According to World Bank numbers, there are 42 million¹ registered companies globally. However, less than 2,000² publicly listed companies have a revenue of $2 billion and over. This concentration of wealth offers these giants considerable power. Their sheer size and bargaining strengths can determine competition and expected outcome. For the rest of us, battling against these behemoths is daunting and often demoralizing, especially for SME’s.
A search of the term “CRM software vendor” on Google returned 17 entries on page 1. 7/17 of them were ads, 2/17 pointed to the same source and only 6/17 actually pointed to CRM software vendors. SugarCRM was first seen on page 3. And “About 732,000 results” were found.
This CRM example is one of many. But with a whopping 77%³ ownership of the most consulted channels, (well ahead of social media on 8.6%³), online search engines remain the primary source for buyers searching for new products, services or suppliers. So in order to compete, you ought to make yourself digitally visible.
Digital presence is also growing in importance. In fact, digital marketing methods have come to represent almost half of B2B marketers’ spending up from just about a third in 2010⁴. Data continues to explode at staggering pace, making finding relevant information increasingly cumbersome, time consuming and expensive.
A typical online search triggers an average 10% CTR (click through rate) for results on the first 10 pages. However, only 10% of these visitors will opt-in to a lead form to access gated content. With the expanded use of unattended email addresses to fence off sales harassments, only half of these email addresses will be of any value. Such a low conversion rate (0.25%) requires increased volume, which in turn tends to generate spam—and the cycle of information overload goes on.
The need for more leads and the change of spending partly explains the continuous cost increase of a qualified B2B lead, last estimated at $272 by AdAge⁵. But the promises for views and clicks is also significantly contributing to the expansion of digital practices—the more you spend, the higher you get and the greater the opportunity. Auction based display ads and SEO are the new battlegrounds.
For most businesses, marketing is a luxury. Product development and serving existing customers well to earn repeat business is normally the priority. Marketing is something they do when they can. The inability to measure direct revenue impact makes the investment hard to swallow, but yet essential.
Part of the problem is due to the amount of waste marketing tends to generate. Because marketing solutions tend to throw a big net at the problem, much of what is being caught has to be thrown out back to the water as soon as it gets fished.
Reducing waste is essential to increase confidence in marketing practices. To achieve the desired level of precision businesses look for, marketers could turn to basic techniques found in matchmaking and dating apps, where they can see exactly what their targets are looking for in a company. And although forming long lasting relationships is not a guaranteed outcome, engaging with businesses of common interests is one step closer to closing the deal.
So, in order to compete with companies that have seemingly unlimited resources to spend on digital and SEO, marketers should look at using tools that allow them to connect with potential customers in a similar way that popular online dating apps use to find a perfect match. This knowledge allows you to create some specific, targeted content that will stimulate the interest of your prospective customer. This extremely targeted approach will also reduce the size of the net needed to catch the attention of your target.