An Effective B2B Marketing Strategy: Why Messaging and Audience MatterFebruary 21, 2023 | Content, Marketing, Strategy, They Ask You Answer
Sometimes your B2B marketing strategy isn’t getting you the results you were aiming for, and you’re trying to figure out why you’re missing the target. As we discussed in our post “How Strategic Marketing Helps You Stop Guessing and Start Growing Your Business,” it’s critical to have a marketing plan with quantifiable key performance indicators so you can measure your ROI. Having a marketing strategy to successfully move your business toward your goals is equally critical.
Whether you’ve been using strategic marketing or trying out spaghetti marketing (0 stars: do not recommend!) if your B2B marketing tactics are not paying off, it’s time to take a hard look at your messaging, your audience, and your content, and pivot accordingly.
Time and Money: Two Things Your B2B Marketing Strategy Needs
Marketing is an investment. If you’ve simply looked at it like a line item in your budget, you’re missing the point. Creating a fancy new website and declaring it a failure when you don’t have ten new clients the first month is sort of like taking up running and wondering why you didn’t qualify for the Olympics six months later.
Successful marketing isn’t a one-time expense that skyrockets your business to record-breaking growth. It’s a longer-term play–a marathon, not a sprint if you will. That said, if you’ve been at the same strategies for 18 months to a year and the needle still isn’t moving, it’s probably time for a change.
Is Your Marketing Message Clear and Compelling?
About a decade ago TylenolⓇ ran a campaign with this simple tagline, “Feel better, Tylenol.” I don’t think anyone is going to score off-the-chart originality points with that slogan, but we can likely agree that there’s no debate about what their pain reliever can do for you. Let’s learn from that simplicity.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Is it easy for people who visit your website to understand what you do and why it matters to them?
- Can you succinctly communicate what you do and how it solves your customers’ problems?
When it comes to messaging, “clear” trumps “clever” every time.
There are typically two reasons businesses are ineffective at marketing message strategy:
- They don’t know their audience.
- They focus on selling themselves rather than addressing the needs of their customers.
Who Is Your Ideal Client? Developing Customer Personas
Think about a first date. If you’re having lunch with someone and they spend the entire time talking about themselves and how great they are, how does that make you feel? A pretty big turn-off, right? On the other hand, what happens when your date focuses on asking you questions and actively listening to what you have to say?
You see, that’s the thing about humans. We want to be heard. It makes us feel seen and validated. It builds trust between two individuals who are getting to know one another. No one ever enjoys being talked at.
So this begs the question—how well do you know your clients? Have you interviewed them to develop customer personas and messaging that resonates with your ideal prospect? This process will supercharge your marketing strategy.
You also need to determine where your leads are in the buyer’s journey. If a prospect is early in their buyer’s journey (say in the “awareness” stage), they may be interested in a free educational webinar but not far enough along to want to schedule a consultation with a sales rep. If your mindset is simply closing the deal with every customer, you’re missing opportunities to develop a trusting relationship that is more fruitful in the long run.
What is The Problem You Can Solve for Your Ideal Client?
As a business, it’s hard to turn off our inclination to sell, sell, sell. However, it may be time to slow your roll a bit when you consider how buying patterns have shifted:
- 80% of the buying decision is made before the buyer has spoken with a salesperson.
- 33% of all buyers desire a seller-free sales experience – a preference that climbs to 44% for millennials.
This means that the buyer, rather than the seller, typically has the upper hand in sales meetings these days. That’s a major shift in thinking for most salespeople. But understanding this shifting dynamic is key to closing more deals.
Marketing messages must reflect empathy for the client’s challenges and needs. Suppose you don’t show empathy and understanding toward your customer’s frustration or confusion in your marketing content. In that case, you will lose them before being given the chance to offer an answer verbally. You can’t close deals with people who’ve stopped listening to you.
Make sure that communicating how you solve your buyer’s primary pain point is that the center of your B2B marketing strategy.
Are You Answering Your Buyers’ Questions?
When prospects search the web, they usually start with a question. And that question typically starts with solving a problem or gaining knowledge. Consider this scenario.
Your video conferences keep freezing up at work resulting in major frustrations for you and your colleagues. Maybe you search, “Hey Siri, why is my network so slow?” This search will lead you to a wealth of information. You might read a blog with some ideas for troubleshooting this on your own. You may even download a checklist of “The Five Most Common Network Issues and How to Solve Them.”
If you’re a busy business owner, however, having a professional help you is becoming increasingly appealing. Your next search may be, “what is outsourced IT?”
As you learn more about outsourced IT (and maybe fail at troubleshooting your network issues yourself) you may begin looking for an actual vendor who can fix this problem for you. Your next search is “Who are the best IT providers near me?”
Now, what if you had content on your website that answered this business owner’s very first questions? So by the time they realize they need managed IT they have already interacted with your site several times. Their experience has been that you answered their questions with both authority and empathy for their frustration. They’ve developed a virtual relationship with you before ever speaking to someone from your sales team.
It’s a lot easier to gain trust with your prospects at the beginning of the buyer’s journey than it is to play catch-up at the end. (Especially if your competitors were the ones answering their questions!) Answering the most common questions your buyers have from the beginning gives you a headstart.
To make this practical, make a list of the questions your personas likely have and make sure you’re answering them on your site, especially your B2B marketing blog. (Or someone else will!)
Need Help With Your B2B Marketing Strategy?
We realize that developing an effective B2B marketing strategy can be confusing for business owners, sales managers, and even marketers. You feel like you’re doing everything right but can’t seem to rise above the digital noise to attract the right leads.
We specialize in B2B marketing solutions. We realize that any marketing that drives results starts with identifying your ideal customer, understanding their challenges, crafting clear and compelling messaging, and developing an effective marketing strategy that meets them in the buyer’s journey.
Our team of B2B marketing experts would love to help you craft a plan that we’ll get you the results you’re going after. Let’s start a conversation.