Spray and pray marketing tactics have been used for about as long as marketing and advertising have been viable industries. The idea of spray and pray marketing is to send advertisements, or other forms of marketing communications, out to as many people as possible (spray), and hope that it motivates some of them to buy their product or show interest in their service (pray) – without setting up metrics, such as conversion tracking, to measure campaign success and ROI.
With the increasing amount of online noise from ads, messages get diluted and go unnoticed. According to a HubSpot survey from 2016, 45% of respondents said they don’t notice online ads anymore, even if they don’t block them and 91% agree that online ads are more intrusive now than they were two to three years ago.
Though B2B marketers may not advertise as broadly as B2C-oriented companies, there are still many parallels in the lessons that can be learned from spray and pray marketing tactics.
Below are several tips to consider to avoid broad-based and unmeasurable tactics and transition towards a targeted, clear and data-driven marketing strategy:
Be Aware of Communication Clutter
While advertisements from B2B organizations are not generally seen on billboards or television, B2B marketing ads are still viewed in other mediums. Blog posts, emails, online ads and videos are all outlets that B2B marketers use to promote their business.
However, at a certain point, over-communicating can become excessive and unnecessary. The goal is to have your brand top of mind with your audience and keep them interested in your content, but not so much that they feel they are being spammed.
Communication clutter also shows up in the form of having a presence on unnecessary platforms. Messages should be direct and exclusive, and advertising avenues should be targeted and relevant to your audience.
Be More Direct and Valuable
From the time we wake up and go about our morning routines, our lives are saturated with various forms of marketing communications. That’s why it is important to tailor your content and messaging in a way that will instantly resonate with your audience and not come off as being too “salesy”.
We often dismiss those marketing campaigns that we feel are not directed at us or possibly even mislead us by promising high-value content but then underdeliver on that promise. Similarly, people are less likely to engage with an advertisement that they find bothersome and irrelevant. When asked why they installed an ad blocker, 64% of HubSpot survey respondents said it was because “ads are annoying and intrusive.”
More broadly, any marketing claims or messages that sound impersonal or generic are likely to motivate your audience to prevent further interaction with your company.
Marketing Channels Should Be Targeted and Focused
The opportunities to directly reach your target audience significantly increase when you use the right marketing channels for your business. Gone are the days where marketers had to guess what ads led to conversions or which ones did not prove the ROI of their efforts.
With advanced conversion tracking features offered in various online advertising platforms and the ability to track and monitor leads as they travel through your sales cycle in CRMs and marketing automation tools, you can adjust your efforts based on the most effective marketing channels.
There are various online advertising solutions that offer conversions tracking features including, but not limited to:
- Google AdWords and Bing Ads (Online Ads)
- Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn (Social Media Ads)
- Perfect Audience and AdRoll (Retargeting)
Keep in mind that not every platform is ideal for reaching your audience. Consider online advertising platforms such as, Google AdWords or LinkedIn Ads, as both options are ideal for B2B marketers.
Explore options and monitor performance to compare results to make informed decisions for future efforts. Don’t be afraid to experiment with other channels as long as you are able to measure your results and determine your ROI.
Spray and pray marketing techniques are no longer helpful for many businesses, especially B2B, as most people prefer personalization and more direct information. Shift your efforts to not only be something that the viewer will see, through your content efforts, but also something that resonates with them in a more personal way to make them want to engage with it. B2B marketers must stop relying on spray and pray marketing tactics and transition to highly-targeted, focused campaigns.