Sachin Sharma talks about B2B marketing in the digital world, the digital impact of pandemic, how LinkedIn plays a role in reaching and providing its audience, and much more at #SMLive 2022
As the pandemic played a huge role in shaping the way marketers approach marketing in the B2B world, in conversation with Social Samosa, Sachin Sharma Director, Enterprise Marketing Solutions – LinkedIn, shares his thoughts about the B2B marketing space, gives tips to marketeers and much more.
B2B marketing space after pandemic:
Talking about how the B2B marketing space looks like right now, after the pandemic, Sachin Sharma shared his thoughts by saying, “A little bit given about the world of marketing despite the pandemic, there are a few instances that never tend to change. Then there are a few thoughts, ideas, and frameworks that have been flipped on the head.”
Segregating the two into sections, Sharma listed them as:
Some constants that haven’t changed-
- Value and reliability as purchase decisions; whether its b2b or b2c
- Experience led transactions
- Behind the scenes of purchase in B2B and B2C
Some things that have changed-
- Content and creative production
- Thought process around segmentation
- Large-scale change of how campaigns and accounts are set up with the technology
Giving advice to the brands, Sachin added, “As a brand and technology marketeer, how you use the most expensive real estate i.e. the screen of your phone, says a lot about what you stand for as a brand, but it also tells the user what your values are and how you can help them. And technology has powered this shift, where brand advertisers and platforms have become more intelligent.”
Digital impact on B2B marketing during pandemic:
“Digital is still at a very definitive state, a lot of it is still exercising motion so it’s still a journey that we are on” stated Sharma.
Branding is largely based on two key concepts – one being functionalism and symbolism. Sachin believes these two concepts were flipped on their course during the pandemic because other constructs became important, and consumers started asking relevant questions – about the brand. And the brands were challenged to build the connective tissue to align the stakeholders and take the storytelling beyond just financial returns.
Big changes that happened:
- One way communication was no more relevant
- Solving for or helping customers & aiding them
He further said that these changes have further triggered many links, internally as well as externally; same with their brand as well.
Sachin stated, “At LinkedIn, our idea has always been on establishing a professional identity for our advertising business. But over the last two years, some other aspects became important as well – protecting personal identity, which informed a lot of our technology decisions.”
Sharma noted that over the two years, purpose driving trust enabled by technology was the key thing that they observed changing.
Emotional/ Creative Storytelling in B2B Marketing:
Referring to the key concept in the book by Phil Barden, ‘Decoded: The Science behind why we buy’ Sachin says, ‘Intuitive of perception-based thought process is behind all purchase decisions.’
Quoting Daniel Kahneman’s famous saying ‘Thinking is to humans as swimming is to cats’, Sachin advises brands to not think about purchase decisions which they might think is the right thought process, but in reality, it is all triggered in essence by mental association and structures.
Talking about recent research done by LinkedIn, Sachin states a majority of B2B marketers in India say that the B2B creative confidence is actually growing in India.
The same research also states that in India, the creativity in B2B is so strong that the decisions are not just emotionally charged but also driving and influencing the bottom of the funnel.
Sachin added that there is a shift in terms of storytelling when it takes center stage. The industry is evolving very quickly, and they understand that the buying committee essentially, and at the end of the day, is still made up of human beings who are relying on their memory structures.
He ended the question by stating, “The easier it is to make a decision, the better it is for a brand”
Tips for marketeers exploring LinkedIn:
- Leverage the organic insights the brand has to offer (engagement, comments, likes, followers, etc.)
- Keep your followers engaged – frequency/quality in the distribution of products.
Sachin advises brands to take into consideration the fact that LinkedIn has the power to solve, right from discoverability to the education phase, and convert users into customers.
Things to avoid when using LinkedIn for marketing:
- Long v/s Short – If you’re always in the game of capturing leads and you want your audience to express interest – this is great for the short term but not the long term.
- Repurposing Content
Talking about his and LinkedIn’s year ahead, Sachin said, “More and more of the industry is going to become technologically powered over the next few years. Probably in coming years, we’ll see a little bit of inflation and tough times; as a brand, we want to be a consultant to our customers to help them solve some of these problems.”
Concluding the panel, Sachin added his final thoughts saying, “Innovation driving growth is the virtuous cycle that we will come about because of technology empowerment, and that’s going to happen again over the next few years.”
Sachin Shamra shared his thoughts at the 6th edition of #SMLive, Social Samosa’s marquee annual conference, organized on World Social Media Day.
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