Before embarking on your next marketing activity, ask yourself this: Does my company have a clear and defined marketing strategy and plan?
Most B2B companies jump head-first into marketing (think: fire, ready, aim!) and we understand why. It's exciting to think about new ventures, products and services. Everyone wants to get things off the ground. However, there is tremendous value in sitting down first and planning your marketing road map. We’ve seen far too many companies waste marketing money by not having and following a plan.
If you’re not sure where to begin with your plan, here's a simple, 4-part recipe for a good marketing strategy. It will help you and your team get clarity on your marketing direction.
Recipe for a good marketing strategy
Develop a Clear Competitive Advantage
The best B2B companies have a well-articulated competitive advantage. What makes your company stand out from the crowd? If you don’t clearly define a competitive advantage, your marketing will end up as just a lot of ‘me too’ noise in the marketplace. Too many companies don’t realize this and jump in head first to a marketing campaign, and end up wasting a lot of time and money.
Looking for help in defining your company's competitive advantage? Here’s the process that Mezzanine uses for how to define your competitive advantage.
Develop Your Market Segmentation and Customer Personas
The second part of a good marketing strategy is your market segmentation and target customer personas. Companies that are focused on who they are selling to and what makes them buy are more successful with their marketing than those who go after anyone with a pulse. By finding out how your customers make their buying decisions, you can craft the right message and catch prospects at the best time.
This is also where you find out who you can influence – perhaps people who don’t know anything about your product, but want to buy something like it. Determine how you can send them the right message and sway them towards your company.
Identify All Possible Opportunities
A good strategy identifies the different possible opportunities. Explore opportunities in providing new services or products; changes in laws and regulations that may affect your company positively; additional enhancements to products; other verticals; and certifications you can take to widen your net, to name a few.
Next, think about other things that can affect these opportunities. Is the timing right? Will your product or service be ready on time? And second, is it feasible, given your resources and current business situation, to pursue the opportunity?
And lastly, evaluate the market potential. Is the opportunity worth pursuing? Is there low-hanging fruit that you can quickly snatch up? Will pursuing the market spark a competitive response that could be deadly for your company?
The last ingredient in this recipe for a good B2B marketing strategy is priorities. In many sectors, there are so many verticals, customer segments and opportunities that no company can possibly pursue them all. Rather than casting too wide a net and catching nothing, small and mid-sized B2B companies outperform competitors when they focus. Get your team together and prioritize where you’ll be most successful. This is especially important in order to ensure that short term goals are met, while keeping long-term goals in sight.
Do you have the right marketing strategy to take you to the finish line? Or perhaps it’s time to shift gears and create a new plan that will help you achieve success. Maybe you already know your strategy, but you just don’t know how to create your plan around it.
We are here to help. At Mezzanine, we know the value of a good marketing plan and we want all companies to start off on the right foot. We can assist you in creating your plan, evaluating your marketing strategy, and even executing your marketing for you.