October 3, 2022

Apply the Scientific Method to Your B2B Brand Strategy in 3 Steps

by Melissa Caffrey

Now for the final installment of the 4-part blog series on CATS. You’ve courageously strategized, artfully ideated, and thoughtfully executed—now it’s time to apply the Scientific Method to ensure that your B2B brand strategy is set up for long-term success.

The creative process is pretty useless if you don’t have the numbers to show how brand has contributed to growth, the tools to allow for scale, and the continued focus on improving and adapting along the way.

Below, we explore the three places to focus when it comes to the science of brand: Measurement, Automation, and Experimentation.

Eager to learn more about how to apply the CATS framework to your brand strategy? If you want to dive even deeper, snag a copy of Renegade Marketing: 12 Steps to Building Unbeatable B2B Brands on Amazon ASAP.

Measure What Matters

If you want your CEO, C-Suite colleagues, and Board to care about brand, you have to make sure you have the dashboard to prove its value. As mentioned in Welcome We, it’s imperative that the CMO works with the CFO to agree on metrics that will matter to the organization as a whole, not just the marketing function.

It is notoriously difficult to measure brand—especially because not everything worth doing can be measured. There’s also no exact blueprint for what each company should measure and a lot of debate around it, so for this blog post, we’ll just zero in on three ways you can measure employees, customers, and prospects in relation to brand.

  • Employees: We recommend an annual employee survey to gauge how your employees feel about the company and the brand. It should include open-ended questions, and you should aim for at least 50% participation.
  • Customers: Customer satisfaction can be measured by the percentage of customers who provided referrals and participated in case studies, as well as the percentage of renewals and upsells.
  • Prospects: To measure your brand’s impact on potential customers, observe your website traffic and conversions, share-of-voice, marketing influenced leads, sales qualified leads, pipeline velocity, and conversion rate.

For more on this, check out section 10 of our B2B Brand Strategy Guide.

Automate Attentively

MarTech is incredibly important for B2B brands looking to scale effectively and keep clean data all in one place, but it’s not a magic solution to all of Marketing’s problems if it’s not done right. The theory is that MarTech spend will make measurement more precise and make marketing more effective, but that’s often not the case.

It’s tempting to believe that a deluge of data and automation will lead to better customer experiences, for example, but studies have shown no marked increase in customer satisfaction scores despite higher spend.

Why? Perhaps because MarTech spend is taking away from spend on content creation and paid media. Think about it—you’re not just buying a new tech tool. Any MarTech that you buy needs the staff to use it if it’s going to be effective and constant vigilance to keep it clean.

On top of that, certain content-oriented MarTech can dilute brand consistency over time, simplifying the brand identity into micro-messages that may increase click rate, but not new customers. Especially if your brand isn’t coming through consistently in your content.

That’s why it’s important to automate attentively—MarTech can drive business forward but it needs to be done right. Here are a few ways to stay on top of your tech stack:

  • Carefully audit your tech stack on a regular basis
  • When assessing a new tech, answer:
    • Why will it be helpful to your employees, customers, and prospects?
    • Who’s going to be operating the new tool?
  • Don’t take on any new tech without sunsetting another
  • Keep MarTech costs lower than 10% of the total marketing budget

Test to Triumph

All the steps before this one have led your business to a firm foundation and identity. Now it’s time to build a culture of experimentation in support of your brand. Testing is a great opportunity to try something new and drive innovation, and you can really test everything, but our recommendation with any aspect of the business is to do less, better.

Here are a few bits on the “definitely test” list:

  • Add one new media channel at a time and measure the results
  • Try different event experiences for both customers and prospects. Digital fatigue is real and you can capture attention by trying something new.
  • Establish Innovation Days (or in ParkMobile’s case, Innovation Weeks) dedicated to encouraging employees to come up with ideas for new things to try both within and outside of their functions