The Bottom Line on ROI-Driven B2B Communications and The Importance of Share of Voice

By Christina Russell, Business Architect, Karbo Communications

As fiscal scrutiny intensifies in response to challenging economic climates, the onus is on marketing and PR functions to not only justify their budgets but also to demonstrate their direct contribution to the bottom line. With the power to deliver brand equity and improved market positioning, public relations and communications are poised to meaningfully support financial performance. The B2B tech industry is marked by intricate decision-making processes, extended sales cycles, and relentless innovation. In such an environment, B2B tech communications transcend mere media outreach, evolving into pivotal tools for shaping market perceptions, establishing thought leadership, and forging deep connections with key stakeholders. This blog explores the critical linkage between share of voice (SOV), ROI, and tangible business outcomes that drive sustained success in the B2B tech market.

 

Share of Voice: A Metric of Market Presence

There is a study called the “Share of Voice Rule”, which says: “Brands that set their Share of Voice (SOV) above their share of market (SOM) tend to grow (all other factors being equal), and those that set SOV below SOM tend to shrink. In fact, specifically, in B2B, 10% ESOV lifts market share by 0.7% points per year. Over time, as you win SOV, you will win SOM. (Binet & Field). 

Share of Voice (SOV) stands as a critical indicator of a brand’s market visibility and competitive stance. It serves not only as a measure of brand awareness performance, but also as a strategic guide for future actions. In the realm of B2B technology, where competition is fierce, SOV emerges as a crucial predictor of brand health and potential market share growth – underscored by research from industry luminaries like Les Binet, Peter Field, and John Philip Jones—highlights the strategic importance of maintaining an excess share of voice. 

 

The Value of Third-Party Expertise

Engaging third-party experts in B2B tech communications provides companies with a strategic advantage in linking share of voice (SOV) to ROI through a range of tactical approaches. These experts specialize in B2B tech communications and content creation among various technology industries, bringing a wealth of experience, industry insights, and proven methodologies to elevate a company’s SOV effectively.

One key tactic is the use of comprehensive data analysis to track SOV performance. These experts employ advanced analytics tools such as Muck Rack, SEMrush and learned reporting techniques to monitor and measure the impact of communication efforts on SOV metrics and website traffic. This data-driven approach allows for real-time assessment of campaign effectiveness, identification of areas for improvement, and optimization of strategies to maximize SOV gains.

Third-party experts leverage industry benchmarks and best practices to guide SOV initiatives. By benchmarking against competitors and industry standards companies will gain valuable insights into market trends, competitive positioning, and areas of opportunity. This informed approach ensures that SOV efforts are aligned with industry norms and optimized for maximum impact allowing for companies to do more with less enabling more strategic planning. 

It’s crucial to continuously optimize communication strategies based on insights gained from data analysis and benchmarking. This iterative process involves refining messaging, targeting, and channels to enhance SOV performance and drive tangible ROI. By staying agile and adaptable, third-party experts ensure that SOV initiatives remain effective in dynamic market environments.

 

Long-Term Value and Cohesive Messaging 

The Forrester’s 2023 B2B Brand and Communications Survey underscores a notable concern among marketing leaders, with 44% expressing that their messaging does not effectively address the diverse needs of their audiences. To tackle this challenge and create long-term value, marketing leaders must adopt a strategic, message-focused approach. This approach includes: 

  • Gaining deep insights into your company’s vertical markets, including industry trends, competition, customer pain points, and evolving demands. Prioritize segments based on growth potential, customer needs, and strategic fit to tailor marketing strategies for higher engagement, SOV gain, and conversion rates.
  • Utilizing share of voice (SOV) strategically by allocating resources to key channels where your target audience is active. Design targeted communication campaigns delivering relevant content to capture attention and drive meaningful interactions, maximizing SOV impact for enhanced brand awareness and perception.
  • Elevating brand visibility beyond recognition by establishing credibility and thought leadership. Create valuable content, secure bylines, speak at industry events, and collaborate with influencers to deepen connections with stakeholders, foster brand loyalty, and advocacy over time.
  • Standing out in today’s competitive landscape by actively participating in industry conversations through various platforms. Engage in relevant discussions, share valuable perspectives, and highlight your unique value proposition to position your tech company as innovative and forward-thinking, attracting potential customers and partners.
  • Maintaining consistency in unified messaging across all touchpoints to build a strong and recognizable brand identity. Collaborate with departments like sales, product development, and customer service to align messaging. Engage with third-party experts to reinforce brand values, communicate a coherent brand story, and enhance brand recall and trust.
  • Prioritizing transparency in communication and operations, delivering clear and honest information to stakeholders. Foster trust by fulfilling promises, maintaining consistency, and demonstrating integrity. Cultivate loyalty through customer rewards, acknowledging contributions, and consistently delivering value that exceeds expectations.

 

Communicating SOV Value to the C-Suite

In the realm of B2B tech communications, effectively communicating the strategic value of share of voice (SOV) data to tangible business outcomes is paramount. Marketing leaders are faced with doing more with less so their role in articulating this linkage to the C-suite is pivotal for securing buy-in and driving impactful decisions. Here are tactical insights and research-backed strategies to help bridge the gap between SOV data and business success.

Linking share of voice (SOV) metrics to ROI and key business metrics involves showcasing concrete examples and industry benchmarks that illustrate how changes in SOV metrics directly impact ROI and other critical business metrics. For instance, when you launched a product did website traffic spike? Did that TechCrunch article result in sales leads? Is the Fortune byline linking back to your website? By highlighting these correlations, executives can discern the tangible impact of SOV data on bottom-line results, making it easier to grasp the strategic significance of tracking SOV metrics.

Another vital aspect is presenting data in visual dashboards and reports. Visualizing SOV data through interactive dashboards provided by tools like Muck Rack and comprehensive reports helps showcase trends, competitive positioning, and potential opportunities. Utilizing charts, graphs, and comparative analyses makes complex SOV data more accessible for the C-suite, enabling them to make informed decisions based on a clear and concise representation of the data.

Drawing on relevant research findings, organizations can effectively communicate the strategic value of SOV data. This alignment of communication efforts with business objectives facilitates informed decision-making and drives sustainable business growth within the competitive B2B tech landscape.

 

Linking SOV to Business Outcomes 

In conclusion, the strategic importance of share of voice (SOV) in B2B tech communications cannot be overstated. As marketing and PR functions navigate the complexities of challenging economic climates and heightened fiscal scrutiny, the ability to demonstrate a direct link between SOV metrics and tangible business outcomes becomes paramount.

Research studies, such as the “Share of Voice Rule” by industry experts like Binet and Field, underscore the correlation between maintaining an excess share of voice and achieving market growth. Engaging third-party experts in B2B tech communications offers a strategic advantage by employing tactical approaches like comprehensive data analysis, benchmarking against industry standards, and continuous optimization of communication strategies. This not only maximizes SOV gains but also drives tangible ROI and long-term value for businesses. Adopting a strategic message-focused approach is crucial for building long-term value. Marketing leaders must prioritize showcasing thought leadership, nurturing stakeholder relationships, and fostering unified messaging to set their companies apart in a competitive market.

Effectively communicating the strategic value of SOV data to the C-suite involves linking SOV metrics to ROI and key business metrics, and presenting data in visual dashboards and reports. By following these research-backed strategies, organizations can bridge the gap between SOV data and business success, driving sustainable growth in the dynamic B2B tech landscape.

 

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