How and why do I transform to a digital first B2B-marketing strategy?

B2B marketing has long been labeled as conservative. Certainly compared to the progressive digital campaigns of consumer brands. Fortunately, this now changing. Modern B2B brands embrace the power of online channels, creating a strong hybrid model in which digital marketing and the human touch complement each other perfectly. Are you convinced of this model? But is your organization still in the early stages of a digital transformation? Read on and discover why, and especially how, you convince your organization of the power of digital marketing.


Benefits of a digital B2B marketing strategy

There are several advantages to digital-first B2B marketing:


  1. Measurability

    The major asset of digital marketing is measurability. Every impression, click and conversion can be traced. This means that every investment can linked to the outcoming revenue. Sometimes this outcome is sales, sometimes it is a “softer” KPI such as a growth brand awareness. In the end, with the right knowledge and effort, you can drive every marketing decision by data.

Average Cost-per-lead in B2B marketing (VisitorQueue, 2018)

2. More leads at fewer costs

Measurability is nice, but it is no guarantee for a higher return on investment. Fortunately, digital channels are also increasingly winning over offline their counterparts when it comes to cost-per-lead. For example, leads generated from LinkedIn or search engine marketing, in almost all cases, cost less than those generated via events or print media.

3. This is how B2B buyers buy

According to Think With Google, 89% of all business purchases nowadays start with an online search. Having a clear website and recent updates on your digital channels can really make the difference here. Modern business buying cycles are complex and time-consuming. Potential buyers are always looking for information to helps them to make an informed choice, long before they need a conversation with a salesperson.

In this process of information gathering, business buyers increasingly expect a “consumer experience”. An immediate answer to questions, access to client reviews, clear product descriptions, and captivating videos.

4. Shorter sales cycle

In addition to a better and more measurable process for generating leads, digitization also ensures a faster process from lead to purchase. Marketing automation solutions, which send customers automated emails based on earlier behavior, put an end to the human unpredictability of a sales department. This way you can quickly and easily send relevant information to your leads, helping them towards their next step in the buying process.


How do I convince my organization of digital B2B-marketing ?

Many modern marketing decision-makers understand all too well why their organization should focus on digital marketing. The bigger challenge is convincing other internal decision makers. Eight tips to help you make your case:

1. Present the business case

An investment of X resulting in an outcome of X + Y. A “good idea” only becomes valuable to your business if you can back it up with a comprehensive business case that boils everything down to the core; a cost-saving or an increase in turnover. How your digital marketing affects underlying marketing KPIs (brand awareness, increase in leads) is only secondary to the real business case.

2. Explain your current marketing efforts

Is your organization already embracing digital marketing to a certain extent? Then make sure that reporting on these activities is perfect. How much did it cost? What did it deliver? Do we need to scale up or optimize? With this proof, you work on a stronger case for an increased digital marketing budget

Shift to digital content in B2B marketing (2018 compared to 2017 – MarketingProfs)

3. Collect relevant examples and benchmarks

There are examples of great digital marketing strategies in every industry. Collect cases from relevant parties to support your case for a digital strategy. Also look for benchmarks on general trends in the market, which place your efforts in a broader context.

4. Invite critics to an event

Bring the digital resisters within your organization to a relevant industry event about digital marketing, in which case studies with concrete results are covered. The closer the case studies match your own business, the better.

5. Support argument with research

Apart from examples from other companies and your own data, there is plenty of research to be found online that supports how business decision-makers buy nowadays. Collect this research to convince your team on the need for a content- and digital marketing strategy.

Compare the search volume for company names in Google Trends to compare your organization with competitors.

6. Draw your organization against competitors

Make a comparison of how digitally active your competitors are, for example using Google Trends or free website comparison tools that report on backlinks, page authority and estimated traffic. .

7. Avoid jargon

Avoid using digital jargon. Explain your digital marketing efforts and results in clear and concrete language. Are you active in a traditional industry with its own jargon? Then translate digital terms into the common jargon within your organization.

8. Get a seat at the table

If you really want to get digital into the DNA of your organization, the ambassador of digitization must be at the highest level. Many decisions concerning digitization affect all facets of an organization and the experience of your clients. So make sure that you, as a marketing manager or marketing director, are assured of a seat in the boardroom when it comes to making important strategic choices.



Digital marketing has many benefits. E-commerce companies and consumer brands, in particular, cannot live without online advertising and content marketing these days. B2B companies have been reluctant for a long time, but things are changing. Do you still notice doubts within your organization? Use the lessons from this blog to work on a strong case, supported by data and examples.

Can you use help with this? As an agency, RIFF has an enormous amount of insights, benchmarks and inspiring examples about B2B marketing in numerous industries. Contact us, we will gladly help you take the next step.