The Power of Decentralization

Email, it's been around for an age hasn't it? Yet it is still a valuable and performing tool in any B2B marketer's arsenal and therefore continues to gather investment.

"The Sagefrog Marketing Group surveyed B2B marketing and management professionals from a cross-section of industries in the summer of 2013 and found that 45% of respondents expected to see an increase in email budgets in the next year."

eMarketer "Nearly Half of B2Bs Expect a Marketing Budget Bump in 2014" (2013)

As with any established but still growing industry, there are innovations as well as more established tactics. In B2B, the power of decentralization is known quantity, so let’s explore it here.

B2B organizations might have multiple offices, many business units, and typically a range of product lines. Allowing specific marketers to communicate on these different propositions can add a lot of value to the end client. Relevance is a very powerful objective. The time saved by no longer needing a whole team executing campaigns on behalf of these disparate parts of your organization can be significant.

There are legitimate worries to this approach that include brand consistency, multiple versions of the same contact, and quality control. Therefore, ensuring that your email service provider has a technology platform and a selection of services that can support this approach is crucial.

Decentralization allows marketers to focus on key strategic challenges such as generating relevant content, analyzing audience personas, integrating data, and building the brand. From the marketers we know, those are preferable tasks to building multiple email campaigns for different parts of your organization.

So, what can you achieve right now? One of the key determinants of your email success is the quality of the content and the tone. As we have identified, B2B organizations have many different audiences, and the most complete understanding of these audiences is likely to reside in the relevant parts of your organization. Arming them with tools to either personalize or completely control the distribution of content and event invitations can open up that knowledge to optimize a campaign’s relevancy and targeting. This can be achieved by moving away from the ubiquitous “About Us” message. Instead, move into engaging and educational content that tackles issues your audience is facing or doesn’t even know about yet! Your specific departments are the key to this insight and will help you shift the balance away from the corporate message.

There is, quite rightly, a lot of hype around advanced techniques such as automation. This relies on great data, a solid understanding of a customer’s purchasing journey, and plenty of valuable content aligned to that journey, amongst other things. This can be a profitable approach, but for some traditional firms that opportunity is some way off.

Aside from full automation, another hot topic is mobile. Although a broad subject, mobile’s intersection with email is relevant for all businesses. Email gets read on mobile devices. There are plenty of stats on the subject, but simply take a look around the office. There are emails being scrolled through on the BlackBerry® right now. The technology to deliver a great experience on any device is available to everyone, but how do you decide what approach to take? By using reporting, you can see how your recipients are reading your emails – in an organization such as yours. This is likely to be different by business unit or region. So, ensure that your campaigns are aligned to what that data is telling you.

Decentralization is a tactic that has worked well in many firms, regardless of their industry. It is a great way to utilize the insight within your organization and not just your data. Hopefully the benefits of this approach make decentralization an option worth exploring for your business. After all, anything that ensures a better experience for the recipient is worth looking at.


Concep is a provider of empowerment marketing technology and services to corporate and professional firms globally. We mobilize high-value service organizations to deliver highly personalized and relevant business content regularly to key clients and contacts throughout the long relationship sales cycle. Our CSuite platform consists of intuitive digital tools and mobile apps that empower relationship owners and teams to easily execute and monitor one-to-one client marketing and business development activities. Click here for more information.

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