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Appealing to the Experts

Katie Robertson – Public Relations Account Executive

One of the challenges of working in B2B marketing is generating content for informed audiences. Unlike B2C, where the messaging is about everyday products and geared toward average people, B2B focuses on building brand awareness and generating leads for products developed for a specific field from individuals who work in that field. The level of technical knowledge within the target population is high, meaning marketing and PR collateral needs to meet, if not exceed, that level to establish credibility and influence behavior.

This can be achieved in one of two ways. The first is the agency team members on an account going through the years-long process of obtaining all the degrees, certifications and job experience held by the professionals they are trying to reach. The second (and more realistic) option is establishing these three key factors to ensure they have the pieces they need:

A Basis of Knowledge

Any new client that comes in requires the agency to apply existing internal product, category or industry knowledge and perform extensive research into the organization’s reputation or standing in the industry, as well as the products or services it offers. Understanding of the market will grow over time, but agencies should review competitors’ sites, trade publications, online articles and any other available resources to start out with a solid foundation of general industry knowledge.

Once this is established, the agency team can do a deeper dive specific to the client. There will inevitably be product attributes, jargon, acronyms and information related to the client’s offerings that may be common knowledge to the audience but unfamiliar to marketers coming into the industry. Learning the “language” of the product ensures that it can be presented properly to people in the field without mistakes or over-explaining basic concepts.


Just as clients rely on agencies for strategic direction and creative solutions, agencies rely on clients for product features and benefits along with any technical input. This starts with building that initial basis of knowledge and continues throughout the entire agency-client relationship. Finding success within this dynamic is dependent on transparency.

For the client, being transparent consists of sharing as much as possible with the agency. Having the full breadth of information is the only way to ensure the most thorough, full-service marketing plan and well-informed tactics.

For the agency, being transparent means being honest with itself and the client. There will likely be information needed for writing copy or designing creative that the agency may not be able to learn on its own. This is especially true early in the relationship and as new products or services roll out. The agency and the client need to understand that grasping complicated concepts to create high-level content requires a realistic timeline and two-way cooperation where both parties are free to ask questions and obtain important background and product information.

Relationships with Experts

Having the right questions is important, but agencies also must know the right people to ask. Many firms will only interact with the primary marketing contact on their clients’ teams, which may leave a wealth of useful expertise untouched. The client’s organization is brimming with experts who can provide their knowledge as a resource for various stages of the marketing program. Developing relationships with all stakeholders helps the agency draw from the experience available across many internal resources and to pull from and streamline the process of gathering input.

In addition to contacts within the clients’ companies, agencies should form lasting relationships with experts from the field. Editors from trade publications are knowledgeable contacts, and relationships with them can provide the added benefit of more PR placements. If the client is willing to put the agency in contact with customers or other experts it has worked with, they can offer valuable information and credible content such as testimonials and articles from a third-party source. Influencers can also offer independent feedback on a product or category that will help round-out the information and data needed to clearly convey messages designed to inform and motivate audience members.


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