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OPEN PATH BLOG
Actionable Intelligence & Competitive B2B Go-To-Market Strategies
Nancy Kirchoff | February 24, 2023
The second step in digital due diligence is to examine how your potential competitors have structured their B2B go-to-market strategy.
B2B Competitive Analysis
Where are your future competitors focusing their digital marketing efforts? Identifying gaps for possible exploitation and strategically allocating your budget will significantly impact value creation. Trend data identified in the competitive positioning matrix in step #1 can help you understand existing market trends and act accordingly.
|Step 1||Step 2||Step 3||Step 4||Step 5|
|Complete a Competitive Positioning Matrix||Analyze Go-to-Market Strategy||Identify Valuable Existing Digital Assets||Audit the Lead-to-Cash Process||Create a Strategic Plan and Budget|
What is Actionable Intelligence?
Actionable intelligence is information that can be followed up on, implying that a strategic plan should be developed to effectively use the information collected. By having actionable intelligence, you have access to data and analysis of the data with sufficient context to make informed decisions quickly.
How to Use Actionable Intelligence in Your Go-to-Market Strategy
As your acquisition pursues new geographical markets, understanding your competitors' go-to-market strategy can be a powerful tool to avoid significant barriers to value creation. Breaking out of a regional sales mindset is the secret to uncovering substantial national and international opportunities.
The pre-acquisition lead-to-cash process for a business with a robust regional presence may be focused on lead generation through referrals. Relying too heavily on referrals will make it difficult to broaden sales opportunities beyond an existing regional referral base. Initially, competing brand-to-brand with top-performing multi-million dollar competitors may seem out of reach. However, when you have acquired competitive intelligence on what the major market players are doing in your vertical, you can adapt your strategy accordingly.
Related Reading – A Complete Guide to B2B SaaS Marketing
Crafting a B2B Digital Marketing Plan
Analyzing how effectively your acquisition’s competitors use their digital presence identifies strengths and weaknesses that enable you to grow your market share. A digital due diligence investment in actionable intelligence further helps you leverage lead-to-cash opportunities and gain a competitive edge by developing your own unique marketing niche.
One of the most daunting tasks is driving B2B new business development when you have several competitors with large advertising budgets that have, over many years, built a strong brand awareness.
B2B Digital Brand Marketing Strategy
Non-Branded Organic Search Strategies
Honing in on popular industry search queries can be extremely effective for B2B new business development. Website visitors typically use non-branded keywords when they are doing initial research to solve a problem.
Their first step is to identify how to define the problem using terms they are familiar with. Once the problem is properly defined, they can find numerous companies with solutions to that problem. A viable new logo lead generation strategy is a website that targets non-branded keywords in this problem identification and solution phase. This will significantly reduce competition from a competitor with a strong brand that does not tie itself to the problem or solution.
Branded Search Strategies
Focusing on promoting your brand name online attracts people who already know the brand. A branded keyword can be defined as the name of the company or the name of unique product offerings that website visitors will search for.
Here, the strategy is to be so well-known in your industry that people come to your brand to see how your business would solve a problem. Brand strength grows slowly over time and works well for companies that have invested many years in building their brand and reputation.
Related Reading – Why Paid Ads Alone Won't Establish Your Company's Online Presence
For example, suppose your competitors have a brand-based marketing strategy. In that case, there is a strong possibility that your acquisition target, with an almost non-existent brand, can be competitive by building organic traffic using problem-descriptive and solution-oriented terms and keywords. For newer spin-ups, it is recommended that a small paid ad budget be used to target your competitor's strong brand name and use their brand strength in your favor.
Gaining competitive intelligence on how competitors utilize their digital presence and keywords in their B2B go-to-market strategy is the key to designing lead-to-cash strategies with the highest ROI.
B2B Competitive Intelligence & the Lead-to-Cash Process
Knowing how a competitor generates leads, educates them, and qualifies them is critical so the sales team can give insight into where to invest money during the spin-up phase.
How is Your Competition Driving Online Traffic?
- Organic (free) search, if done strategically, is a valuable lead generation strategy. If a competitor relies on lead generation through SEO-optimized content, this strategy can be easily analyzed during digital due diligence.
- Driving traffic through pay-per-click (PPC) searches and advertising can be expensive but viable for a spin-up with little visibility in the market. As mentioned earlier, utilizing paid search to attract website visitors looking for a competitor’s brand is effective. Using paid search to surgically target non-branded keywords while waiting for organic (free) search traffic to build is also viable. An amazingly small advertising spend can make a significant impact if done strategically.
- Webinars, podcasts, and relevant content all offer platforms for attracting traffic and adding value by educating and qualifying leads. Whether a competitor employs a strong brand or a non-branded keyword strategy, having an education-focused digital platform empowers a business’s ability to connect with prospects. It is important to understand how well competitors are doing this.
As part of Open Path’s pre-acquisition digital due diligence, our analysis of your target’s digital maturity, brand awareness, competitive positioning, the opportunity for growth, and spin-up costs will support your offer strategy.
Getting Help with Your B2B Go-to-Market Strategy
Schedule a 30-minute call to see if a Digital Positioning Plan is a good fit for you.
Ready to analyze your potential acquisition’s positioning relative to their competition? Open Path is here to provide you with actionable intelligence for your next investment.
We respect your time! Working with Private Equity and M&A teams has taught us to maximize efficiency during stressful negotiations. We also provide the full-service implementation of lead-to-cash software platforms, website re-messaging, and long-term value creation. Through practical experience, we strive to convert your vision into reality.