5 Ways to Make Your B2B Marketing Smart
Don’t Waste Your Efforts on Stupid Marketing
Every now and then I will stumble across a marketing campaign or activity that makes me stop and do a mental head scratch. You know the thought — “Why did they do that?” While I am a huge proponent of trying new ideas to see what sticks, there are a few things any B2B marketer can do in order to avoid looking stupid.
1. Know your targets. Entrepreneurs often have a difficult time narrowing their focus to one or two segments. The thought may be Money is money. Who cares what segment it is coming from. We are bringing in revenue, aren’t we? The truth is not all of your customers are the right customers for your business. We often coach our companies and help them execute market research projects to help them understand the right segments they should be targeting with their overall go-to-market efforts. Take it a step further by fully understanding your buyer and user personas so you can clearly articulate pain points, needs, interests, and preferences of the key stakeholders within your target segments. If you are unclear about where you stand on this, take a few minutes to calculate your market clarity score here.
2. Tune into the right channels. My next point builds off of your understanding of your target market. To truly succeed in marketing your expansion-stage company, you need to have knowledge about the marketing channels which are most effective at reaching, communicating, and engaging with your target audience. Do some research to identify your right marketing channels. Talk to your prospects and customers. Talk to your sales and customer service teams too, as they may be able to shed some light, as well. Simply put, if your target market isn’t on Facebook you shouldn’t be either!
3. Go for the goal. Being results-oriented is a key quality for any marketer. But this doesn’t make all marketers smart straight our of the gate. It is important that marketers focus on goals. Without goals in place, efforts will inherently be wasted. The senior management should meet on an annual basis to define, prioritize, and commit to goals for the marketing department so that you can accurately track the success of the team. Take it a step further and make your goals SMART (think grow the subscriber base to 10,000 and increase the open rate to 25% rather than improve the newsletter) and make it a point to regularly evaluate and reevaluate your progress.
4. Plan your attack. Instead of blindly executing against your marketing goals, set aside some time at the beginning of each quarter or planning cycle to really document work plans to guide every step or at least every milestone. This activity can help ensure you create and release your eBooks on time, execute against your campaigns, and achieve all of your other goals. By planning this way, you are more likely to be agile because you will be in a better position to identify and resolve impediments.
5. Focus your efforts. Since marketing budgets in startup and expansion stage technology companies can be a little tight, it is not only important that marketing efforts are focused, it is CRITICAL. Once you understand your target segment, personas, and channels, you should now shift your attention to focus. Marketers have a tendency to be drawn to shiny objects (believe me, I know), so be sure you are properly prioritizing your time and resources on the few things that truly matter so that you can eventually see impact. Instead of focusing on getting more Facebook fans, pinning your infographics to Pinterest, or sending out another press release, focus on the few things you can do this week or next week to move the needle against your goals.
5.1 Leave time to experiment. Okay, my next bit of advice may seem counter-intuitive to my last point, so let me explain a bit. Without going overboard and getting distracted by the newest, biggest thing, do take some time to experiment and test out new ideas. After all, you may find something that sticks!