Learning from the failures of others is essential to success. That’s why, in this article, we will discuss our perspective on the most common mistakes made in B2B marketing.
More often than not, these mistakes prevent B2B businesses from putting their best marketing practices and thus fail to get the desired results. What are they? Let us take a look at the first one.
1. Too Much Focus On Conversion
Although it is true that the ultimate goals of marketing should be about ROI, revenue, and conversion, doesn’t mean you can neglect all the processes behind it. A lot of B2B marketers fell into this trap, putting too much emphasis on the bottom of the funnel: the decision stage.
This mistake will often lead to others: for example. A conversion-focused content strategy is often too technical and not value focused. Thinking too much about converting leads, we forgot the importance not only of generating but qualifying leads.
However, all stages of the buyer’s journey are equally important. You won’t get any conversion without getting leads. You won’t get many conversions without first building credibility with your value-focused contents. You won’t get enough conversion if you are attracting the wrong leads. You won’t make enough profit when every new conversion, you have two customers canceling subscriptions, and so on.
How to fix this mistake? An effective B2B marketing strategy should focus on all stages and all aspects of the marketing funnel.
2. Underestimating The Importance of User Experience
With so many websites on the saturated digital world, how can we stand out? One of the simplest yet most effective ways is to improve your site’s user experience (UX).https://conversionxl.com/blog/10-best-practices-for-better-b2b-website-experience/
Yet, too many B2B marketers neglect the importance of UX, often because they are, again, too conversion-oriented, and so the website is nothing more than a pile of CTA buttons, hard-selling contents, and offers.
There are three key UX fundamentals for a B2B website:
1. Align Your Site With Your User’s Needs
And not to what you want your user to be. Thus, it is very important to truly understand your target audience. A customer empathy map https://www.copyblogger.com/empathy-maps/ is a great tool to help you in this aspect.
2. Align Your Site With Your Goals
And so, having the right and realistic goals are very important (more on this below). Have clear KPIs, and build your site to cover all those objectives.
3. The Technical Aspect
Always aim to build a better website than your closest competitors. Remember, more expensive and more technical do not always translate to ‘better’.
There are also many UX testing tools available, some are very affordable.The most important thing here is to truly understand your audience and appeal to their needs -not yours-.
3. Having Unrealistic Goals
While society has taught us to always aim high, unrealistic and unachievable goals can be detrimental, leading to failures. First, your marketing team can be demoralized and demotivated with your realistic goals, creating a pessimistic, low-morale environment. Second, having too high of a standard can create a gap between the executives and your frontline marketing team, creating misalignments in strategies and communications.
Here’s the catch: just because you think your vision and goal as an executive is realistic, doesn’t necessarily mean your team thinks the same, no matter how hard you try to communicate and encourage them.
There are two main ways to tackle this issue:
1. Break Down Your Goal Into Smaller, More Realistic Milestones
By breaking your grand vision into smaller, realistic ones, you can give your team a sense of achievement every time they reached a milestone. This is a great psychological trick to try.
2. Back Your Goals With Data
If you can back your arguments with objective data, there is a higher likelihood your team will believe you, and support your vision.
In short, set goals that are progressive and based on achievable numbers.
4. Not Understanding The Buyer’s Perspective In Lead Generation
We all know the importance of truly understanding the buyer’s perspective. Yet, how many of us put it in proper practice?
If we don’t truly understand our buyer’s perspective, we can either attract the wrong buyer role (in the organization) or miss the important factors that can affect the buyer’s decisions.
Only after we understood the buyer’s perspective can we define a clear strategy tailored for that specific audience, including the right contents, the light offers, and thus we can build a strong nurturing strategy from lead to sales. The idea is, the buyer’s perspective should be integrated into every aspect of lead generation, we call this the joined-up customer experience. https://www.mycustomer.com/community/blogs/capriza/joined-up-customer-experience-is-only-the-start
How can we start tackling this mistake? The first thing you should do is the basic customer research practices to understand the needs of your buyers: building buyer personas, researching your ideal customer profiles, full-funnel analytics, and acquisition analysis among others can help your business to align your strategies and improve your relevance to target prospects.
So, do your homework of truly understanding your audience first before formulating a strategy.
5. Investing In Technology (And Don’t Know How and When To Use It)
With so many tools, marketing automation products, and other SAAS services available, it is very tempting to invest on new technology, thinking that the new tech-tool will be the holy grail to solve all your marketing problems.
While it’s true that new technology, tools, or apps can help your marketing processes, you still need the data, contents, procedures, and even their own processes to get the most of the technology.
For example, you might have invested in the state-of-the-art, best of the best CRM software out there. Yet, your team only uses it to enter the name of a new user and the email address (which, believe me, happens more often than we first thought). In this case, does the CRM software justify your investment? Most probably not.
Before investing in a new software of technology, you should consider a few things: how you will use it and for what, how it will fit your current marketing ecosystem, and how much data and content will the new software need before operating optimally -and will the effort be worth it-.
Remember that a new tech is only there to ASSIST your marketing team, not to act as a magic wand to fix all your problems.
6. Hard-Selling On Social Media
Social media, as the name obviously suggests, is meant to be social.
Yet, too many businesses, B2B and B2C included, only look at social media as a place to broadcast their messages, and worse, to endlessly promote their products. This behavior is precisely what caused so many people now to be resistant to brands’ social media accounts. They simply don’t trust brands anymore.
Well, why should we worry? We can still use influencers to promote our messages. That’s true, but having an authentic, and well-aligned brand voice on your social media is far more powerful and valuable.
So, how should we approach social media? Like mentioned above, be social.
Use your social media channels as a space to engage with your customers. Very few brands actually reply to their followers on Facebook business pages, this is a very valuable opportunity to get ahead. Use social media as a showcase of your customer support excellence, encourage people to contact your social media accounts if they need help or have questions, and dedicate a social media manager to answer them.
Post behind-the-scenes contents like your team, your social cause, and your product development. You can even ask your audience for ideas on what they want to see from your brands in the future.
7. Not Measuring The Right Metrics
Monitoring your marketing progresses is a very deep subject, and we won’t give it much justice discussing it here. Yet, let’s discuss some of the common issues related to this subject in the B2B marketing environment.
The first one is tied to our 3rd point above: you don’t set the proper goals, or, don’t have any goals and all, and thus you don’t know what to measure. On other, but quite similar cases, many marketers don’t know how to track the right metrics related to their goals.
If you don’t track your marketing efforts, you don’t know whether your investments are justified, and you can’t adjust your strategy if not working. In many ways, it is similar to not having any marketing strategy at all.
For example, if you have a lot of contents and you want to know if they cause your audiences to sign up to your newsletters, you should track a micro goal that is ‘viewing a content’, and set up a conversion tracking analytics.
Again, this is a pretty deep subject, so here are several guides that might help you further:
- A guide by Popcorn Metrics covering the essentials of digital marketing analytics
- A list of marketing resources by HubSpot
- A rather in-depth guide by BuildFire for marketing analytics
Are your business currently practicing one or more of these mistakes? Or you have done them in the past and overcome them? There are, obviously other marketing practices that can hinder your progress, and tackling those issues is one of the most important steps in maturing your marketing.