunities to engage with customers along the way. 


Mix in multi-channel marketing. Building a multi-channel approach into B2B performance marketing empowers marketers to effectively communicate the value of a product or service by taking advantage of each channel’s specific strengths. Because multi-channel marketing campaigns typically encompass email, social media, direct mail, websites, and display ads, this approach ensures businesses can reach the customer or prospect via the channel of their choice. 


Expanded reach and increased engagement are two of the top benefits of multi-channel marketing. By spreading marketing efforts to new channels, the prospect pool natural expands to include customers that may not interact via other channels. This strategy also invites increased engagement as multiple touchpoints provide more opportunities to communicate in ways that are natural to the channel (e.g., via comment on social media, chat assistants on websites, etc.). When launching multi-channel marketing, it’s critical that you prove ROI with accurate marketing attribution


Change is inevitable. Adaptability is critical. As history has proven time and time again, consumer behavior shifts as new ways of life emerge. B2B performance marketing not only helps identify that shift when it happens but also provides businesses with the data needed to understand where and why it happens so marketers can shift their own strategies. When equipped with data, B2B marketers can ensure any dips or blips are quickly addressed. Rather than standing staunch as the world changes around them, smart marketers move with the wind and find new ways to meet customers where they are.