Marketing is the business embodiment of ‘if a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?’. Have you really created a great product or service if no one knows or hears about it? Optimising your marketing strategy is crucial for B2B business success. That being said, many B2B marketers are not getting their money’s worth. Why?
In this article, we will be looking at the most common B2B marketing pitfalls and what you can do to avoid and combat them.
1. Not understanding your clients
One of the most significant mistakes B2B marketers make is assuming that just because B2B companies acquire fewer customers than B2C businesses, then all of these customers should be treated the same.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t provide your clients with the same quality of service. It means that they are different and should be marketed to differently.
What to do?
Segmentation is as crucial in B2B as it is in B2C. This is the act of separating your clients into groups based on specific qualities or traits that you have determined—for example, their industry, size, and location.
Segmenting your clients will allow you to create a far more tailored marketing strategy. This means that whether you choose email or conversational marketing techniques, they will be personal to your clients.
These highly targeted and focused campaigns will provide you with a competitive edge over other companies. Almost 80% of B2B marketing experts believe that personalised marketing initiatives significantly improve business-client relationships, and over 50% believe that it directly increases conversion rates.
Clean up your data
B2B companies often have a plethora of data about their clients. Let’s say you’re a company that provides video conference software. Your data is focused on industries that you have succeeded in, such as large offices and businesses. After cleaning up your data and carrying out research, you realise one of your clients uses your software for its deaf employee program. This knowledge opens up a whole new industry and segment for you to tap into.
2. Neglecting social media
Even though social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools, it is often overlooked by B2B marketers. Some say that it’s difficult to connect on social media as a company that only sells to other companies. Others say that their industry isn’t engaging enough for the average social media user.
What to do?
Social media isn’t just for B2C companies. Social media can help B2B companies to:
– Find and contact potential clients through platforms such as LinkedIn.
– Position themselves as industry leaders by creating high-quality content.
– Use social media engagement to build out existing client relationships and encourage others to join their network.
– Discover additional information about clients that can help them to understand their preferences and close the deal.
The main thing your B2B company should be looking to accomplish from social media is to tell compelling stories. Finding your brand voice and engaging with your customers publicly can help to humanise your company.
You don’t have to splash out on lavish social media campaigns. Using social media can be anything from championing your own employees to sharing content of your product or service in action.
3. Producing uncreative call-to-actions (CTAs)
Whether you’re a B2B ecommerce business or a small supermarket on the corner of a street, you need something that reminds your customers to buy. Let’s say that you’re a company that provides an integration platform as a service (IPaaS) solution, and you spend a lot of money on a marketing video that is engaging and explains ‘what is IPaaS?’. But, you don’t have a clear CTA that encourages people to purchase.
This is a mistake that lots of B2B businesses make, resulting in a reduction in conversion rate.
What to do?
B2B CTAs shouldn’t just be present, but they should also be well-timed and creatively placed. The reason for this is because B2B products or services are usually more complicated to explain than B2C products. So, a simple ‘buy now’ or ‘click to view’ button on a landing page isn’t enough.
Here are a few of the best ways you can create an innovative B2B CTA:
– Make your CTA a free sample of your product. After customers watch the demo or video of your product or service, offer them a trial with a CTA like ‘Here’s a ten day free trial, starting today.’
– Turn your CTA into a timer. Offer an exclusive deal for a limited time only. This increases client urgency and encourages them to take the deal.
– Offer a guarantee. Essentially, this is a promise from your company to the client that they will love your product. For example, ‘If you don’t like within one month, we’ll give you every penny back.’
4. Forgetting to track your progress
Tracking your campaigns is crucial for a successful B2B marketing strategy. Let’s take your customer service department as an example. They receive various inbound calls from customers, often with issues, complaints, or feedback. This feedback is then noted, and the necessary changes are made. Your marketing team needs to be doing this as well.
A big mistake B2B marketers can make is not tracking their metrics and ensuring that the money they’re spending is actually generating income.
What to do?
Here are some of the critical insights all B2B marketers should continuously be tracking:
– The proportion of potential customers and leads that convert to paying clients. This is all about checking if your marketing is gathering quality leads.
– The percentage of leads that have actually engaged with your marketing strategy. This is to ensure that the marketing is going to the right people.
– The average cost of a customer. This is to find out if you’re spending too much on your marketing and how you can better use your budget.
5. Skipping the testing process
You probably spent weeks, months, and even years creating, testing, and re-testing your product or service. Every single component was considered. This also needs to be the case for marketing.
Testing can provide you with insight that can help inform decisions on your next campaign. This is both time and cost effective, yet many B2B marketers ignore it.
What to do?
The most important thing is realising that everything needs to be tested, from full marketing campaigns to the CTA button’s colour on your landing page. The best way to go about this is by creating a testing strategy:
- Plan – figure out what you want to test, such as keywords, button size, CTA text, email layout, etc.
- Examine – this involves researching your competitors and audience to find out what you think they may prefer and narrowing it down to a few options.
- Test – choose the type of testing that is suitable. Usually, A/B testing is used. This is the process of creating, for example, two of the same CTA button, but you change one variable, such as colour. You then track the success of each one, and the most effective variable is chosen.
- Optimise – don’t assume that there isn’t a better option. Keep testing periodically to ensure that you constantly get the best results.
6. Increasing the workload of your employees
Marketing isn’t just the glitzy and fast-paced environment that they portray in the series Mad Men. There are a lot of mundane but also essential tasks that need to be performed, such as campaign and social media scheduling. These tasks are time-consuming and often leave employees unengaged.
What to do?
Using robotic process automation (RPA) for these tasks frees up time and allows your marketing team to focus on more meaningful and engaging tasks.
RPA is a process that uses software with machine learning capabilities to carry out tasks based on the instructions you have provided. This can be anything from lead nurturing to sales tracking. It is faster and cheaper than employees and ensures that there is no human error.
To sum up
One of your main goals should be to expand the reach of your B2B business. The only way you can do this is by improving your marketing. From the points above, we can see that it is essential to get to know your audience, take full advantage of social media, tell the audience to buy, track and test your campaigns, and finally, automate.