Business-to-business (B2B) marketing is tricky: Though big successes go right to the bottom line, so can small failures.
Learning to embrace success and overcome failure is an essential skill when executing any marketing strategy. But it's not an easy skill to learn, because today's marketers have more choices than ever with the influx of digital and social media and other channels.
And though having many choices can make maximizing your marketing budget and expanding your company's buy-cycle presence easier, the wide selection also can increase the potential for errors.
In any industry, even the most seasoned marketing professionals sometimes fall prey to mistakes in tactics or implementation. But with a watchful eye, practitioners can avoid costly pitfalls.
Here is a quick review of the 10 most common B2B traps and how you can dodge them:
1. Not finding the fish
Virtually all your customers now use the Internet throughout their work processes and even throughout the critical buy cycle when they are discovering solutions before moving to the point of purchase. Are you reaching this target audience where they're looking for solutions and services like yours? If not, find them as soon as possible, and make sure you're included in the conversation.
2. Traveling on the same path as before
Sometimes the only constant is change. Objectives shift to align with business goals. New marketing channels enter the mix and prospects begin using different resources to obtain relevant business information. So, unless you've proved that your current program is optimized for today's marketing environment, your plan needs to evolve accordingly.
3. Failing to continually monitor marketing programs
The phrase "you can only manage what you measure" is true. Online marketing offers you the ability to measure your marketing program in real time, allowing you to know what components of your marketing program are working and what you should consider refining or eliminating.
4. Ignoring frequency
"Fishing where the fish are" is only one component of a successful marketing campaign. Equally important is how often you are reaching out to your target audience. Are you pushing your message to the market on a regular basis, or are your efforts sporadic? Are you attracting your target audience while they are looking and where they are looking for the solutions and services you have to offer? The right frequency is an essential part of a successful marketing program.
5. Working in a bubble
Are the results you are seeing from your marketing campaign in line with what your sales team is looking for? Marketing and Sales must work together to ensure that campaigns are delivering measurable results and driving sales. Such cooperation also helps achieve internal buy-in for the project and builds bridges with your colleagues.
6. Looking for quantity rather than quality
Engagement that reaches the right audience and provides intelligence for beginning a relationship and gaining a customer is what's truly valuable. Be sure to capture relevant information.
7. Being unprepared
Still haven't developed a road map? It's a good idea to set aside time to brainstorm your goals and objectives while planning your tactics, including marketing channels that align with your plans.
8. Casting away branding and exposure
An increased emphasis on engagement has resulted in some businesses' shifting their focus away from branding and exposure. However, continuous exposure to your target audience will ultimately result in qualified contacts and inquiries. Are your media channels keeping you in front of your targeted audience?
9. Having no sense of timing
Are your marketing initiatives in sync with companywide events such as solution or service launches or tradeshow appearances? Neglecting to keep timing in mind can result in missed opportunities.
10. Neglecting media partner relationships
Although accountability is a necessary component of any marketing program, you shouldn't be expected to shoulder the entire burden. Look to media channel partners to provide you with detailed, timely reports.
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As Albert Einstein said, "Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." Just remember, by keeping a critical and watchful eye for mistakes that matter, your campaigns can be successful and in tune with your company's sales cycle.
With focused marketing plans and a will to execute them efficiently, you can avoid the common mistakes that slip up even the most experienced marketers.