Business to Business marketing is becoming increasingly complex. And with so many things to remember mistakes are easier to make. Because the value of a client in B2B is often quite high, advertising errors can be costly. Eliminating common B2B marketing mistakes can save money and increase revenue.
The acronym ABM (Account Based Marketing) is often misunderstood. The purpose of ABM is for marketing to work with sales to identify high-value prospects and focus on that segment. The idea is that marketing will generate the kinds of leads the sales team wants. Content and campaigns are dedicated to a specific audience. Brand awareness within that segment increases. Sales knows exactly who they are selling to, increasing closing percentages. Marketing and Sales need to work together.
Target More Than C-Suite
It is easy to think that all communications should go to the top of the C-Suite for the vertical being pursued. That ignores all the other stakeholders in a B2B decision. Though 64% of C-suite executives do have final say, 24% of those who also play a role in buying decisions are not in the C-suite, according to a Google study. In many cases the influencers are millennials, so communications must keep that in mind. Don’t just market to the top of the C-Suite.
Quality Leads, Not Quantity
As marketers, it is common to get caught in the numbers game. We just want to get in as many leads as possible because that increases the chances of a sale. As noted earlier, we may sacrifice lead numbers to pull in the quality leads sales wants from a specific business segment. And, once we have those leads in house, we need a plan. The B2B sales cycles usually last longer than consumer buying processes. Once leads are in-house, they must be nurtured. Before the marketing campaign is launched, nurture messaging should be planned and ready to deploy. Develop high-value pieces that make a direct contribution to your sales efforts. Think case studies, webinars, product demos, and anything else that targets the pain points of specific prospects.
Don’t Forget Emotion
And don’t just sell data points. Although this is business, there are real people making the business happen. They have feelings and emotion. While data is important in the buying decision, emotion is ultimately why people buy. One study suggested that B2B customers were more likely to buy when they saw personal value in the product or service. B2B emotion can be a bit different from B2C. Risk aversion is a powerful motivator. A bad decision can cost someone their job. There is also a far greater likelihood that decisions are made as a group. Hence, groupthink, where consensus is more important than the best product.
Remembering that humans are the decision-makers in B2B is also important in any social media strategy. Many businesses’ social media outreach is boring and impersonal, focusing on facts and not a story. Imagine going to a party and meeting someone who only talks about themselves. That is how a lot of B2B social media outreach sounds. Instead, view social media as a two-way medium. You have to bring value to the table if you want to maximize your gain from the medium. By engaging your audience with questions and polls you not only make it interesting for them to visit and return to your site, but you can learn a lot about what motivates them. Make social media social.
Common B2B Marketing Mistakes
And as with any marketing effort you need to test creative and media, measure your results and optimize. Marketing fundamentals are just that, basics we must always follow. The easiest way to make a mistake is to abandon foundational principles. A/B test continually to find the best messaging. Experiment with different media to learn what produces the engagement you want and optimize. Avoid the common B2B marketing mistakes discussed and you will be well on your way to a successful campaign.