B2B marketing is unique, and appealing to decision-makers in this arena is a science all its own. In B2C, consumers are trying to address a timely need, and you can market to them in ways that encourage immediate decision-making. With B2B, you’re often dealing with multiple decision-makers, and over a longer period of time. B2B marketing really comes down to building relationships. Buying groups can help marketers to utilize first-party data in order to reach buyers and optimize campaigns. Here’s what you need to know about reaching B2B buying groups.
What is a Buying Group?
Sometimes called a “buyers group” or “group purchasing organization”, this is a general term for smaller organizations that work together when it comes to purchasing and other business functions. These groups can provide the essentials for running a business as well as offer better access and pricing to various other goods and services. Some buying groups provide services for all small businesses, while others specialize in certain industries or a specific niche. It’s worth your time to investigate buying groups in your area to learn if there are any present that would benefit from your area of expertise.
Gaining access to a buying group is a good way to make new connections and generate word-of-mouth referrals. If your firm is able to become a vendor of choice with a buying group, you’ll gain access to each of the companies within the buying group. In the digital space, platforms are looking for new ways to replicate these buying groups – in essence, targeting an entire group based on their likenesses and a propensity to use your services.
Using LinkedIn to Reach Buying Groups
One area that’s making a big impact on B2B marketing is the latest privacy regulations. This can make it harder to reach buying groups. First-party data is crucial for continuing effective marketing efforts but is harder to come by. However, LinkedIn has implemented a unique solution that is designed to help B2B marketers in particular.
The functionality is called Group Identity. Using this system, LinkedIn leverages first-party data to group members together based on shared professional identity attributes like seniority or industry. This allows marketers to reach their intended audiences across channels, like the LinkedIn Audience Network, without the need for individual-level tracking across sites. This is designed to help companies reach buying committees, measure their campaign performance, and optimize toward the objectives that matter to their firms.
Group Identity was rolled out to a select group last year, and has expanded since then with great results. According to LinkedIn, they observed a 37% higher average clickthrough rate on group-delivered campaigns across channels, like the LinkedIn Audience Network, compared to campaigns targeted at individual profile characteristics. The results of the group-based targeting so far are very encouraging, and LinkedIn will continue testing and expanding the functionality across its portfolio.
Furthermore, LinkedIn will continue to look for ways to integrate your own first-party data with their platform. According to the LinkedIn blog, “We will soon begin to test a new Conversions API, which connects your first-party conversion data to our platform to help you better understand full-funnel performance while having control and flexibility over your data. We are also continuing to invest in privacy-enhancing technologies, such as clean rooms, to enable you to gain actionable insights and advanced measurement in a secure environment.”
B2B marketing faces unique challenges, particularly in an environment that is increasingly reliant on first-party data. If you’re a LinkedIn marketer, consider exploring the Group Identity functionality to learn new ways to reach targeted groups. If you need some support navigating the latest social media platforms and all of their unique functionalities, give our experts a call.