Can you tell where your business is heading? And what about the way it moves? If it’s not easy for you to answer the second question, it seems that you need to pay attention to your strategy.
Strategy is a plan of actions one should take to achieve desirable results. It can be simply described as the answer to the question “what should I do to get from point A to point B?” Most companies clearly understand the final result they need to get, however, sometimes they miss the main part – “how”.
Marketing strategy in particular defines how you will establish your relationships with clients and how your brand will be positioned on the market.
Meticulously elaborated business to business marketing strategies are essential for any company’s prosperity. Otherwise, the business is at the risk of wasting time and money. So, doing business without a strategy is like driving through the country without a map. You will get somewhere, but will it be the destination you initially headed to?
In a B2B this road is always longer than in a b2c because of the typical specifications. This is one more reason to pay attention to your b2b marketing strategies. Let’s consider this concept in detail.
What are business to business marketing strategies?
Let’s start with the difference between b2c and b2b marketing strategies. In a b2c segment, you deal with the final customer and need to understand that his desires and intentions mostly result from the personal point of view, culture, friends, budget, fears, emotions, and so on. The decision is taken by one person in a short period.
In a b2b sector, the decision-taken process lasts longer because a lot of people and departments are involved. You need to make your way from the initial contact with a company representative to the C-level official. The whole process might include a series of calls, negotiations, meetings, and presentations. All of this is unnecessary when targeting the b2c.
So, how the business to business marketing strategies look?
First of all, there are no one-size-fits-all strategies. You can’t take a strategy developed for another business and apply it for yours. Even if this strategy works well for this business and makes it profitable. Every company should develop a marketing strategy based on the unique needs of its business.
Create the b2b marketing strategy including a clear understanding of your business goals. What you are trying to achieve – attract more leads, achieve more engagement, or develop your brand awareness.
- Brand messaging
Your company, like a person, has a unique voice that it uses to talk to the audience. It distinguishes your brand among competitors and helps to find “soulmates” – other companies which would like to establish a relationship with your business. Such relation is essential in b2b marketing.
So, before starting to develop a marketing strategy, think about the message which characterizes your brand the best and makes it remarkable. For example, which key values would you like to broadcast to your audience? What are your business priorities?
Spend some time to list these points and visualize them. Then, it will be easier for you to include them in your sales channels.
- Competitor’s analysis
As we mentioned above, you can’t simply duplicate someone’s strategy for your business and make it work. Nevertheless, it’s useful to know which marketing strategies use your competitors, how they interact with their customers. Analyzing their tactics you receive a more clear understanding of how your approach differs from theirs and has a chance to grab some ideas.
You can use popular SWOT analysis to sum up your competitor’s analysis. SWOT illustrates the opportunities, strengths, weaknesses, and threats in your market environment. Such understanding helps to build a more effective b2b strategy that will be viable in real circumstances.
- KPI metrics
Key performance indicators help to evaluate how successfully your marketing strategy reaches its goals. These indicators should be linked to general business and marketing targets you have set. The example: the number of leads you want to attract, the expected growth of your brand, and the engagement rate for your content.
Now when you know where to start, let’s consider how to develop a marketing strategy.
5 key steps for effective B2B marketing strategies
After you have set clear goals and the right KPI metrics for them, defined your brand message, and conducted a competitor’s analysis, you can go on with further steps. We propose to consider how to make a marketing strategy effective.
Define your customers
B2C marketers create a buyer persona – a portrait that illustrates the target customers. In b2b the description includes a company profile and a decision-maker. Understanding all peculiarities of your clients’ business will help you to create a unique persuasive offer that will appeal to their needs. In addition, this information will help you to choose the correct ways of lead generation.
However, any communication is interpersonal anyway. That’s why you need to establish personal contact with your target company representative. Try to find out as much information about this person as you can. Follow him on social media, check the content he shares, watch the videos where he is acting as a speaker, etc.
Use the information collected to create a comprehensive portrait of your target audience and update your further b2b marketing strategies.
Define clear objectives
As we mentioned earlier, having clear measurable goals is a part of success. When listing your objectives for business to business marketing strategies, add a tactics and KPI description for each of them. For example:
Objective 1: Increase the number of warm sales leads by 10% in the next quarter
Tactics: Research for new traffic sources, conduct A/B tests of advertising campaigns, create a content plan.
KPIs: 15% quarter-on-quarter increase in qualified inbound leads.
Choose the most effective tactic for each objective. For example, display advertising campaigns are good at raising brand awareness, and lead nurturing is perfectly fulfilled via email outreach.
Of course, the choice of your tactics depends on the budget and resources you have.
Online presence for your business
Work on your online presence to represent your company at its best side. It concerns the following points:
- Website appearance: is it trustworthy?
- Does the design match the industry? Does it look trendy?
- Is the navigation user-friendly?
- Is the content relevant?
Include website optimization as a part of your business to business marketing strategies.
When leads land on your website they should easily find a clear description of your offer and contact information. It’s a disappointing tendency when companies are describing their mission with general phrases, like “we will help your business thrive”, “a team of professional experts”, and so on. It’s irritating when you spend a lot of time trying to find what they can do for your business. Most visitors will just close such websites.
Use concise expressions which better describe your business: “We are a manufacturer of windows”, “We are SEO agency”, etc.
Create relevant content
It sounds evident, but sometimes this part is missing. The content you create should appeal to your target audience and be in line with b2b marketing strategies.
Keep up with trends in your industry and highlight the place your company takes. Mix the content with materials that appeal to your customers’ pain points and needs. Show them how your business can solve their issues.
Try to experiment with different content types and frequency – videos, newsletters, digests on a weekly/monthly, or quarterly basis. Study the engagement rate and make changes if necessary.
Enhance your Processes regularly
Constant development is essential for growth and prosperity. You need to keep a finger on the pulse of your audience, otherwise, you risk losing their attention. Surveys are a helpful tool to gather information about your customers’ preferences.
Even if you have created a perfect b2b strategy that facilitates the achievement of the business goals, you shouldn’t stop analyzing, reviewing, and updating it. B2B marketing is a constantly changeable sphere. Your strategy should be ready to be adapted for the new trends which appear almost every year.
B2B marketing strategy is your map and beacon to prosperity. Now, when you have an understanding of how to develop a marketing strategy, your marketing department can create a strong plan to achieve your business goals, be distinguished from the competitors, and stay attractive to the customers.
How often do you update your marketing strategy?