How Agencies Can Fuel B2B Growth: Driving Branded Demand

Partner Content


B2B marketers are being battered by a perfect storm of challenges, but for agencies, this offers a unique opportunity.

And all the solution costs is a little trust.

Marketers need help. Buyers are autonomous now, and teams have less budget and resources to reach and influence them, creating pipeline problems. Sales are getting stifled and can’t dial their way to a deal because buyers don’t want to hear from them. The fun really has gone out of the funnel. Teams are not only misaligned with the modern buyer’s journey they’re misaligned with each other – just 16% of B2B teams are aligned – which makes providing a seamless, personalised experience near impossible.

So, agencies, more than ever before, have a lot to offer: A recent Pipeline360, in collaboration with Demand Metric, survey – ‘The State of B2B Pipeline Growth’ – revealed that 33% of B2B marketers are increasingly reliant on agency support.

To capitalise, agencies also need to up their game and employ a full-funnel “branded demand” approach. By digging into cross-channel data, agencies can unearth the best insights, target the right buying groups, in the right accounts, at the right time, and move the dial for their clients.

And here’s where trust comes in. To become the most valuable asset to B2B clients, agencies can’t do it alone. Today’s B2B buyers have gone ‘dark’. They prefer to research digitally, they use up to 10 different channels, buying committees are increasing in number too, so there are more people to engage and serve across more places and spaces they prefer to use. The number of buying interactions needed to complete a single buyer’s journey has increased from 17 to 27.

So, agencies need to widen their support network to partner with reputable providers who can reach, engage and glean insights about their target audiences with which to better serve them.  Partnering with the right providers means agencies can add way more value to their clients to win, retain and grow more business.

Bringing The Human Touch Back to The Buyer’s Journey

Brands trust agencies to find solutions and help them execute plans to reach targets. Agencies, in turn, trust media owners, tech solutions and demand gen providers to reach and engage audiences, and deliver validated, compliant, and marketing-ready stakeholder leads across target buying committees. All in service of their clients.

Fundamentally, demand marketing is about connecting people with solutions to their problems or goals. To reach potential customers, agencies and the clients they work with, need to understand them on a human level. A survey done by CEB found that individual stakeholders who perceived supplier content to be tailored to their specific needs were 40% more willing to buy from that supplier than stakeholders who didn’t.

More easily done in person, not so easy in a digital setting.

So, how is trust built with someone you’ve never met?

One key element (there are many) is to be present in the places and spaces individual’s trust and go to conduct their research. Online publishers, communities and forums, for example.

With the right demand gen providers, agencies can reach more stakeholders across more buying committees in good fit accounts, to add value to their buying journeys and build trust.

The Convergence Of Brand And Demand

Demand generation requires more than creating and distributing valuable content in trusted places, and when combined with brand awareness efforts, magic can start to happen.

On average, with less than 5% of an addressable market in a relevant buying journey at any point in time, it is vital to both serve existing demand and create new demand, to remain present in the minds of buyers until they are ready to buy. A strategy that simply focuses on trying to find and convert the <5% of in market buyers is folly. It’s too inefficient and costly. Moreover, according to a LinkedIn study, members exposed to both brand and acquisition messages were 3 times more likely to convert.

Demand gen partners who can activate campaigns and measure engagements across both brand and demand channels together, can provide stronger insights into the accounts moving into market and the stakeholders most involved. When you combine cross-channel stakeholder engagements across buying committees you get stronger buying indicators still.

Joining the dots across channels and buying groups can be difficult and time-consuming, but well worth it.

According to Forrester Buyers' Journey Survey, 2022, 60% of purchase influencers participated in consensus or committee buying scenarios. 94% of B2B marketers sell to groups of 3 or more individuals and 38% sell to groups of 10 or more; and buying groups are getting larger.

From an agency perspective, choosing the right demand gen partners to reach these expanded buying groups in more channels can mean the difference between success and failure, happy or unhappy clients. So, choose carefully, and partner with those who can work cross-channel with combined insights that move the needle.

In our B2B world where buyers want omnichannel experiences over 10 or more channels, being present in the right places and spaces they go to research is now a pre-requisite to delivering predictable pipeline to clients, but it’s important for agencies not to become overwhelmed with siloed activities from too many demand providers in the process.

Quality over quantity

Not all demand gen vendors are created equal. Against a minefield of international data privacy and compliance regulations, agencies need to make sure that they are working with the most trusted and reputable partners who can prove they operate compliantly across all geographic markets they serve. It matters to their clients.

Data privacy rules have become increasingly stricter since the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect in 2018 and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) became enforceable in 2020. Currently, 150 of 194 countries have enacted data protection and privacy laws, 35 out of 50 states in the U.S. have considered data privacy regulation, and 13 states have passed new data privacy legislation. As a result, according to management consultancy, the Winterberry Group, the number one concern of B2B marketers deploying omni-channel marketing is data and privacy.

In the 2024 Report - The State of B2B Pipeline Growth, 93% of the 500 B2B marketers surveyed, stated that ensuring data compliance and accuracy is a priority for them.

Fines for non-compliant practices resulting in data privacy breaches can lead to hefty fines of up to 4% of a company’s annual revenues.

Quality ultimately means delivering authentic reach and scale into the right audiences and generating great fit, genuine, opted-in stakeholders across the buying committees of target accounts for onward nurture; all in a data compliant way. Find those demand gen partners that can do this across multiple digital channels, and you will put your agency at a distinct advantage.

Measure What Matters To Streamline The Process

B2B marketers know the value of measuring success because they’re constantly having to defend their spend and are being told to do more, with less. Agencies expect the same scrutiny from their clients and also want to be able to prove their value in quantifiable terms.

Measuring an integrated approach is essential, as it shows how brand awareness and demand complement each other, leading to more attributable sales opportunities.

Having clarity on what is working best and what needs improvement, can also help the agency to optimise campaigns and upsell more services, For example, stronger business cases for additional content or extra budget for certain activities.

By working strategically with the right demand partners, agencies can get much closer to delivering the right content, on the right channels, at the right time, to build trust and credibility with potential buyers, shorten sales cycles and boost conversion rates.

To become the best strategic partner for your clients, agencies must team up with the right demand partners. It’s the gateway to better insights, better results, happier clients and more business.

To find out more about how Pipeline360 can help you become indispensable to your clients, get in touch today.