Since our inception in 2005 we’ve worked with over 200 B2B (business to business) companies in over 30 industry to help develop and execute on marketing strategy. We’re proud to say we know a thing or two about what works and what doesn’t work in the world of B2B marketing and we’ve put our heads together to build a list of 5 best practices to help your company see positive results faster and more effectively.
1) Multiple Tactics Combine to Achieve Success.
It’s very rare in B2B that one marketing tactic will sustainably improve performance. Your marketing strategy should contain a number of different tactics that combine and integrate to build company’s awareness, generate leads and build credibility. With over 40 different tactical options to choose from, it’s important to understand which will work for your business and how to execute on them for marketing success.
2) Establish a Position as a thought leader.
Increasing competition means companies need a way to stand out in the crowd and be identified as the go-to solution for the products and services they offer. One way to do this is to establish a reputation as thought leader. Thought leaders provide guidance and content for their potential clients that are more than just sales collateral and advertising. It’s useful information that their target markets can turn to when they need sound advice. Forbes Magazine defines a thought leader as “an individual or firm that prospects, clients, referral sources, intermediaries and even competitors recognize as one of the foremost authorities in selected areas of specialization, resulting in its being the go-to individual or organization for said expertise.”1 If your company can establish thought leadership in the market, you can be sure that potential clients will turn to you first with a business need you can fulfil.
3) repetitive Messaging.
In B2B marketing, repetition is key. You may feel that others are getting bored of your message but in reality, your target marketing needs to see the same message up to 15 times before they make an association of that message with your company on brand. If you’ve spent time creating a large asset, such as a whitepaper, make sure you make the most of the effort by spending just as much time promoting it as you did creating it. Chances are if you only send it out once and hope everyone on your list has seen it and read it, you won’t get the response you’re looking for. Break it up into smaller chunks and repeat through different tactics (email, social, etc.) until you’ve reached your number of leads goal.
4) Success is Gradual.
Marketing is more about the journey than the destination. When you first start to focus efforts on a B2B marketing strategy, a lot of time is spent on building a foundation and getting your marketing house in order. Is your website functional and a good platform to generate leads? Does your messaging strategy reflect your company’s unique value proposition and strengths? Does your sales team have the right tools to start conversations with your target market and close sales? These are the questions that are answered and addressed in the first six months to one year of marketing. Only after building a strong foundation can you start to see marketing ROI, which could take up to a year or longer, depending on your sales cycle.
5) Perfect is the Enemy of Great.
We say this to our clients over and over again. Don’t let small things hold you back from moving forward. If your website is 99% ready to go and you’re debating over whether the font should be bold of not, just launch! The best thing about B2B marketing strategy is that much of it is digital and can be updated and changed. The longer you wait to get out there, the longer your potential market has no idea who you are and the longer they have to go to your competition!
The Mezzanine Group Team works with B2B marketing companies every day and we know different tactics are needed to match different strategies and goals. Regardless, we know these 5 best practices are some of the most important advice we give. If you want more guidance on how to boost profits through marketing by understanding constantly evolving sales cycle, view our recently conducted webinar: How to Rev up Your Revenue Engine.