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Deeper than demographics –‘mindset marketing’ is where the opportunity is

Henry Clifford-Jones, director of marketing - UK, DE and ES at LinkedIn, explores the opportunities for B2B brands to delve beyond demographics into ‘mindset marketing’

Nothing beats that feeling that follows a promotion at work. It’s a period that triggers new goals and challenges, and with it a significant change in your work mindset.

These ‘professional moments’ during a career, such as promotions or relocations, have a huge impact on the way that people behave in both a professional and personal context. It’s a prime time for brands to tap into an audience that is already engaged and looking for content, products and services to inspire them for the next stage of their career. For B2B marketers, this is a unique opportunity to delve beyond demographics into ‘mindset marketing’, targeting specific groups united by a shared set of needs and experiences.

Promotions tend to come hand-in-hand with a pay rise, tempting people to splash out on a celebratory treat – an easy target for consumer brands. But they also typically mean increased responsibility for business purchase decisions and, for many, an opportunity to make their mark in a new role. Recently promoted professionals may be rethinking their existing relationships with vendors, as well as re-examining the contracts and strategies they have inherited. And let’s not forget that people are most open to guidance and inspiration in the first few weeks of a new role, particularly if they have moved to a different, unfamiliar function or sector, making it a perfect opportunity for B2B marketers to engage.

And we know that professionals that have recently changed position are much more open to engaging with content from brands. On LinkedIn, members who have recently been promoted follow 102% more companies than the average active user, and are 54% more likely to check their inMail – the most direct route for brands to make an approach. They are also 45% more likely to stay up to date on industry discussions and twice as likely to share content than the average active member, making them an excellent set of potential brand advocates.

But mindset marketing is only effective if it’s based on fact, rather than assumption. Get it wrong, and it’s not only a waste of marketing spend and effort, but it could be damaging for the brand – just imagine congratulating someone who recently lost their job, for example. Using data and insights to identify exactly who, when and where someone has been promoted is key.

With over 450 million professionals on LinkedIn we can see who is moving up and where they’re going. We know exactly what content they are interested in because of how they interact on the site and using these valuable audience insights, brands can reach these highly lucrative groups.

Here’s an example. Our research shows that 45% of European professionals are triggered to shop for a new vehicle by professional reasons such as a promotion or pay rise; so using our unique targeting capabilities, a leading automotive brand was able to take a highly personalised approach to the people we knew would be likely to buy a new vehicle: those who have just moved up the career ladder.

The campaign used a carefully timed combination of display ads and Sponsored InMail messages on LinkedIn to congratulate those moving into more senior roles at work – and invite them to consider upgrading their driving experience with the most relevant model. And the results spoke for themselves; this highly targeted and personalised approach reached almost two million new buyers and led to engagement of three times the industry benchmark.

There’s a lot that B2B brands can learn from the example above, about the value of using data to target professionals in particular buying mindsets. Although this brand was targeting its audience as consumers, the same principles absolutely apply in a business context – particularly as people’s personal and professional lives continue to blur. It doesn’t matter whether you’re marketing cars, software or hotels; the ability to engage potential customers during these professional moments with something targeted, useful and relevant is incredibly powerful.