Top 3 Things Every B2B Marketer Needs To Do
During a recent LinkedIn Live presentation, Summer Craig and Libby Covington from Craig Group talked the dos and don’ts of B2B marketing. Whether you are a CEO, an investor, a marketing professional, or someone with a stake in the success of a company, the following things to think about can elevate a business and help it become more profitable, more quickly.
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DEFINE THE BUSINESS PROBLEM. THEN DECIDE IF SALES AND MARKETING CAN SOLVE IT.
Sometimes when businesses have an issue there is the mistaken belief that you can throw money at sales and marketing or hire more staff to quickly resolve the problem.
Digital marketing is a powerful tool. But it is not a perfect science. When we talk to CEOs and sales directors, the first order of business is to figure out who their target market is and what they care about so the business can reach them in the most meaningful way.
This is especially important in B2B which is often a complicated long sale with many people making the decision. It’s not e-commerce. It’s not buying jeans. It’s not clicking a button.
You really have to bring customers down the sales funnel through lots of different tactics. It takes getting into the ROI and the conversion rates and the revenue. The most important thing to a business owner or to a private equity firm is how they grow revenue.
There is a trend in the industry right now to get away from metrics that are very cost specific because that is not always the best gauge of how successful a plan is. It’s more important to understand the long term value.
Does it take a year for a deal to close or does it take three months? Fully understanding that helps decision makers forecast better and think about ROI in the marketing spend. There are so many great customer relationship management tools out there now which can help you understand what’s working and what’s not.
FIGURE OUT WHO THE AUDIENCE/CUSTOMER IS
Your company’s customer is who buys your product. However, some customers are better than others. To best define an audience, you need to conduct customer interviews. Then, you can figure out how to best reach them.
A lot of times marketing programs are set up to fail because they have an arbitrary goal of leads. Companies can fall into a trap of being order takers and not strategizing the way that they’re going after new customers. It’s the most profitable customers that are going to help a company grow.
On the broadest level, you need to understand the total addressable market (TAM) which is what a company will work towards penetrating. Then there is your serviceable addressable market (SAM), the market a company can currently serve with their capabilities or geographic limitations. Lastly, there is the serviceable obtainable market (SOM) which is what a company thinks that they can logically support today.
For example, if you know there are 500 companies who are potential customers, drilling that list down to the top ten that would have the most value to your business is key.
Research based on data is what will help you find your company’s best audience. If you don’t have it, you can look at adjacent markets. A company should build the customer acquisition cost that they can afford. It’s not as important what the number starts out with but how it grows over time.
Knowing the customer will also help a business create the content that will engage them. You are not only selling to customers – you are educating them and helping them be better in their jobs. It’s all about what’s in it for them.
B to B marketers tend towards lengthier content because a lot of times the products are also complicated, but B2B buyers are just like the rest of us. Everyone wants the pertinent information in a clear and concise way which is something that B to C traditionally does better.
KNOW WHO YOUR COMPETITORS ARE
More than having a list of your competitors, a company needs to understand them. That might mean interviewing the customers of your competitors if that’s possible. It’s probably more doable to ask current customers who else they considered when buying your product.
There’s a fine line here. A company shouldn’t be so confident to think they don’t have competitors. And they shouldn’t spend too much time focusing on what their competitors are doing.
Information about what social media channels the competition is using – and how much they are spending – is available and that is helpful to understand, even if it may not inform the company’s own media plans.
Our advice here is for a company to know their own product and how to talk to customers about it. You want to know how you’re positioned against your competitors. Are you the low-cost option? Are you the premium product? Are you selling on volume?
If your competitor has a totally different approach, or a completely different marketing spend, then maybe they aren’t your competitor.