As a player in the private equity space, you know the struggles of growing a company under tight deadlines and budgets. While you may think that digital marketing is better suited for “the other guys,” e.g. B2C firms, larger companies, groups targeting millennials, this isn’t the case. Middle market businesses across verticals can harness the power of digital marketing for business growth.
Digital marketing is one of the most underused tools in the toolbox. By not implementing these methods and realizing how important a digital marketing strategy is, your leadership teams are leaving money on the table.
Here are a few things you should know:
- Per McKinsey, companies with strong B2B digital marketing plans/brands see 20% increased performance
- Per CEB, B2B buyers are now nearly 70% through their buying process before contacting a provider
- Per Google, B2B buyers are typically willing to consider two options by the time they engage a potential provider
Marketing now plays a much more important role in your selling process.
Digital Marketing is More Affordable Than You Think
Despite the number of acronyms thrown around and the ever-changing stream of marketing platforms, executing against a digital marketing plan is more attainable than many lower middle-market and middle-market firms may expect.
You don’t need high-end, expensive software: there are now a number of powerful, simple to use, and cost-effective tools available.
You can also start by renting a fully capable digital marketing team before investing in an internal one or simply outsource certain roles to augment your existing team’s efforts.
Implementing a multi-dimensional digital marketing strategy may seem like it will stretch your company’s already tight budget, but overspending on a digital marketing budget isn’t necessary. Working with a marketing services agency instead of hiring internal staff gives you the resources you need at a price that makes sense for the bottom line.
Key Elements of your Digital Marketing Demand Generation Plan
Once your company is ready to work with an agency, here are a few items they should concentrate on to gain the benefits of digital marketing:
- Data – It’s hard to do digital marketing effectively without good data. Make sure you have it and treat data as a resource that needs to be invested in and maintained like any other asset in your business. B2C data can be relatively robust over time, but B2B data degrades at about 5% per month.
- Content — Bottom line: your company needs to attract potential customers to its website. Quality content, including blog posts, infographics, and other well-written ad engaging copy can help increase credibility and your position within your industry while intriguing prospects, causing them to stay on your site for longer periods of time, and reach out to you for more information. Make this content targeted: Per Hubspot, 96% of B2B buyers want content targeted to their own industry.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) — Many people think SEO is cost-prohibitive, but it doesn’t have to be. A technical SEO expert, combined with in-depth content, can effectively raise a website’s ranking in a short time with minimal cost.
- Social Media — For a company looking to increase their visibility, social media is key. For B2C companies, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram help your company connect with customers and prospects. Social media is also becoming critical for B2B customers who are finding their customers in both traditional social platforms as well as business focused platforms like LinkedIn. There are also a variety of analytics from these platforms to demonstrably show how your firm is performing, both over time and against competitors.
- Paid Search Marketing — While there is a financial barrier to paid search, your portco doesn’t need a huge budget to be successful. Even small companies utilizing well-targeted campaigns with the right keyword strategy can yield powerful results that pay for themselves.
- Email – Most companies already do email marketing in one form or another. It’s the easiest way to get started. You shouldn’t do email alone, though, as its increasingly hard to get through the noise in the inbox. Use this tactic in concert with all of the approaches above and you’ll see profound results.
A fully-realized digital marketing strategy is a key step in your company’s continued development. Once a marketing plan and the resources are in place, you should set clear goals and expectations for growth with your internal and external teams and hold them accountable.
Ensure Your Portfolio Companies Have the Resources They Need
Don’t let your company’s digital-fueled growth stagnate or never get off the ground. Your portfolio company can get started quickly by leveraging the skills of a top outsourced agency that has the functional capabilities you need, the industry experience you require, and the budget you have.
Rent 10% of a bunch of A’s versus owning 100% of the B or C capabilities your budget will support: you’ll get better results and save time, money, and the struggle of hiring for a specific set of scarce skills.
Finding the right resources should never be a barrier to success. Learn more about how we help your portfolio company build value by working with PE-tested expert service providers.