Why We've Increased Our B2B Tech Marketing Agency Pricing During the Pandemic
(Try to) believe me when I say that agency owners do not take a kick out of raising prices.
This is the outcome of what typically kicks off as a grubby and in depth business analysis involving number crunching of agency costs, time invested on clients (or internal meetings) and revenue.
The harsh realization that your numbers don’t look great anymore leads you to ask many questions and poke some sleeping bears. The process is messy, forces you to have uncomfortable conversations with yourself, your team and ultimately, your customers.
B2B marketing in 2021 is a far cry from where it used to be just 18 months ago, with budgets increasingly focused on online activity in the battle to win eyeballs (awareness) and aim for the magic click (qualified leads).
It’s no surprise that the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) report on COVID-19’s impact on US B2B exhibition says that among the organizers who were forced to cancel 2020 events, 81% have shifted to digital.
The mix of channels and tools that have emerged in recent months is a B2B marketer's idea of heaven. The spotlight isn’t solely on paid channels, businesses are also doing battle for organic traffic and impressions; SEO ranking is more competitive than ever before, and quality and highly targeted content is king.
Supply and demand are driving change and this comes with a rapidly increasing price-tag. Here’s our run-down of the top reasons why...
1. B2B marketing is becoming more complex and specialized
The need to integrate all B2B marketing activities throughout multiple MarTech platforms and qualification funnels creates additional complexity. Gone are the days of a B2B marketing strategy that is built on silos of activity. For a customer-centric (or lead-centric) experience to be seamlessly delivered, the PPC strategy is now fed from the inbound strategy and content created. The nurture flow that is created once a lead enters the funnel is influenced by which content the lead has already read, which channel they have engaged with, and the level of engagement with the content.
Not only is the practice of integrating channels more time consuming than before, it also requires more specialist skills from the B2B marketing team.
Take, for example, the integration of HubSpot with apps like Zoom, BrightTALK, and ABM marketing platforms Infu2 and Madison Logic. To connect all of these to work in harmony and deliver the customer/lead experience you need, as well as provide the data a B2B marketer lives by, requires the mastery of a very specific skill and knowledge base. Bringing them all together to use across the full marketing mix is a complex task that requires further experience and expertise.
In a nutshell: What was once a ‘simple’ inbound and PPC integrated project is now a far more complex and time consuming MarTech mission, involving a number of experts - experts who are hard to find, and command high fees.
2. There’s a shortage of B2B marketing talent out there
This is not new, but it is getting worse by the month.
".....median monthly salary of experienced Marketing Managers increased by 34% in the last six months to NIS. 34,000. A high-tech VP Sales hired during the last six months received a median salary of NIS. 45,000 - an 18% increase in comparison with the previous period."
There are several reasons for this shortage and there are no quick fixes in sight:
- Lack of B2B education and training, with B2C marketing still ruling the higher education roost. There are some courses in B2B on offer, but nothing truly great to write home about or to salvage the starved marketeer pool.
- Effective B2B marketing requires the classical marketing skills of strategy and communications AS WELL AS working knowledge of an increasing number of MarTech tools; this is not so appealing to many segments of the marketer population.
- Marketing and Sales cycles are longer, and so there is very little instant gratification for B2B marketers. You need to wait months if not years to reel in success from your strategy and campaigns, which doesn’t sit well with impatient younger generations.
- Short shelf life for marketers - the talent battle is so fierce that the average marketer changes jobs every 18 months. This just isn’t enough time to gain expert status in the B2B sector, or to train others, and so the cycle perpetuates.
3. Effective B2B marketing and high quality work come at a price
The reason Marketing Envy has reached the position of leading B2B tech marketing agency in Israel and beyond is because we’re very good at what we do.
There is a bucket load of strategy and planning around every customer we work with and every campaign we launch. We have dedicated experts in inbound, PPC, marketing operations and MarTech orchestration working hands on to drive results.
Every customer enjoys at least one of the three Managing Partners’ dedicated attention. We put our money where our mouth is - delivering the goods at all costs. And that’s why, at the end of the day, 80% of our retainer clients renew their agreements with us beyond the initial period.
But effective marketing with quantified results comes at a price and repeated delivery is, well, you get the picture, expensive.
4. The devaluation of the US Dollar
A technicality but important nonetheless. The Dollar fell sharply in 2020, with the dollar index (DXY) down 13% from its March highs, and around 7% over the whole course of the year. USD forecasts anticipate that the theme of a weakening Dollar will continue throughout 2021, as the global economy strengthens, meaning that US Dollar retainer clients are in effect paying less than they did in 2020 - you can’t fight the economy.
We price for transparency...
With B2B marketing prices increasing across the globe, we make sure that we’re transparent about our prices, with a pricing page on our website that allows potential clients to understand what our services involve, and how we change for them.
We have nothing to hide and are not concerned about helping competitors with their intel. Since we started showing our prices online, about 18 months ago, our conversion rates have soared. We now mostly receive highly qualified leads who are already aware of our pricing before they go down the requirement discovery route.
Our consultations, however, are completely free, and are always packed with advice, regardless of whether we end up working together. We’re based in Tel Aviv, but ready to work with you wherever in the world you might be.
We’d love for you to get in touch
PS: If you found this helpful, I'd really appreciate it if you can click here to share it on Twitter - besides helping my ego, it's just fun to get notifications 😉