As we are well into 2020, you and your teams will already be working to execute your B2B marketing and sales strategies to achieve your revenue and growth targets.
However, you will likely be finding that achieving these objectives is becoming increasingly difficult. This is largely due to the following forces at play
- industries and markets becoming very crowded
- the product and service providers in these markets are all using similar approaches such as:
- offering new or expanded products and services with the latest features and/or technologies
- pursuing the same target customers often using the similar B2B marketing tactics such as providing high-level generic content in formats such as blogs and videos and distributing them through social media in hopes of both reaching and delivering value to their target customers and prospects
Using such generic, “same same” approaches to your B2B marketing strategies will not enable your SME or start-up to acquire large business customers such as corporates and government nor achieve the B2B sales, revenue and business growth you seek.
To achieve such outcomes, SMEs and start-ups must take a much broader and deeper approach to their B2B marketing and sales strategies.
5 marketing strategy principles to drive B2B sales & business growth this year
Focus on the B2B buyer customer experience
Almost 77% of B2B buyers find the purchase decision process to be difficult and complex, therefore the primary objective of your marketing strategy must be buyer enablement, which means to
- provide the insights, advice and recommendations that will enable them to address key challenges and strategic priorities
- provide this input using the formats and mechanisms (eg case studies, diagnostics, demonstrations, customer references) which reflects how they buy
- provide buyers with positive customer experience: a critical factor to driving B2B sales
Be innovative in your content creation
Consider new ways of developing content that delivers value to your target buyers while also helping to increase the credibility and visibility of your SME or start-up
One effective means to do so is by co-creating content (eg blog posts, videos, podcasts, industry analysis) with relevant influencers. James Carbary, Author and Host of The B2B Growth Show has developed the term for this, Content-Based Networking. It enables influencers to showcase their expertise and also provide deep, meaningful insights, recommendations and advice that will help the target audience.
When effectively executed, it also enables your SME or start-up to gain visibility and reach across that influencer’s following thereby creating a “triple win” for the influencer, the target audience and your company.
Go beyond social media to distribute content
With over 30 000 000 companies registered and 40 million decision makers, LinkedIn is regarded as The Platform for B2B. However, you cannot rely on it solely as your primary means of content distribution as the reality is that there are many B2B decision-makers who do not access LinkedIn regularly.
Your content distribution strategy should be based on those channels where your target buyers go for insights, advice and recommendations both online and offline. Therefore, consider content distribution channels including:
- Industry Associations-websites and events
- Third-Party Review Sites
- Podcasts (where you can distribute and gain reach via podcast guesting)
- Guest Blogs
- Speaking Opportunities (eg Conferences, Trade shows, Virtual summits)
SEO is a necessary “hygiene” component of your marketing strategy
89% of B2B buyers will conduct research of product and service providers before they contact you, therefore, it is imperative that your website is properly optimized and features useful content, presented clearly that it can be easily found and consumed.
Google’s algorithms and their corresponding rules are continually changing. Hence it is important your site is managed and maintained so that your website’s visibility does not get suppressed in what is already a crowded space
Be prepared to spend more on marketing to drive growth
With intense competition, crowded markets and the complexity of new marketing solutions such as marketing automation, it is highly likely your SME or start-up will need to increase its marketing activities and spend to gain awareness, and drive both customer acquisition, retention and business growth.
This is over 5 times that of “no-growth” firms. It is also important to note that this increased spend is across both online and offline channels.
So now it’s over to you. Make 2020 your year to get out there and…
5 Steps To Delivering A Great B2B Customer Experience
As a start-up or SME that is seeking to grow your business by acquiring business customers, the key to successfully doing so is to deliver a great B2B customer experience.
B2B Customer Acquisition Versus Sales: Same Same or Different?
As business owners, we often use “sales” and “customer acquisition” to describe how the business will grow, but the two are very different. Find out why!
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About Michael Haynes
B2B Customer & Marketing Strategy Consultant
For over 20 years, Michael has worked with micro-businesses to large corporates alike across Australia and Canada, developing and implementing business growth strategies and programs. Read more.