Components of a Successful B2B Marketing Strategy
B2B means a business selling to a business. This could be a marketing agency selling their marketing services to a local business, a printing company that does promotional materials for a business and plenty of other scenarios. B2C is business to consumer which is when a business sells to the general public. Understanding you need to market differently when you are a B2B company is important.
You aren’t appealing to emotions, you are appealing to logic, and usually, more than one person makes a decision. If you are working on a strategy, you are ahead of many companies that don’t take the time even to try to get a strategy together. Many companies are doing their marketing on the fly and hoping they will get some semblance of results.
Why Create a Marketing Strategy
You may know businesses that are successful without a formal marketing plan, but these companies are the exception and not the rule. Having a B2B marketing strategy ensures everyone in the company is on the same page. People are more likely to get behind a vision if they actually know what it is. When you are on-boarding new team members, it decreases their confusion and allows them to understand what their role in the company is quickly. A B2B marketing strategy can help people that aren’t on the marketing team understand why certain things are being done. Your goal with the strategy is to get the sales, marketing and other teams on the same page so everyone can work together to generate more business.
Remember to Be Flexible
While you do need a solid plan in place, you should allow for changes to take place as necessary. When your team starts implementing the strategies laid out, things might not always work out the way you expected them to work out. When things that are unexpected happen, you need to make sure you listen to your team and get their input.
What Should You Include In Your B2B Marketing Strategy?
The first part of your marketing strategy begins when potential customers discover your company. If you are using inbound marketing, your potential clients usually first discover a blog post. Your goal is to have an engaging and helpful blog post available to build trust and value with your visitor. Once this visitor is on your site, depending on the actions they take on the site, they will be sorted to where they belong. Some leads will go directly to the sales department since they are sales qualified leads (SQLs) but others may only be marketing qualified leads (MQLs) and require further nurturing. Even further still, visitors may not be qualified leads at all and may simply be curious.
When you start your marketing plan, you need to create your customer persona, so you know who the MQLs and SQLs are. If you don’t have your customer personas constructed properly, the whole of your marketing plan will crumble. Knowing who your ideal client is, what their pain points are, what role they play in their company, what state of mind they are in when looking for your product and more will allow you to communicate more effectively.
Effective communication is a necessity when you want to convert leads into buyers. Before potential customers get to sales, marketing needs to set up the sale properly. Setting up the sale means showing value to the customer so they know the benefits of the product or service. When the leads go to the sales department, they shouldn’t be combative and feel like the sales team is out to take advantage of them.
If the marketing team does their job right, they will have set up the sales professional as a trusted advisor instead in the mind of the lead. By this time, you should have specific goals set for your marketing strategy. These goals might be a specific amount of web traffic you generate, how many leads you want to get every month or some other goal. Whatever the goal is, you need to have it outlined clearly, so you know what you are going after.
Have a Proper Marketing to Sales Hand-off
If your company doesn’t have a proper marketing to sales hand-off process, leads can get stuck in the funnel. If a lead gets stuck in the funnel, the opportunity can be lost forever. Marketing and sales should have a process where they share things they’ve learned, experiences they’ve had and anything else helpful. Instead of being in a position where sales and marketing are at odds with each other, putting sales and marketing where they will work together will allow your company to stay on track with their MQLs to SQLs and closed customers.
Since these processes might be very new to everyone, this is one of the important parts where people need to be able to give their input. Be willing to adapt the process to the needs of your sales and marketing teams After you’ve been using a certain process for a specific amount of time, even if no one says there is something wrong with it, you should evaluate and make changes based off of gathered data.
Ensure Employees Know Their Roles
It is very important that employees know their role within the marketing plan. When everyone knows their role, there is much less finger pointing and more productivity and self-responsibility. Have goals for everyone to hit and reward the people that work to hit and exceed their goals. Putting these things into your marketing plan will help your team execute these strategies successfully without losing motivation.
Focus on Setting Up an In-Depth B2B Marketing Strategy
Now that you understand how important B2B marketing strategies are and how to set them up, it is your turn. Set your marketing goals and define your customer persona and go through the other steps. If you need help implementing your strategies, you can hire a marketing agency to help you get the best results.