May 19, 2021

How to Sell B2B Brand Awareness to the C-Suite

by Melissa Caffrey

C-Suite conversations about the marketing function tend to focus on how CMOs and their teams are generating high-quality demand. It’s a seemingly simple equation: more demand equals more deals equals more revenue. However, one of the key components of getting to more demand (read: high-quality leads that turn into high-quality contracts) is through carefully targeted brand awareness.

Selling B2B brand awareness to the C-Suite and the board is one of the top challenges for many CMOs—below you can find three tips from three B2B CMOs on how to get the C-Suite to buy into marketing’s B2B branding efforts. And if your C-Suite is bought into the immense value of building brand awareness, don’t hesitate to reach out to Renegade to help build an actionable B2B brand strategy that drives results.

Make it Personal

CMO Grant Johnson of Emburse has a very succinct, direct message for the C-Suite and the board: “Your favorite brands didn’t become your favorite by accident. They became that way through awareness and experience.”

Yes, even though B2B is business-to-business, the buyers are still human, and buying is an emotional journey. The more your target knows you, the more they’ll trust you, making them far more open to engaging with both your brand and product set. That top-of-mind recognition gets your business on the shortlist—a crucial part of demand generation efforts.

Make it About Employees

Make it clear to the C-Suite that B2B branding is a powerful tool to align teams across the organization. After all, employees are the face of the brand and if they aren’t aligned on the goals and values of the organization, that’s going to be painfully obvious to potential customers.

As CMO Chi-Chi Liang of Alloy explains: “Every single touchpoint that your company and your employees have externally is part of your brand. Make sure it’s not viewed as just a marketing-specific thing, but that there’s some ownership across the entire company.”

Make it Measurable

The common axiom “Don’t do it if you can’t measure it” reigns supreme in the C-Suite—but brand awareness is not quite as easy to measure due to the complicated B2B buying process. B2B awareness investments tend to pay off over a longer period of time, but CMO William Tyree of ringDNA offers a list of tangible metrics to indicate the success of B2B awareness plays: Share of Voice, Analyst report inclusion, direct traffic to website, etc.