“Marketing to end users isn’t part of our strategy right now.”
“I have bigger fish to fry internally before I think about consumers.”
“If we focus on consumers, we’ll lose sight of our channel partners.”
“Our budgets aren’t big enough to reach end users.”
We’ve heard all of the above, and, with all due respect, we disagree.
With today’s proliferation of media, there are ways to maximize your budget to support your through-channel partners and drive awareness among end users of your product. And if you don’t take the plunge and do both, you’ll miss huge opportunities to drive new leads to your dealers or third-party sellers.
If you rely on your dealer network to make the case for your products to consumers, it’s time for a change. Building stronger brand awareness among your products’ end users will make your dealer network’s job much easier, and will translate to higher revenue for them and you.
Of course, this means finding room in your budget for that end-user marketing. Budgets are shrinking, and you’re under more pressure than ever to justify every dollar you spend. The good news is, you don’t have to blow your budget on reaching end users if you rethink how you distribute your efforts.
The Shifting Marketing Budget
Gartner’s 2017–2018 CMO Spend Survey showed a mixed bag when it came to marketing budgets. Budget size stalled or shrank for many marketers—but two-thirds of them still planned to increase spending on digital advertising. Why?
Because digital marketing is a relatively inexpensive and low-risk option compared to other forms of marketing like print or TV, and it can be customized over and over for your unique audience(s). It also has the added benefit of returning quick results, so you can immediately see what’s working and what needs to be adjusted.
Now is the time to think outside the box, people! Paid display and search are valuable, and certainly have their place. But video shorts for YouTube (these can be done for just a few thousand dollars, we promise), podcasts, and localized affiliate marketing can be game-changers on a restricted budget, too. (Be sure to pick only the most appropriate social channels for your end user audience and you won’t have to spend a fortune. This means you absolutely must do some research to figure out where they are and when.)
Define Your End Goals
To reap the rewards of digital marketing to your end users, you have to start by defining your goals. Do you want to build overall brand awareness? (Of course.) Drive more customers to your dealers’ brick-and-mortar locations? (Yes, please.) More conversions? Email signups? (Heck yes and absolutely, but you’ll have to prioritize so you spend your money in order of importance to your business.)
By setting clear goals, you’ll be much better able to allocate funds to the right places, as well as measure success—a struggle for many marketers when it comes to digital campaigns. You can also see what digital channels (such as social media and your company’s blog) are working well, and which you might want to tweak, add, or phase out of your next campaign.
All Hail Video
According to Techcrunch, people watch more than 1 billion hours of YouTube video every day. And it’s not just Internet cat videos. Plenty of B2B marketers are getting creative here, too.
It’s easy to see why: Video content consistently gets better engagement than other forms of media, and its shareable nature means you have a better chance of getting your marketing message in front of new customer segments.
Here’s an example of how it’s done well, and affordably (thanks, GE). If you want to see more from other through-channel superstars, download our latest white paper, “The New Rules for Through-Channel Marketers.”
The Crucial Metric: ROAS
Creating digital content is great, but how do you know it’s working?
One of the easiest ways to figure out how you’re doing is to keep track of the Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) for your digital channels. It’s a simple measurement—just divide your revenue from a channel by the amount you spent marketing in that channel. In other words, ROAS tells you how many dollars you get back for every dollar you put into your marketing.
That’s a powerful metric, since it gives you a clear picture of where your marketing is working—and where it’s not. Keeping track of ROAS for each channel allows you to fine-tune your strategy as you go, bumping up the success of your campaigns.
(At Kreber, we kinda geek out about ROAS, and we use sales funnel calculations to help us determine exactly the right marketing mix, and therefore spend, needed to target the audiences most receptive to your messaging and most likely to convert into customers.)
The End User: Priceless
Reaching your end users with a creative digital marketing campaign builds interest in your brand and drives more customers to your dealerships. It also helps your dealers close sales quicker, since those customers have already been primed by your engaging digital content. With its lower price tag and powerful results, digital end-user marketing should be a priority in your marketing budget.