With ever-growing scope and potential, B2B marketing is increasingly becoming more complex and competitive. Most of the businesses today are conducted digitally, and their marketing strategies have evolved accordingly. This new paradigm demands businesses to utilize a focused process in order to create opportunities for future returns.
How ready are you to implement an effective and thorough B2B marketing strategy? In today’s age of engagement, your marketing efforts are your company itself. So for boosting sales, your company needs to become a marketing vehicle. The strategies so developed should be focused on delivery and must be broad in application.
Therefore, you need to consider restructuring your B2B marketing from an organizational point of view around the following aspects:
1. Overhauling Distributed Marketing Operations
You need to overhaul your distributed marketing system in order to improve the reach, specificity and quality of your campaigns. Thus, your marketing activities shouldn’t be confined to just one department; rather it should be embedded in other core areas such as human resource and R&D. You must manage communications across multiple marketing channels, create more relevant marketing messages, and improve productivity to maximize the returns.
Although these steps are formidable enough, but still there are two major challenges that might come in your way:
- Maintaining the consistency of your brand
- Lack of marketing expertise at the local level
Overcoming these two challenges is crucial, because they can affect your sales. Fortunately, the use of technologies can enable you to improve effectiveness as well as the efficiency of your marketing operations. You can call these technologies as marketing asset management, distributed marketing automation, or more generically, distributed marketing solutions.
What they can do to your business?
- Streamline and automate the creation
- Customize the procurement
- Effectively distribute your marketing materials like promotional items, point-of-sale items and collateral documents
- Customize and execute advertising and marketing programs at local level
2. Better Partnerships And Commitments
In your B2B operations, forming strategic alliances with industry partners will allow you to consolidate your strengths. If executed properly, the partnership helps you gain entry into new markets, offers a competitive edge, and increases your reputation considerably. So how do you create a working alliance with your partner? How are you going to share expertise with your clientele?
To begin with, you need to be clear about your stated objectives before getting into any partnership. Using a strategy that lacks a clear plan can hamper your brand’s image as well as ideology. Your partnership activity should be visible through all brand channels both online and offline. By creating an effective channel of communication, your offline activity will reach and resonate with your online audience.
Sometimes your target audience may have a little or no familiarity with your brand, so a strategic partnership can play a vital role in providing first exposure. Finally, creating a strategy that is scalable to new markets can consolidate your message as the brand grows. Thus, as long as the alliance is working, you need to grow together continuously because more opportunities are likely to emerge.
3. More Focus On Customer Experience
In general, a B2B company’s customers and their buying patterns are more complex as compared to those of a B2C company. So your customer experience will require specific strategies given that you are one step further removed from the ultimate user of your product or service. B2B companies often have more offerings and services than B2C companies, which are highly tailored to individual customer needs and often consist of different products and services bundled together. Thus, this makes B2B customer journeys long, complex, and quite technical, and includes a continuous interaction.
You must therefore recognize that customer experience is critical to your growth and competitive differentiation. You need to get valuable customer insights by closely tracking their activity and derive feedback across all touch points.
So how should you increase customer experience? You have to elevate your customer service as a critical enabler of growth. For that, it becomes imperative for you to invest in both traditional and digital capabilities to sustain – and monetize – customer engagement.
4. Data And Analytics
Businesses that are using data and analytics for B2B initiatives are outperforming their counterparts in terms of revenue generation, profits and market valuation. By putting right analytics solutions in place, you can make sure the right sales resources are used at the right time to pursue the right prospects. To this effect, there is an exponential increase in marketing data, which is being shared across multiple disciplines and functions so that desired product experience is delivered. According to a study conducted by Regalix, 84% of B2B Companies are investing in Marketing Analytics
So how are data and analytics going to help you? B2B marketing analytics allows you to achieve the following:
- It helps combine sales and marketing data in one place.
- It hales you get a better understanding of your marketing campaign ROI in order to increase sales.
- You can easily share insight with your team from anywhere.
Moreover, the advanced level of data and analytics are helping marketers gauge a broader range of demographics, business buying activities, social cues, and specific combination of behaviors, which in turn is making leads more promising to pursue. For example, e-mail marketing in B2B is a way of increasing conversions and adding value across the customer lifecycle. You should more often use e-mail marketing to get more sales, while e-mail marketing tools will enable you to automatically send highly targeted e-mail leads that are personalized specifically to your B2B clients. Thus, using these behavioral-triggers has enabled marketers to get a lot smarter with how they target clients in the inbox.
5. Use Social Media To Your Advantage
Fostering relationships through social media is currently a significant trend in the B2B marketing world since many social media channels have opened up two-way conversations between businesses. According to a recent research, by Chadwick Martin Bailey and iModerate, B2B companies are more likely to do business to companies they track through social media. Companies are finding innovative ways to use social media to their advantage. Cisco Systems, for example, launched a campaign introducing a new router solely on social media advertising, which helped the company save US$100,000.
So effective targeting is the key to making social media work for you, for B2B sales are all about engaging with your target audience. You need to devise compelling ways to distribute content to the most interested people at the most opportune time. When it comes to social media, B2B is different from B2C in that how messaging is positioned. In B2C, you are typically speaking to an individual, whereas, in B2B, there are many people involved in the purchasing process.
In this regard, LinkedIn is the most prominent social media platform for businesses because it is strictly focused in business. It is increasingly becoming crucial in gaining B2B leads. For example, paid LinkedIn advertising can send quality traffic to landing pages, organic LinkedIn marketing can generate interest, and marketing executives can connect with targeted individuals on LinkedIn.
Sales is the backbone of B2B marketing; so you have to always keep innovating and restructuring your strategies in order to increase sales. However, any marketing plan revolves around four key components – the product or service, the target market, pricing and promotion.
So the restructuring of your B2B marketing must factor these basic elements. The above-mentioned tips, therefore, are an attempt towards achieving an effective B2B marketing strategy.
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