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Five Big Mistakes That B2B Marketers Make in Driving Leads

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Although 86% of B2B marketers are using content marketing, only 35% of them are tracking their efforts, according to the 2015 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends report by MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute.

Many media outlets reacted to this error, rightly urging their colleagues to get tracking. Marketing via mobile device, the Internet, and tablets are evolving fields, and its practitioners are mere mortals, so growing pains and glitches are bound to happen as B2B marketers develop their skills in driving leads.

Here are some mistakes B2B marketers are making—and some ways they can fix them.

Mistake 1: Being too eager

Like a puppy with a new bone, B2B marketers can get excited about new prospects. They want to contact them right away and often to tell them all about their great products. In B2B marketing, however, there are a limited number of industries that directly correlate with your services.

To correct this mistake:

  • Slow down. For leads to be turned into long-term customers, marketers have to go slowly and not scare off prospects.
  • Segment lists. Rather than deliver every message to every prospect, break it down and serve the right message to the right audience.
  • Personalize your message. Otherwise, it's junk mail.
  • Do not over-contact.

Mistake 2: Not being eager enough

The temptation is to automate everything and let it run your marketing program. Timing and personalization are necessary.

To correct this mistake:  

  • Contact leads when you first acquire them. If they perform an action on your site, that can be as simple as a thank-you email.
  • Review databases to make sure your information is up to date.

Mistake 3: Relying on a linear funnel strategy

Gone are the days of casting a big net and hoping enough leads filter through the funnel to eventually reach sales. Leads need to be nurtured, with frequent contact from sales and marketing, at the right points in the customers' buying cycle.

To correct this mistake:  

  • Tap into behavioral intelligence—lead scoring, predictive analytics, behavioral intent—and associated buying patterns to develop a multichannel communication program that addresses customers' concerns about products.
  • Nurture the database and define the target audience. Then use list segmentation and personalization to provide multiple communications.

Mistake 4: Working in silos

When marketing captures the lead and then hands it off to sales, leads can get lost in transmission. Similarly, creating a B2B strategy without the product development team and technology department will ring hollow.

To correct this mistake: 

  • Sales and marketing have to work together to nurture leads at every touch point order to respond to the prospects' needs efficiently. Other departments need to be involved to fully drive and convert leads too.
  • Gather all the information the customer provides with every interaction with your brand to determine intent.
  • Produce content about products and services from the experts within your organization. Product development can explain the technical aspects, while research can show the competitive advantage.

Mistake 5: Not paying attention to details

Wars are lost for lack of a nail. Many B2B marketers have a big plan, and sometimes, that means glancing over the details.

To correct this mistake:   

  • Track everything. What good is a content marketing strategy if you have no idea what is effective?
  • Automate what you can to analyze and track; set triggers, but make sure someone is overseeing all automation.
  • Produce good content, and make sure to proofread it. Also, make sure all your links and calls to action work.

By avoiding some of these common mistakes, B2B marketers can more effectively attract, qualify, nurture, and convert leads. Timing, personalization, behavioral data, tracking, and appropriate contact all drive leads to sales.

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Erik Matlick guides corporate strategy and vision at Madison Logic Data, bringing over 15 years in founding, board, and executive management experience.

LinkedIn: Erik Matlick

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  • by Bret Rachlin Wed Nov 19, 2014 via web

    Erik, you're exactly right when you highlight the importance of sales and marketing alignment throughout the nurture process. Marketing and sales must deliver valuable content at each stage of the buying cycle to ensure that prospects understand why this particular vendor is relevant and how it can solve their problems. Based on an agreed lead definition, marketing and sales should know who owns each lead to lessen the chances of lead leakage.

    Bret Rachlin
    Marketing Strategist
    Carabiner Communications

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