As we come to the end of the year, you may be evaluating this year’s marketing activities and thinking about your plan for marketing next year. It's possible that you got some unexpected or disappointing results from your marketing.
And often it isn't as easy as spotting a flat tire to diagnose what's going wrong in marketing, so we thought it would be a good time to review what might be happening if your marketing isn't working. Here are some of the most common reasons that marketing isn't working for B2B companies:
Not Enough Time
One of the most universally unpopular truths of marketing is that it takes time. Every business owner wants marketing to cost less money and deliver results faster. And while there are shortcuts you can take to achieve your results, you can’t consistently rely on the shortcuts.
We recommend starting with a short cut or two while running long-term marketing strategies that will be in place when the short cuts have run their course.
An example of a short cut (or a quick-win marketing campaign) is to release a special offer into the market. But be forewarned - if your company doesn't have much of an existing client base or track record, it's likely an offer will fall flat.
To manage your expectations about marketing timelines, read How Long Will It Take To See Marketing ROI
One short cut that companies try all the time is to skip strategy and jump to execution. This invariably means their marketing doesn't achieve good results, because the marketing ends up haphazard and unfocused. Ensuring you have the right target market, with the right message and the right approach (ie, your marketing strategy) is critical.
Inexperienced Marketing Staff
It’s so exciting to make a new hire. You reviewed dozens of resumes and met with several candidates to make your selection based on the perfect fit of experience and personality.
But then, nothing gets done. And you’re not sure why.
When marketing activities don't get completed on time, it’s often because the marketer doesn’t actually have the experience required to push marketing projects to completion. We hire marketers all the time and it’s hard to know where someone’s experience lies. But, when they start on the job it readily becomes apparent. They can either get things done, or they can't. And the latter can't survive for long.
Your Understanding Of Your Customer
I know you understand your customers. But, perhaps you don’t know everything. Some time spent analyzing additional information is always time well spent. Why customers purchase from you, the steps they go through to make the purchase, the problems or issues your prospective customers face through the purchasing journey are often not well understood.
If you don’t fully know your customer, your marketing efforts will be hampered. Imagine the success of your marketing if you fully understood all of the reasons why a customer doesn’t purchase and could run a campaign to address each point. Your ROI will definitely improve.
Read How to Develop Your Buyer Personas for 3 ways to get started on better customer understanding.
Not having a strong message will negatively impact your results. The messaging on the website should reflect how you talk about your company to someone in a face-to-face conversation. It seems so simple! And yet so many B2B companies struggle to have consistent and compelling messaging across their company.
If the first page of your website (or more accurately, the top of the first page) doesn’t explain what you do and how you’re different from the competition, you’re going to miss potential sales. We all know the majority of people will check a website before making a purchasing decision.
Generic messaging is another lost opportunity. Excellent customer service? Great quality? Say more, or else your message will be lost.
Finally, make sure that your message is relevant to your prospective customers.
Limited Brand Awareness
One of the biggest barriers to success in B2B marketing is low brand awareness. It's hard to get sales in B2B if no one knows you exist, or they don't trust your company because they've never heard of it.
Marketers have limited time to get the message out and now your marketer needs to have 2 messages – who you are and why it's beneficial to do business with you. Brand awareness tactics often get no budget because they're difficult to measure. Sure, you can try – or you can lump in brand awareness with your lead generation and degrade your lead generation ROI – but at the end of the day, you will never be able to attribute brand awareness activities to sales.
So perhaps you will cut all brand awareness tactics. That actually qualifies as a shortcut and it will hurt you over time. There are more effective tactics than others in this category, so do some research or speak with some marketing experts to learn more.
Brands that have awareness are better able to acquire new customers, at a lower cost.
Low Customer Satisfaction
Customers who aren't happy don't refer you to their friends or colleagues, or become advocates for your company. Do you have a formal process to check in on customer satisfaction or do you rely on gut feeling when you wrap up with a customer? If not, you might have unhappy customers that you aren’t aware you have. While they might have not shared their negative experience with you, they will likely share it with other people, which hardly seems fair given you were not able to remedy the situation. Happy customers give referrals and referrals close faster than any other kind of lead. Keep your customers happy to keep your future business alive.
All of these issues have a solution. Strategic marketing. You can learn more by reading about our top marketing tactics in our eBook or you can connect with us and let us help you.
Find us on social: