NDA Viewpoints: Black Friday 2019 – how can B2B marketers get a slice of the action?

By Olivia Rainford, B2B Manager, Encore Digital Media

Last year, The BBC reported that Black Friday and Cyber Monday had stolen Christmas sales after consumers snapped up more offers than ever; 2019 is set to see the same thing happen again as our thrifty society looks to bag huge bargains.  

If B2B advertisers want a slice of the action over this traditionally B2C-dominated event, they’ll need to think smart, especially at a time when inventory costs increase, as does demand for inventory.

Here are five key tactics to consider to achieve cut through this Black Friday.  

Contextual strategies 

B2B brands need to understand the content within which their customers are purchasing products. In short, ads need to be aligned to relevant content instead of drawing on tactics such as purchasing an expensive homepage takeover.

For example, it’s often easier to catch an IT Decision Maker on a niche section of a news site which is aligned to technology rather than on a generic homepage. Relevant ads at the right time in the right place will create more engaged and receptive customers. 

Taking this a step further, B2B companies may want to start thinking about reaching out to potential customers as early as summer to generate a buzz in the run up to the festive season, ensuring an early and constant presence.  

Mobile first 

We’re a mobile first nation and purchases made on mobile are on the rise. Given the price point of B2B products, it’s unlikely consumers will be purchasing these via mobile but, that doesn’t mean mobile should be made obsolete in the B2B sector.

The platform could be great from an awareness point of view with the option of potentially creating clever in-app advertising for an area that is traditionally desktop-first. With mobile, B2B marketers may be able to break through the clutter of the consumer landscape.

There may also be scope to push B2B discounts through social channels alongside contextual engagement.  Nevertheless, a forward-thinking approach is crucial to making a mobile strategy work efficiently for B2B, and timing is everything.

Accuracy and planning is key in generating sales and going after ‘left over’ budgets in a company’s fiscal year.  

Product 

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the best two days of the year to get hefty tech offers. 

It seems only obvious that the tech giants such as Lenovo, HP, Microsoft, Fujitsu and Canon should be targeting hard to reach IT Decision Makers (and all those other decision makers holding the purse strings) on these days but, it’s surprising how many in the B2B tech space haven’t caught on to this yet! 

However, it shouldn’t be just on these two days that large corporations look to peak a potential client’s interest. B2B products and offering lie within other industry verticals as well, not just tech, so for the likes of commercial property, luxury brands, utilities and travel, the run up to this retail ‘holiday’ should be used to its full potential. 

User Experience 

B2B companies need to look at optimising company landing pages, especially those promoting the discounted products. The user journey, load times and ease of purchase, for example, can make or break consumer purchase decisions.

Black Friday is notorious for website crashes and webpage lag which can lead to disappointed, frustrated and non-paying customers. Brands need to be prepared in order to avoid these technical issues.  

Opportunities

It’s recommended that B2B advertisers cast their nets far and wide, offering discounts around more global holidays than just Black Friday to lend themselves a greater competitive advantage.

For example, Singles Day in China is a huge opportunity, why not capitalise on it in the UK and Europe?  In short, B2B advertisers shouldn’t feel like there isn’t space for them over (traditionally perceived) major consumer holidays and events, they should be seen as times to leverage offers like those in the B2C space do.

Contextually relevant strategies will enable them to go after specific customers as opposed to a diluted mass market.

B2B advertisers should be encouraged to go against the grain and generate incremental business at times were customers are inclined to dig a little deeper into their pockets.

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