4 Reasons B2B Marketers Should Focus on Dark Social, from Chris Walker, CEO of Refine Labs

How do you create and accelerate demand to drive revenue?

At Traffic & Conversion Summit 2021, Chris Walker, the Founder and CEO of Refine Labs, broke down the demand acceleration framework in his session called “Why Marketers Need to Focus on Dark Social.” 

Keep reading to get the lowdown.

#1 It’s Where Your Customers Are

There’s been a huge shift in the B2B market.

You may think that buyers rely on advice from Gartner and Google search results, but the reality is – buyers trust their peers more than anything. They’re looking for specific information to inform their purchase decision, and they’re getting it from their peers.

B2B is still H2H (human-to-human), and people are hanging out and sharing information in all the usual places: LinkedIn, Podcasts, Slack communities, and even word-of-mouth.

B2B buyers use these channels to talk to their peers, and this is how they research and purchase products.

So what does Chris mean when he calls it “dark” social?

When companies try to track their marketing results, they realize they cannot track these interactions on these channels. Those interactions are essentially dark, or invisible to the marketer. 

When potential buyers decide to make a purchase, they already have a preferred brand, which is the company (or people) that educated them on which product to buy.

These new channels where B2B buyers hang out include the Dark Social network. There is no attribution on these channels, which is why so many companies have neglected this outlet.

And it’s a huge mistake. 

#2 Tech Dependency is Leaving Money on the Table

According to Chris, there is a serious problem with over-reliance on technology. A lot of marketers don’t even try to track these Dark Social channels because they won’t get the credit. 

The current method puts attribution before marketing fundamentals, and this comes from an over-reliance on technology. The limitations of tech are a part of current marketing strategies.

Too often, marketers rely on ABM tech and display ads, but you don’t need technology to conduct ABM. You simply need to go to where the demand already is.

#3 You’ll Actually Talk to Your Customers

Because of the reliance on technology, there is a severe lack of marketing fundamentals. Too often, the marketing team overlooks the importance of talking to customers. 

Do you want to drive content and media strategies? If so, you need to go and talk to customers

There are too many silos, and this means that nobody has the fundamentals they need to drive conversions. 

Chris’ key to success? 

You should know how to mix product marketing, brand marketing, and field marketing. All of these skills are required to create demand and drive conversions.

#4 You’ll Take Control of the Narrative

If you want to create demand, you need to educate and inform prospective buyers about what is happening in their fields. There is not a lot of lead gen. You need to focus on education through SEO, PPC, or a mix of both. 

Your goal should be to teach your customers to move them into intent channels. Then, they convert. 

What happens if you don’t leverage Dark Social?

If you are not creating demand, you are waiting for people to find you. You sink money into Google searches, but someone else is teaching your target market what they need to know. 

You need to take control of how many buyers are entering buying cycles at a given point. 

If you educate those buyers, you build credibility, which helps you maximize your conversion rate when the buyer decides to make a purchase.

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