Kate Strachnyi
13 min readMay 24, 2024

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I’m fortunate to have a front-row seat to many transformations within the data industry. One thing I’ve noticed recently is companies with amazing innovations in data analytics & AI that are struggling to communicate their value to the right audience. This gap between technological advancement and market understanding can make the most advanced solutions fall flat.

Recognizing this, I dug deeper into the challenges of B2B (business-to-business) marketing in tech. I wanted to communicate the behind-the-scenes success stories of tech marketing campaigns. This led me to industry leaders whose experiences and insights I admire. Through their stories and my personal experiences,we’ll walk through B2B marketing nuances, providing a blueprint for tech companies trying to make their mark in an ever-competitive landscape.

B2B Marketing in Tech: Insights from Andreas Kretz

I spoke with Andreas Kretz, a leader in the data engineering space, to discuss the complexities of B2B marketing in tech. Andreas’s perspective offers an understanding of its unique challenges and opportunities.

“When I think of B2B marketing, it’s about collaborating with brands to showcase their products, platforms, and value propositions to other companies,” Andreas explained. His work through the Data Engineering Academy exemplifies how influencers can bridge the gap between brands and their potential clients by highlighting the practical value of tech solutions.

Andreas emphasized that B2B and B2C (business-to-consumer) marketing share the essence of speaking directly to people. “Regardless of whether it’s B2B or B2C, the focus is on communicating the benefits and value of a product in a relatable way,” he stated. However, B2B marketing demands a more tailored approach. You are targeting decision-makers like product managers or executives responsible for significant purchases. “The messaging needs to address their specific needs and challenges, often requiring technical depth and a focus on ROI,” Andreas emphasized.

One of the biggest challenges in B2B marketing is the longer sales cycle involving several stakeholders. Building trust and nurturing relationships over time is essential. In contrast, B2C marketing typically targets individual consumers, focusing on personal benefits and emotional connections with a much shorter sales cycle geared toward immediate gratification.

The choice of marketing channels also varies significantly. Andreas highlighted the importance of LinkedIn in B2B marketing: “LinkedIn is essential because it’s where professionals spend their time. Webinars, white papers, and live streams play significant roles, as does educational video content.” On the other hand, B2C marketing thrives on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok, where engaging and visually appealing content captures consumer attention quickly.

The main difference, Andreas said, is that B2C marketing focuses on emotional connections and quick decisions, while B2B requires a long-term strategy centered on education, trust, and tangible value. “Ultimately, though, you’re always talking to a person at the other end, no matter the approach.”

Influencer Marketing in B2B: Insights from Andreas Kretz

The role of influencer marketing in B2B strategies has become increasingly significant. Andreas Kretz provided valuable insights into this evolving landscape.

“Influencer marketing plays a crucial role in B2B marketing strategies by enabling brands to connect with their target audience in a more authentic and relatable way,” Andreas explained. As an influencer, he collaborates closely with brands to showcase their products and platforms, demonstrating how they can add value to businesses.

Traditionally, B2B marketing relied heavily on conventional channels like magazine ads, trade fairs, and direct mail. However, companies have had to adapt as digital platforms and social media have become more prevalent. Andreas noted, “People are now more likely to scroll through LinkedIn or watch YouTube videos than read a trade magazine.” This shift has led brands to turn to influencers who are embedded within their industry and have built credibility and a following among their audience.

In the digital age, influencers produce engaging content that educates, entertains, and demonstrates the practical value of products. “Influencer marketing in B2B is about connecting with these influencers who are trusted voices in their specific fields, like Data Engineering,” Andreas said.

By aligning with the right influencer, brands can establish credibility and foster long-term relationships with potential customers. “By offering insights, demos, and relatable use cases, influencers help companies cut through the noise and reach the right audience in an effective way,” Andreas emphasized.

Successful B2B Influencer Marketing Campaigns: Insights from George Firican

George Firican from LightsOnData shared his experiences with several successful campaigns, illustrating how creativity and authenticity can elevate B2B marketing efforts.

George mentioned a memorable campaign with IBM Databand. “We organized a series of engaging content pieces culminating in a live event where the CMO and I discussed ‘The 5 Steps to Achieve Proactive Data Observability,’ pairing each step with a different type of beer,” George explained. This approach provided valuable educational content while adding a fun, relatable twist.

Another effective campaign was with SingleStore. George leveraged his popular “Saturday Data Latte” posts to promote SingleStore’s webinars. “By aligning the webinars with the relaxed, weekend vibe of the latte posts, we maintained authenticity and leveraged existing audience expectations,” he noted.

George also mentioned the success of unboxing swag videos for various companies. These videos showcased his genuine reactions to receiving and exploring branded swag items, captivating the audience’s curiosity and fostering positive brand associations.

The common thread in these campaigns was their authentic integration into content already popular among George’s followers. These campaigns resonated well beyond traditional promotional techniques by combining creative, enjoyable elements with valuable information.

Identifying the Right Influencers and Tips for Effective B2B Influencer Marketing

Incorporating influencer marketing into B2B strategies requires careful selection and strategic alignment. Tom Augenthaler and Andreas Kretz offer valuable insights on identifying the right influencers and maximizing the effectiveness of these partnerships.

Identify Influencers Who Resonate with Your Brand

Both Tom and Andreas emphasized the importance of choosing influencers who align with your brand values and possess genuine authority in your industry. “This is where LinkedIn is your friend as you will be able to figure this out quickly,” Tom advised. Andreas added, “The right influencer, with their expertise, audience, and professionalism, can help companies build authentic connections with their target audience.”

Prioritize Quality Over Quantity

“The size of an influencer’s following isn’t always the most critical factor,” Tom pointed out. Focus on the quality of engagement and the relevance of their audience to your brand. Andreas highlighted the importance of evaluating how often people interact with the influencer’s content.

Develop Clear, Mutually Beneficial Agreements

Tom stressed the importance of clear agreements with influencers. “Outline expectations for both parties, including the scope of content, timelines, and metrics for measuring success,” he said. This ensures alignment and helps both parties achieve their goals.

Think Beyond Social Media

“It’s crucial to think beyond just social media,” Tom emphasized. Andreas agreed, suggesting that companies consider involving influencers in events, product testing, development, webinars, and other content that can provide value to their ideal customer profiles (ICPs).

Support and Authenticity

Both experts noted the need to support influencers with the resources they need to genuinely connect with their followers while accurately representing your brand. “Give influencers the creative freedom to explore your product or service and present their authentic opinion,” Andreas advised.

Measuring the Success of B2B Influencer Marketing: Insights from Tom Augenthaler

Measuring the success of B2B influencer marketing initiatives is essential. Tom Augenthaler provided valuable insights into the most important metrics to consider. He said balancing quantitative and qualitative measures is crucial for demonstrating the value of influencer partnerships.

Overcoming Challenges in B2B Marketing: Insights from Chase Martin

Addressing challenges in B2B marketing requires a strategic approach grounded in clarity and authenticity. Chase Martin, Creative Strategist at Deep Vibe, emphasizes that the primary adversary is apathy — marketers must avoid producing unremarkable content.

Strategic Fundamentals: Clarity and Focus

Chase advocates for a return to fundamental principles — clarity and focus. Companies should refrain from pursuing initiatives that do not align with their core competencies. Instead, they should concentrate on their unique strengths and areas where they naturally excel.

Creating Compelling and Authentic Messaging

Compelling messaging distinguishes a brand in the crowded B2B landscape. Authenticity plays a crucial role. Experimentation with brand voice is necessary to uncover its authentic character, allowing it to evolve organically over time.

Monitoring and Responding to Audience Feedback

Continuous monitoring of audience response is essential. By listening to and acting upon audience feedback, marketers can refine strategies and executions, ensuring alignment with audience preferences and expectations.

The Importance of Boldness and Confidence

Many B2B tech brands struggle with a crisis of confidence. Chase emphasizes the importance of being bold and purposeful. This involves taking intentional risks and sharing valuable insights with the audience.

By focusing on these principles — clarity, focus, authenticity, and responsiveness — B2B marketers can navigate the complexities of the current landscape and achieve greater success.

Building and Nurturing Long-Term Relationships: Insights from Michael Gilday

Building and nurturing long-term relationships with B2B clients requires clear communication, tight collaboration, and strategic education. Michael Gilday from Deep Vibe shared his approach to fostering loyalty and creating lasting partnerships.

Prioritizing Clear Communication and Collaboration

“Our clients come to us for the creative. They come back for the process,” Michael emphasized.

One key to maintaining strong client relationships is avoiding surprises. Prioritizing clear communication and fostering tight collaboration ensures a smooth and rewarding experience.

Effective Feedback Process

Michael mentioned the importance of an effective feedback process. “While our client partners may offer specific execution suggestions, we probe to uncover the underlying problems they aim to solve,” he explained.

Crafting Engaging Video Content

Video storytelling is about crafting an illusion that keeps the audience engaged. Ensuring a seamless viewing experience helps maintain the audience’s trust and keeps them engaged with the content.

Respecting the Audience

Respecting the audience’s intelligence and sophistication is fundamental. “B2B software evaluators and purchasers are extremely marketing averse,” Michael explained. By genuinely piquing their interest and arousing their curiosity, marketers can gain a longer opportunity to make their case.

Balancing Story, Brand, and Creative

Despite criticisms, storytelling remains a potent art form. In a noisy world, capturing and sustaining attention is paramount. “Be engaging but informative, leaving viewers with actionable knowledge and insights,” Michael advised.

The Power of Video Content in B2B Marketing: Insights from Michael Gilday and Kate Strachnyi

Video content significantly enhances the B2B marketing experience. Michael Gilday of Deep Vibe and I have utilized video to communicate complex ideas effectively and engage audiences.

Scalability and Consistency

“Video scales better than any other type of content — period,” Michael emphasized. A well-crafted video can continue to influence new prospects long after its creation, provided it is built on a solid messaging foundation.

Extended Reach and Longevity

Michael highlighted the extended reach that video content can provide. Capturing and editing content from events can extend its reach to a much larger audience for weeks or even months afterward.

Creative Investment and Reusability

Well-crafted video production should be viewed as a creative investment. “Any time or money spent should yield more than a single execution,” Michael explained. This approach streamlines the creative process and enhances brand recognition.

Creative and Engaging Video Campaigns

At DATAcated, we always seek ways to cut through the noise and stand out. Creative video content has proven to be an effective medium for communicating complex ideas. Here are a few examples:

- Building a Sandcastle: To explain the importance of strong data infrastructure. https://youtu.be/cbG1RNNCyxQ

- Making Specialty Coffee: To illustrate data observability. https://youtube.com/live/Ou-y5n8bD8E

- Preparing Shrimp Pasta: To discuss data governance. https://youtu.be/pqqo0Q3fRS4

- Using Lego: To talk about knowledge graphs. https://youtube.com/live/KOptg8eL3OE

These creative approaches helped communicate complex ideas by breaking them down into simpler topics and using relatable analogies.

Future Trends in B2B Marketing: Insights from Kate Strachnyi and Tom Augenthaler

Several trends are set to shape the future of B2B marketing. Both my experiences at DATAcated and insights from Tom Augenthaler highlight the importance of embracing new platforms, authentic influencer partnerships, and data-driven strategies.

Embracing Social Media Culture

More companies are expanding into platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels. These content types can reach a wider audience and help companies stand out in the crowded information landscape.

Emphasis on Authenticity and Expertise

Tom Augenthaler emphasized the growing importance of authenticity in influencer marketing. “Authenticity isn’t just a buzzword — it’s the backbone of effective influencer marketing,” he stated.

Integration with Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

Influencers will play a more significant role in ABM strategies by reaching and engaging key decision-makers within targeted accounts.

Focus on Long-Term Relationships

Building long-term relationships with influencers allows for deeper brand alignment and better impact during lengthy B2B sales cycles.

Leverage of Data-Driven Insights

Using analytics to optimize influencer campaigns and demonstrate ROI will become essential.

Increase in Video and Interactive Content

Video content, including webinars and live streams, will continue to gain popularity. “Leveraging B2B influencers in these formats can enhance engagement,” Tom advised.

Broadening Beyond Traditional Channels

Exploring new channels like industry podcasts, online panels, and in-depth written content will open fresh avenues for reaching ideal customer profiles (ICPs).

By considering these trends and adapting strategies accordingly, B2B marketers can position themselves well for the future. At DATAcated, we continuously innovate and experiment with new styles and platforms to stay ahead. Whether through creative video campaigns or strategic influencer partnerships, our goal is to provide valuable, engaging content that meets the evolving needs of our clients and their audiences.

Meet the Experts:

Kate Strachnyi is the founder of DATAcated; a media company focused on helping companies reach their audience by amplifying their brand and expertise in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and data science. Kate is the author of ColorWise: A Data Storyteller’s Guide to the Intentional Use of Color (O’Reilly Media). She is a LinkedIn Learning Instructor with several courses focused on personal branding and data careers. LinkedIn Top Voice in Data Science & Analytics for both 2018 and 2019, and on the DataIQ USA100 list.

Andreas Kretz is a seasoned Senior Data Engineer and passionate trainer with over a decade of expertise in the field of Data Engineering. Starting his journey as a self-taught enthusiast with a curiosity for big data, he quickly ascended to the role of a Data Engineering Team Leader at a prominent company. Recognizing a critical gap in the industry for comprehensive training in Data Engineering, Andreas embarked on a mission to share his knowledge. He founded the Learn Data Engineering Academy, empowering students from all over the world with the tools and insights needed to thrive in this dynamic field. Over the years, Andreas became a prominent voice in the data community, sharing Data Engineering content and knowledge on his YouTube channel and LinkedIn. His influential presence has earned him the title of LinkedIn Top Voice three times, and in 2023, he was celebrated as one of the Top 100 influencers and the number one voice for Data Science in Germany.

George Firican is a passionate advocate for the importance of data, a frequent conference speaker, course instructor, and a YouTuber, being ranked among Top 5 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Big Data, and Digital Disruption, and LinkedIn Top Voice.

One of George’s passions is to create informative, practical and engaging educational content to share with individuals such as yourself, and help data & AI companies get more visibility on social media. George is the proud founder of LightsOnData.com and its YouTube channel and is a co-host of the Lights On Data Show.

Tom Augenthaler is a leading expert in influence marketing with over a decade of experience in the field. As the founder of The Influence Marketer, Tom has helped numerous brands develop and execute successful influencer marketing strategies. His expertise lies in identifying key influencers, building authentic relationships, and leveraging these connections to drive brand growth. Tom is also a sought-after speaker, educator, and consultant, sharing his knowledge through workshops, webinars, and his writings. His work emphasizes the importance of genuine engagement and long-term partnerships in the evolving landscape of digital marketing.

Chase Martin is a curious human, creative strategist, and Notion Stan at Deep Vibe, the go-to creative agency for AI, Data Science, and Analytics companies of tomorrow. Prior to Deep Vibe, Martin spent more than a decade as a creative practitioner at the intersection of creative and technology in early stage Venture Capital, tech journalism, and Unicorn startups alike. Having created 250+ videos, authored more than 200 emerging tech articles, and designed more Board decks and internal materials, Martin is a multi-disciplinary hybrid thinker. He is at times irrationally passionate about distilling complex concepts into compellingly simple stories and strives to contribute more questions than answers.

Michael Gilday is a rare creative who is deeply passionate about the underlying technologies to which he applies his storytelling skills. He is one of the creative forces steering Deep Vibe. Specializing in transforming complex B2B tech narratives into compelling visual stories, Michael brings over two decades of storytelling brilliance to the table.

At Deep Vibe, we blend artistry with innovation, turning your brand’s message into a visual symphony that captivates and converts. Our deep secret? Clear communication, clever solutions, and a sprinkle of irreverence. Ready to elevate your brand’s narrative to new heights? Dive deep with us.

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