B2B Marketing Blog

Avoid the top 3 B2B Marketing mistakes

Feb 13, 2014 3:45:52 AM / by The Mezzanine Group

A Mezzanine Marketing Director addresses the top 3 costliest mistakes made by companies when executing B2B marketing tactics. Use his advice to avoid these critical mistakes before they negatively impact the growth of your business.

As a Marketing Director with the Mezzanine Group, I’m often asked by clients to discuss what doesn't work in B2B marketing - so I started a list.

These problems are especially common in three environments:

  • SME businesses,
  • Companies who operate in extremely technical industries, and
  • Companies where the owner / president has little marketing experience

B2B marketing mistake #1: Wrong tools for the job

You can build a house without a hammer, but it will take longer and the resulting structure will be less sturdy, and likely unsafe. Marketing is similar. To do it right, you need the right set of tools or you risk poor execution.

Far too many companies spend marketing dollars and time on tools and tactics that are not fitting to their business, and they spend no time or money on tactics that would make the biggest impact on their ROI. Perhaps they use direct mail to sell an extremely technical product. Or they use social media to promote a service to an audience that isn't tech savvy. They never take the time to write a case study. Or they haven't updated their website in 3 years. Marketing budgets are wasted and business leaders believe marketing is off little value to them. When you choose the wrong marketing tools or use them incorrectly, that is quite true!

B2B companies have a vast array of tools and tactics to choose from. It can be tough to know which ones will work for a company given its industry, market position and audience. But companies should pay more attention to their selection of marketing tools and ensure they fit within their business strategy and market need. It is essential for business leaders to go through the exercise of developing a marketing plan which will not only help to formulate a strategy but help identify the right set of tools to execute that plan.

B2B marketing mistake #2: Inconsistent execution

Marketing is like dating. It takes a gradual process of increasing levels of information and commitment to build a relationship. Marketing requires consistent execution and dedication to ensure that the investments continue to provide expected returns and more engaged prospects.

I have observed this problem especially in organizations that are transitioning new people into the marketing role or when the marketing 'hat' is worn by sales or operations executives who often gets called to other duties – and marketing is prioritized far down their to-do list.

In these situations, marketing dollars are wasted by companies who don’t consistently execute their marketing activities. Based on my experience in the realm of B2B marketing, poorly executed marketing campaigns often result in up to 50% of leads never being followed up on by marketing or sales professionals. Imagine the opportunity lost by not following up with a 100 leads from a trade conference you have just attended. When you decide to invest in marketing, ensure you have the proper commitment to the role with the right backing by the business leaders.

B2B marketing mistake #3: No marketing strategy

Most people think of marketing strategy as the 4 Ps – product, price, promotion and placement (distribution). However, there's another layer of marketing strategy that is equally important when it comes to execution of a marketing communications plan.

The pillars of a sound marketing strategy also include Target Market, Positioning and Messaging. I've seen too many companies with little insight into who their target market truly is. When asked to describe their ‘ideal client profile’ I’ve often heard three different answers, from three top level managers at the same company.

Furthermore, many companies rarely define their position in the market and identify their unique value proposition, which is simply the point of differentiation amongst their competitors. Some then fail to develop messaging that will resonate with their target market. Without a more robust marketing strategy in place, companies waste precious time and resources on marketing that focuses on the wrong prospects, with the incorrect message, at the wrong time.

There are far more challenges that B2B organizations are facing but if they choose to tackle the three challenges identified above, they will have made significant strides in improving their marketing effectiveness and as a result increase their likelihood of converting their marketing spend into measurable returns.

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Topics: Marketing Strategy and Planning