When it comes to marketing, there are a lot of different perspectives. On one hand, you have the corporate team – they are responsible for developing and executing a marketing strategy that will achieve specific business goals. On the other hand, you have the agency team – they work with clients on certain projects and help them achieve the project goal.
In this blog post, we will take a look at some of the key differences between these two worlds, and explore why marketing is such an essential part of any business. We will also take a look at how marketing has changed over the years, and talk about the roles of both clients and agencies. Finally, we will provide some tips for both clients and agencies to help them get the most out of their relationship.
Also, if you want to catch an in-depth conversation on this matter, then tune in to the latest episode of The B2B POD. Now available on all the leading audio streaming platforms like Apple, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and Stitcher.
Why marketing is an essential part of any business
Marketing is an essential part of any business because it is responsible for creating and maintaining a customer base. Without customers, a business would not be able to survive. Marketing is also responsible for generating revenue. Without revenue, a business would not be able to stay afloat.
There are many different channels that businesses can use to market their products or services. Some of these channels include:
- Traditional advertising, such as television commercials, print ads, and radio commercials
- Digital marketing, such as Search Engine Marketing, Social Media Marketing,Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and email marketing
- Public relations (PR), such as press releases and media relations
- Event marketing, such as trade shows and conferences
- Direct marketing, such as direct mail and telemarketing
The most effective marketing campaigns will usually use a mix of all of these channels. This is because each channel has its own strengths and weaknesses, and using a mix of channels will help to ensure that the message is reaching the target audience through the most effective means.
However, with the boom of the internet, B2B marketing has taken a new shape. Let’s take a deeper look at this new world.
B2B Marketing: Then Vs Now
The changes in the field of marketing are mainly due to the changes in technology, consumer behaviour, and the overall business landscape.
Some of the key differences between marketing then and now include:
- In the past, marketing was primarily about creating awareness for a product or service. Today, marketing is about creating a relationship with the customer.
- In the past, marketing was one-way communication. Today, marketing is two-way communication.
- In the past, marketing was about mass production. Today, marketing is about personalization.
- In the past, marketing was about selling a product or service. Today, marketing is about solving a problem.
If you want to be successful in marketing today, it is important to understand these differences. The days of mass production and one-way communication are long gone. Today, customers are looking for a more personal relationship with the brands they buy from. They want to feel like they are being heard, and they want to know that their concerns are being addressed.
In our latest episode of The B2B POD, Sunita Hadani speaks on this matter by saying:
“The marketing landscape, especially in the Middle East, has evolved immensely in the last 10 years. When I was leading marketing in different corporates at the time, our marketing was seen as a cost centre and the marketing departments had to justify their existence. But with the boom of the internet, marketing is now seen as an equal contributor to the growth of the business.
Marketing also has a firm seat with a C-suite now. Also, the sales rely on marketing to build their customer’s target market. In fact, Gartner recently said that 80% of the B2B buyer and supplier interactions are going to be on the digital channels by 2025.”
Agencies of today
In the past, agencies were primarily concerned with creating advertising campaigns. Today, agencies are much more than that. They are now responsible for a wide range of marketing activities, including:
- Market research
- Customer insights
- Creative direction
- Digital marketing
- Public relations
- Event marketing
- Direct marketing
Agencies today are expected to be experts in all of these different areas. This is because the landscape of marketing has changed so much over the years, and businesses now need to use a variety of different channels to reach their target audiences.
Agencies are also working towards becoming an integrated body that can offer personalized solutions to all of its clients. This is because the world of marketing has become so complex, and businesses need agencies that can offer them a comprehensive solution.
In our recent episode of The B2B POD, Sunita Hadani shared her opinions on what roles should agencies cover by saying:
“Today’s agencies have to be a lot more involved in order to be equal partners to the vendors. Also, they need to understand the vendor’s target market deeply, analyze the customers’ buying behaviour, the challenges, and then align their services accordingly.”
Benefits of working with an agency
While having an in-house marketing team has its advantages, there are also many benefits to working with an agency. Here are some of the key benefits:
- Access to a team of experts who can offer you a comprehensive solution.
- Access to the latest tools and technologies.
- Reach a wider audience.
- An objective perspective on your marketing efforts
- Fresh ideas and creative solutions
We asked Sunita Hadani what were the benefits of working with agencies, and she said:
“Today vendors have a lot more choices to work with. They have boutique agencies, freelancers, Upwork or Fiverr and while you may get your work done more economically, maybe faster, but I believe how much ever you do all of that, building a long-term relationship with agencies pays off.
Usually, you don’t know who comes, who goes, and then you are left having to start the story all over again. But with an agency, you don’t have to worry about these things at all.”
However, B2B marketing is not as simple as it seems. There are several challenges a business faces. But a critical challenge that most face is the misalignment between the corporate marketing teams and the agency marketing teams. Let’s take a look at some of these challenges:
Marketing challenges both corporate and agency teams face
One of the biggest challenges that both corporate and agency marketing teams face is alignment. Both teams need to be on the same page in order to achieve success. However, this can often be difficult to achieve.
There are a few key reasons why alignment between these two teams can be difficult:
- Different objectives: The corporate marketing team is usually responsible for achieving specific business goals, while the agency marketing team is usually responsible for helping the client achieve their project goals.
- Different ways of working: The corporate marketing team typically works in-house, while the agency marketing team typically works with clients on a project basis.
- Different timelines: The corporate marketing team typically works on a longer timeline, while the agency marketing team typically works on a shorter timeline.
Speaking on the matter, Sunita Hadani shared her thoughts on the challenges both corporate and agencies face:
“As an in-house marketer, I know the pressures they have to face as I’ve been on the other side. I know you need to think ahead for your business. You need to be in fact, two quarters ahead. You need to build that pipeline to ensure sales arrive in that quarter. It’s very demanding, especially in our marketplace which is a very fast-paced environment. This is where I, as a marketer + agency owner, step in.
But even though I have the vision, sometimes to fulfill that vision, vendors need to have the right engine, along with the right team. I really would love for the in-house marketers to hear sometimes the challenges that agencies face. Which is if we can have long-term planning or at least some sort of timelines to be able to turn around those deliverables then that would be ideal.”
Tips for clients and agencies
If you are a client, there are a few things you can do to help create alignment between your corporate marketing team and your agency marketing team:
- Be clear about your objectives: Make sure that both teams are aware of your objectives from the outset.
- Communicate regularly: Make sure that both teams communicate regularly throughout the project.
- Set realistic timelines: Make sure that both teams agree on realistic timelines for the project.
If you are an agency, there are a few things you can do to help create alignment between your corporate marketing team and your agency marketing team:
- Get to know the client’s business: Make sure that you take the time to understand the client’s business.
- Be clear about your deliverables: Make sure that you are clear about what you will be delivering to the client.
- Set realistic timelines: Make sure that you set realistic timelines for the project.
We asked Sunita Hadani if she has some tips for agency owners, this is what she shared:
“If agencies want to survive in the long term, my big advice would be, don’t take your customers for granted.
Provide your unique value proposition. What is it that they will get more from you than they would from another agency? What is your unique factor? It could be just honesty, it could be putting in the passion, the hard work. Businesses today don’t have to rely on their existing agencies as they have so many different ways to get their work out. So to ensure that you keep growing you need to see to it that you don’t take the customers for granted and put in the extra hard work.”
Marketing is an essential part of any business. Both corporate and agency marketing teams need to be aligned in order to achieve success. Mentioned above are a few things that both clients and agencies can do to help create alignment between these two teams.
Thank you for reading! We hope this gives you some insights into the challenges both corporates and agencies face when it comes to marketing. If you have any questions or would like to learn more, then be sure to check out our podcast where we talk about this topic in detail.
Also, for more B2B marketing-related content, don’t forget to tune in to The B2B POD. It’s available on all leading platforms like Spotify, Google podcast, Apple podcast, and Stitcher.