Was one of your goals for 2016 to make your marketing great this year? And have you started to feel like you're dropping the ball in marketing? Don’t fret. It isn’t too late to make this your best year for marketing ever.
Building a high-performing marketing function is tough. According to the 20 B2B sales and marketing leaders I interviewed for The Radical Sales Shift, it takes them about 3 years to get their marketing department running like a well-oiled machine. So for everyone out there who isn’t yet a CMO, the task can feel like a mission in “2-steps-forward-and-1-step-back”.
To help, here are 2 of the best pieces of advice I’ve learned from high-performing B2B marketers over the years. These pieces of advice have helped me avoid lots of mistakes, and while they’re relatively simple, they form the core of effective and strategic B2B marketing.
#1: Frequency over reach
This mantra is also known as ‘repeat, repeat, and repeat again!’
It has to do with messaging. We live in busy times and as a result, it takes a lot of effort to be heard above the noise of so many messages from so many sources through so many channels.
If you’re a B2B buyer, you typically need to hear a message at least 5 times before it will ‘land’, ie, you’ll have some recognition for having heard the message before.
So if you’re a B2B marketer, you need to get your message through to a potential buyer at least 5 times before it will be appreciated.
‘Frequency over reach’ means that it’s better to target a smaller audience where you can afford to get your message heard frequently, than it is to spend big on getting your message out to a large audience just one time. As an example, you’re better off to sponsor a quarterly webinar series with an industry association whose members are your target buyers than it is to run a one-time full page advertisement in a national newspaper promoting a webinar.
You’ll reap greater rewards in terms of market awareness and lead generation by pursuing ‘frequency’ of message over ‘reach’ of message. Get your message in front of your target buyers at least 5 times in a 2 – 3 month period in order for those buyers to receive your message, and respond to it.
See how I repeated that a few times?
#2: Integration brings better results
B2B buyers are typically risk averse. They do a good amount of due diligence to identify and qualify potential vendors. As a result, they’re more likely to trust a vendor that they have experienced through a variety of channels, for example email, phone, in-person and social media.
If you’re a B2B marketer, it can be tempting to make a big investment in a single tactic that you hope will generate tremendous results. But rarely does a single-channel marketing initiative deliver the kind of performance that an integrated campaign can. Rather than investing all your resources in a single event or outbound calling plan, consider a thought leadership campaign that uses at least 3 channels, all at a smaller scale. Can you produce a piece of content that is valuable to your target buyers, distribute it via social media, email and pay-per-click, and follow up with a webinar or executive seminar? The lead nurturing you’ll get from this integrated approach will allow prospective buyers to get to know (and trust) your company, and will generate better performance than a single tactic can.
If you’d like 3 more of Mezzanine’s favorite marketing mantras, download the Kickstart Your 2016 Marketing guide, it’s full of marketing templates to help get your year on track, and our top 5 keys to success in 2016.