Barriers to B2B Marketing

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Continuing on my commentary on the MarketingSherpa 2012 B2B Marketing Benchmark Report, I’d like to draw your attention to what organizations consider the top barriers in their effort to overcome marketing challenges.

  • Lack of resources in staffing, budgeting or time appears to be the #1 barrier. I wonder what the C Suite and Bean Counters would say about that. The same powers that hold Marketing accountable for reporting revenue contribution metrics are stifling marketing creativity by pulling back resources. My advice to marketers is to focus on lead quality and not worry about the numbers. As quality conversions increase, profits go up and the bottom line starts to look good, resources will be freed up with fewer questions asked. Keep the faith!
  • Lack of ability to stop executing and think strategically. Don’t we know? See the number of tactical players and spike marketers out there who run lead generation by the seat of their pants rather than with strategic insight, planning and processes. How to change this? Emulate industry best practices, set benchmarks, follow guidelines, minimize error, maximize internal sales-marketing intelligence and measure performance.
  • Limited ability to develop content. Marketing communications need to do a great job of listening in to conversations among prospective buyers so they can generate “nurturing content” that customers want to see and hear. Many companies get caught up in the “mechanics” of which email marketing system to use, text-based communications or html, online marketing using Facebook or our own website, a third-party blog or a company managed one, how many Tweets a day to post, and so on. Does it really matter? I say, a good, strong piece of communication that clearly conveys a positive message is more effective than a hotchpotch of several confusing messages that can easily get lost in the clutter or worse, do more damage than good.
  • Lack of sufficient insight on target audience. When companies try to “boil the ocean”, it’s not surprising they’ll come up with scum. I cannot stress enough the importance of customer profiling, market segmentation, list hygiene and maintenance—all of these are critical to ensure your sales team is focusing on qualified leads.
  • Lack of alignment between sales and marketing. See my post from last week about this. Overall, companies still see these as two separate compartments. With no consolidation of strategy and effort, both functions see a reduced rate of effectiveness and success. It’s time to start connecting the dots—integrating lead generation, sales and CRM can deliver the best return on B2B marketing investment.

Next week I will share a few “sound bytes” from the Report —some very interesting comments from B2B marketers about why they struggle to overcome barriers.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Louis Foong
Louis Foong is the founder and CEO of The ALEA Group Inc., one of North America's most innovative B2B demand generation specialists. With more than three decades of experience in the field, Louis is a thought leader on trends, best practices and issues concerning marketing and lead generation. Louis' astute sense of marketing and sales along with a clear vision of the evolving lead generation landscape has proved beneficial to numerous organizations, both small and large.

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