The traditional B2B tech marketing model has tended to ignore one of the most important formulas in marketing: the Share of Voice (SOV) rule… Never heard of SOV?
For more than 50 years, marketers have been able to rely on a rule to help determine how much money to invest in advertising to meet specific growth targets. The rule, called the “Share of Voice (SOV) Rule”, says the following:
Brands that set their share of voice (SOV) above their share of market (SOM) tend to grow (all other factors being equal), and those that set SOV below SOM tend to shrink. The rate at which a brand grows or shrinks tends to be proportional to its “extra” share of voice (ESOV), defined as the difference between SOV and SOM.
When a brand’s Share of Voice in its category exceeds its Share of Market, the market share will grow until the two equalize. The same works in reverse: a brand with a strong Share of Market that fails to maintain a proportionate Share of Voice can expect to shrink.
This rule applies just as strongly to B2B categories as it does to B2C. And yet, many businesses don’t really invest in building their share of voice at all. The optimum marketing mix for B2B involves a roughly 50:50 split between tightly targeted activation campaigns like lead generation activity – and broader brand campaigns that aim to build salience among a far wider audience over a much longer time period. The types of campaigns that build brand fame are designed to be talked-about as widely as possible. Rebalancing budgets this way provides B2B businesses with a far better foundation for driving sustainable growth – and generating future leads.
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