Common B2B Marketing challenges and Digital marketing solutions to overcome them
As the marketing manager or CMO of a group, your methods and processes for marketing your business have been well established and successful for many years. Like most businesses with a B2B offering, you have had to find the best combination of industry publications and trade shows to grow your customer base.
But you have recently experienced a drop in the number of leads you generally get, your last trade show did not produce results and your biggest competitor is aggressively marketing online.
You feel overwhelmed by the fact that your well-managed processes are being challenged and with so many elements to digital and online marketing solutions, you hardly know where to start let alone compete.
Lack of adoption of digital marketing solutions into your marketing mix
There are no more valid excuses for not incorporating digital marketing solutions into your marketing. The biggest challenge is around how to access your audience through the various online channels and how to talk to them. We don’t mean for you to void all your above the line tactics, just expand them into the digital world. If your trade publications have online versions or similar, extend your marketing into these realms. No single marketer can keep up with the changes so get some expert advice on how to reach your audience through digital tactics.
Lack of Sales and marketing data
Sales and marketing data is essential for driving great online marketing. Understanding who your customer base is can help you to find similar audiences. Understanding why they buy, how they buy and how often they buy gives us accurate insight into the real sales cycle of your products. Gathering and tracking sales and marketing data centres around:
- Tracking website visitors, prospects and qualified leads;
- Tracking which channel provided the most leads;
- Understanding where qualified leads come from; and
- Tieing sales and marketing efforts together, keeping sales honest about the leads they engage and marketing realistic about the ROI they produce.
Many digital marketing platforms and solutions are able to effectively track leads into the sales funnel.
Campaign execution – targeting, optimisation and goal setting
The challenge with digital marketing tactics or campaigns is to ensure you set your goals upfront, understand who you want to target and optimise as the campaign progresses. Often marketing teams will run a set of online adverts with no focus on who they are marketing to. They simply transfer the offline advert into the online space and soon find it has no traction.
- Set an upfront goal for the campaign between sales and marketing so you know what success means.
- Select an audience you want to target and customise your message for that audience. All online channels will allow you to target specific groups but you need to ensure you know who they are.
- Optimise throughout the campaign. All online methods are trackable and show instant stats that you must use to inform the future of your campaign.
Do we have to use Social media?
Many B2B companies feel they have no place being on social media platforms. This myth is 100% incorrect. You should focus on building a niche community online about your offering and services. In our own capacities online we are both private individuals and affiliated with our careers. We want to explore industry topics and trends as long as it is on the platform we align to.
- Select the most suitable channels based on your industry and where your target audience is.
- Create relevant content for the channel and not just sales info.
The biggest challenge for large businesses is giving a voice to their products and services. There are often conflicting views within a business about how to talk about a product. This is why content marketing is so important.
- Establish a content strategy to define how you talk to your audience.
- Understand the type of content you can create from video to mobile content.
- Give context to your content.
- Humanise the marketing message and drop the jargon.
Ask the experts
Many companies we engage with will tell us they have tried all of these tactics. But you can’t compare a well executed digital strategy with a poorly constructed Facebook ad weakened by incorrect targeting and the wrong message. No marketer can be an expert in all the areas of marketing and digital tactics. So seek advice or help when it comes to elements you are not familiar with. Don’t try to execute on a platform you don’t know. Digital agencies are always learning and innovating to ensure the advice or tactics they suggest and execute are always the best for your industry and business. They are aimed at achieving your goals, and ours.
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