Marketers view marketing through a unique lens - so marketing to them can be tricky. As a company that connects brands with marketing agencies, AgencySparks has two main target audiences: One being the senior-level corporate marketer looking for marketing agency support; the other being the agency-side marketer looking for potential clients. Consequently, the AgencySparks team spends a great deal of time thinking about how to market to marketers.
Marketers alter their marketing approach depending on their target audience. Targeting marketers brings unique challenges that requires refined strategies and tactics.
Marketing to Marketers: Personalization
One benefit of having marketers as part of a target audience is their openness to personalized advertisements. Because marketers understand the moving parts that make up a marketing ecosystem, they are less likely to be put off by, for example, a retargeted ad following them around the internet.
This receptiveness comes at a cost. Because marketers understand what’s “under the hood”, they know that the email they received that used their first name in the opening line is simply a merge tag - not a company’s effort to build a real relationship with them. This means making something truly personalized, in the eyes of a marketer, requires more effort and greater attention to detail.
Marketing to Marketers: Messaging
Marketers can easily recognize persuasive techniques like scarcity, reciprocity, social proof, liking, etc. used in advertisements. That’s not to say that these techniques will not work, but rather that marketers view marketing campaigns with a higher level of scrutiny than the average consumer.
When crafting a marketing strategy targeting marketers, emphasize elements of:
- Empathy - Marketers are constantly tasked with putting themselves in their target audience’s shoes… so they would appreciate having the same done for them.
- Authenticity - Marketers know how easy it is to spin a fact or feature in a brand’s favor, so authenticity and self-awareness goes a long way in building trust.
- Substantiated Claims - Because marketers understand that one person’s results do not guarantee everyone else’s, things like social proof, customer reviews, details, competitor comparisons, and real facts go a long way.
- Brevity - Because marketers are so familiar with the various tactics used to engage with an audience, advertisements aimed at marketers have a smaller window of opportunity to engage them. Start with the “why,” get to the point, and do it as quickly as possible.
Marketing to Marketers: Creative
There are no magic formulas for what makes a successful marketing campaign. Every marketer wants to have the ad that goes viral. They subscribe to sites like AdAge and Digiday to see what other brands are doing in their creative, hoping that it will spark an idea for their next campaign. As a result, marketers have a greater appreciation for quality creative than the average consumer - they cheer on brands who execute innovative creative ideas.
The flipside? Marketers hold creative to a higher standard. They can pick out a seemingly unimportant detail of a creative execution and then pinpoint how the detail could have been improved.
Developing creative that is targeted at marketers requires striking the balance between simplicity and substance, and between subtlety and clarity.
Marketing to Marketers: Building Loyalty
Every marketer has a brand that have earned their loyalty, however, it cannot be bought. Marketers know that for every brand that authentically engages in corporate social responsibility, there are two brands using cause-related marketing to exploit an issue or make a quick buck.
Because marketers know how much of marketing revolves around providing value at every stage of the customer journey, they also know how to sniff out gimmicks. When trying to build loyalty amongst marketers, know that a campaign with robust discount/reward system or a partnership with a useful external resource will almost always outperform the flashy campaign that lacks substance. If brands want to create loyalty within this segment, the marketing strategy needs to focus on building trust through transparency, engagement, and useful content.
At the end of the day, marketing to marketers can be a double-edged sword: On one hand, marketers understand the challenges that other marketers face - they appreciate creativity and value brands that embrace innovative marketing tactics. On the other hand, marketers view the marketing mix through a critical lens and will dismiss a half-baked marketing strategy without a second thought.