It’s a tough time for the tech industry. Big Tech continues to experience painful job cuts and layoffs, while players throughout the space are struggling against tight budgets, stagnant growth and thickening competition.
In this environment, marketers are under pressure to drive impact and bolster the pipeline. LinkedIn’s B2B Marketing Benchmark Report found that tech, compared to all other industries studied, is allocating a lopsided share of budget toward generating new business versus retaining existing customers.
At the same time, B2B leaders at technology companies are less bullish about their budgets and outlooks than their counterparts. They are more likely to say their budgets have decreased or will decrease. In turn, LinkedIn’s research found that 18% of these leaders felt “uncertain or pessimistic about the likelihood of their marketing team’s efforts to drive revenue next year, higher than all other industries.”
Partnering with the right B2B tech marketing agency can be a critical move to overcome the challenges at hand, and get the most out of your budget. But this too is a significant investment and the stakes are higher than ever. We’re here to help you make the right decision.
5 qualities to seek out in a B2B tech marketing agency
TopRank Marketing is a full-service agency that counts many B2B tech companies among our wide range of current and past clients. Naturally, we’re honored to be considered by any marketing leader looking to elevate their strategy. But through our experience, we also know what goes into creating an effective brand-agency partnership. Above all, we want you to find the right fit.
Prioritize these attributes and qualities as you search for the right B2B tech marketing agency to suit your needs.
#1: Specialization in tech marketing and understanding of the industry landscape.
If you’re in B2B tech, you know that this sector is unique from others in a lot of ways. Solutions are often complex and developed for a specific niche. The tech boom has led to stifling competition and there’s frequently a great deal of parity (at least on the surface) between different offerings. Meanwhile, the tech buying process tends to be laborious, involving a high number of stakeholders and lengthy cycles.
When evaluating B2B tech marketing agencies, you’ll want to ensure you go with a firm that has experience in this specialized arena. A seasoned agency partner can help your company and its solutions stand out at a time where differentiation is absolutely vital. Research from Gartner found, for example, that more than 70% of buyers consider at least four software providers before making a final purchase decision.
#2: Track record and case studies showcasing successful tech marketing campaigns.
Not only should your agency partner have experience in the B2B tech space, they should also have results they can share. Explore case studies and work examples from past campaigns to verify that the agency has been able to follow through and deliver for tech clients.
#3: Demonstrates an ability to stay on top of trends and changes.
It’s no secret: tech is a fast-changing industry. Brand marketers are often busy keeping pace with their own organizational needs. It can be a struggle to closely follow all of the external forces and factors impacting your business category and audiences.
Agency marketers make a point of staying plugged into these broader trends while incorporating them into their strategic guidance. This outside expert perspective is a key part of the value agencies can offer. Make sure you’re selecting a studious partner who walks the walk by producing timely thought leadership and demonstrating a clear understanding of what’s happening now in your industry.
Again, it comes down to differentiation. Knowing what’s been happening and what’s next in your niche helps agencies partner with you to create something fresh and impactful. Research has found that “content with outdated or oft-repeated information” is the biggest issue negatively affecting buyers‘ trust in B2B tech brands.
#4: Brings creativity to the table.
While being able to speak accurately to the details and benefits of your solution is vital, the ability to bring creative and innovative ideas to your marketing strategy is a core agency value prop. Tech buyers are humans just like everyone else and they respond to emotionally resonant content.
“In a recent LinkedIn study of B2B marketing leaders,” according to The Drum, “more than two-thirds (69%) agree that B2B purchasing decisions are just as emotionally driven as B2C, and 39% said they are increasingly harnessing storytelling, emotion and humor to help make their creative campaigns stick. More than three-quarters (81%) go as far as saying that B2B brands are now producing creative campaigns that rival consumer brands.”
This is an area where specialized agency teams can lend a major assist, giving you access to experienced and exceptional creative talent. These writers, designers and strategists take the lead in developing colorful campaigns that pop and capture attention while also communicating the advantages of your solution to a B2B audience.
One example of a creative tech campaign from TopRank’s portfolio is the “Fruitful Work” campaign we partnered on with SaaS provider Smartsheet. Incorporating influencers and a fun metaphorical theme, the campaign drove more than 23,000 video views while beating page view benchmarks by almost 350 percent.
#5: Connects marketing activities to business impact and revenue.
This is clearly one of the most urgent areas for tech marketing leaders to welcome expert support. LinkedIn’s research into the tech sector found that B2B CMOs at tech companies were more likely than others to say they are expected to demonstrate marketing impact on the bottom line, and under pressure to prove ROI in less time. Notably, nearly three out of four said they are unable to prove the impact of brand campaigns.
Choose a B2B tech marketing agency that boasts proven analytics chops and makes data a central part of its culture. Advanced reporting that goes beyond superficial metrics can help you understand and improve business impact, bringing the clarity your C-suite craves.
Elevate tech marketing with an expert partner
These are challenging times for the tech industry, and for marketing leaders, opting to go it alone can be a costly mistake. Conduct an honest and thorough assessment of your needs, and explore partners with the capabilities and track record to deliver on them.
Ready to work with an agency that checks all the boxes? Contact us today.
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