One of the struggles for B2B companies when it comes to marketing is figuring out what they should care about. Marketing is a vast expanse of tools and tactics – from trade shows to PR to SEO – and 50 things in between. For most B2B company leaders, who aren’t marketers by training or nature – the expanse is simply too daunting and they check out.
One of the ways that companies can simplify the marketing domain is by figuring out their marketing mandate. Like a sales funnel, there are phases or components of marketing that customers go through on their purchasing journey. (There is a whole separate debate on how that process is changing, but I will leave that topic for another day). Three of the critical phases that customers go through before they buy from any company are Awareness, Consideration and Preference.
A company can identify what kinds of marketing it should be doing by determining where its biggest problem is. The corollary of the biggest marketing problem is the marketing mandate.
Do customers not know the company exists? Then the company has an Awareness problem. It must use marketing tools that will raise awareness – like PR, speaking at industry events and telemarketing.
Do customers know the company exists but they don’t think it can solve their specific problems? Then the company has a Consideration problem. It needs to do case studies, email newsletters and instructional videos to help customers connect the dots between their problems and the company’s services and products.
Do customers know the company exists and what they do, but they aren’t sure the company has the quality / skills / bandwidth (insert credibility issue here) to adequately solve their problem? In that case the company has a Preference problem. The company needs to invest in building credibility by, for example, showing the quality of their results through named case studies and speaking alongside customers at industry events.
Defining your marketing mandate will help you focus your marketing activities. One of the common pitfalls for a B2B company is to spread itself too thin across numerous marketing tactics. But a company that picks the 5 – 8 marketing tactics that most closely match its marketing mandate will see better results, more quickly.
What’s your marketing mandate?