What’s working in Enterprise B2B marketing right now: Updates to our marketing myths

Changing your mind is probably one of the most beautiful things people can do. — Paul Auster

I love the concept of “strong opinions, weakly held.” Blue Seedling’s crash course “Busting the most common B2B marketing myths” is a collection of some of our strong opinions, including why I don’t believe in SDRs, the problem with PR agencies, why online advertising doesn’t work for early stage enterprise B2B startups, and more. 

In the spirit of “weakly held,” this post presents a few surprising updates to our Strong Opinions, and highlights what’s working in B2B marketing right now.

1. Strong opinion: Lead gen agencies (“smile & dial” / “spray & pray”) don’t work

Did we change our mind?

Yes. We found an agency that works, and has been consistently delivering qualified meetings for a reasonable cost for almost a year now. We don’t know their secret, but if there’s one agency that’s effective, it’s likely that there are others. We now encourage experimentation in this domain (which we used to avoid like the plague).

2. Strong opinion: Online advertising (e.g. ads on LinkedIn and Google) doesn’t work for early-stage enterprise B2B startups

Did we change our mind?

Yes! Not a complete reversal, but we did find more use cases where it makes sense to advertise on Google Search:

  • When you’re competing in an established category, with prospects who are actively searching for your solution or for your competitors 
  • When your target customer is more on the SME side (vs pure Enterprise). The broader the audience is, the more it makes sense to cast a wide net through Google, as opposed to running targeted ABM campaigns through database building.

3. Strong opinion: Last Click attribution is (almost) always the way to go

Did we change our mind?

Heck no. This recent piece by Rand Fishkin is another great illustration of why going with anything other than the simplest solution is bonkers. 

4. Strong opinion: Social media isn’t an effective enterprise B2B demand generation channel

Did we change our mind?

Yes! I used to say that “the CMO of Macy’s isn’t going to request a demo after reading your LinkedIn post.” Well, we’ve now seen quality demo requests coming directly from the Twitter feed of a client CEO, and countless good things happening on LinkedIn: from demo requests to speaking invites to senior candidate outreach.

Using our Channel Effectiveness Framework, social media is a low direct $ investment channel, but does require patience and headcount investment—and the quantity of leads is likely to be low (but the quality can make up for it).

Our current recommendation is to invest both in the company’s LinkedIn presence, as well as in the presence of the CEO / founders / other executives who are interested in being active on social media. (In our experience, it’s hard to train someone to become a social media success if they’re not naturally inclined.)

5. Strong opinion: PR agencies for enterprise B2B startups are a waste of time and money.

Did we change our mind?

We now recommend working with a PR agency for funding announcements, if your budget allows. Getting your funding announcement into desirable publications has become intensely competitive, and we don’t recommend risking it by trying to do it yourself (neither in the US nor in Israel).

6. Strong opinion: Webinars are a fantastic enterprise B2B demand generation channel

Did we change our mind?

Nope. “Webinar fatigue?” Maybe, but we consistently see that good speakers and a relevant topic still draw a big juicy quality audience.

The bottom line

“We tried it and it didn’t work” shouldn’t be your guiding principle when evaluating new ideas (in marketing, and in life). The world changes. Companies change. People change. Instead, use our simple formula: Proven Playbooks + Constant Experimentation = Marketing Success ✅🙂

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Netta is the founder and CEO of Blue Seedling. She loves third wave coffee, thin crust pizza, and B2B marketing.

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