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The First Step in B2B Marketing




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by Mary-Rose Hoja in EPE, Sales

As a digital marketing speaker and strategic advisor, my B2B clients often ask me to review their digital marketing. 

Whether you are a B2B business considering your next marketing step, you’re entering a new market, or you simply want a more cost-effective sales pipeline, your digital marketing is one of your most powerful tools to steer your prospective clients’ perception of you.

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Efficient and cost-effective digital marketing is not trivial. The process of posting is time-consuming, and although you may have a marketing plan based on the content you have, the events you have planned, and the posts you’re thinking of updating, you may not be achieving a sufficient frequency – and it might not be effective.

You may clearly have positive trends on website traffic, or a constant flow of new followers, but you really need better traction and results. 

Do you find yourself asking questions like, “Is our marketing plan optimal?”

“How can we increase frequency with a higher ROI?”

“How can we optimize and increase efficiency in production?”

These are great questions, and we’ll dive into those today.

How to  best do your digital marketing is a real sticking point for many eight-figure B2B businesses. They often have limited in-house resources and knowledge, their process of production is often fragmented and ad hoc, and no one really wants to spend time looking at the systems and processes, the analytics, and the data on which your decisions should be based .

The first thing we look at, when we see businesses doing digital marketing, is if they have a system for visibility and the sales and the client processes around that. 

If there’s no plan, or if the process is broken, I would really advise them to be very cautious about investing in external marketing agencies to do their website, for example, or to do print or digital ads, until they really understand what actually leads to sales and what is practical. 

Why? Three reasons. 

  1. If you don’t know the expected ROI or you don’t really know how your clients and advocates behave and what makes them engage, you could misspend a lot of energy, time, and money. The  key with digital marketing, especially with social, is consistency. You have to really be maintaining a sustainable and effective way of doing things.

2.. There is no such thing as one-size-fits-all marketing. You need to understand how the person receiving it is responding to it. Otherwise it’s just spray and pray.

  1. If you don’t love creating and you’re really not sure what to do, or if you haven’t really dug into your target market, or if you’re not really great at creating content or following through, you risk sabotaging yourself. Ad hoc posting and a sporadic presence can really give your prospects and influencers the idea that your company isn’t really growing and it’s not really stable. The thing that we discuss a lot through our visibility systems and sales processes is that you really need to be very judicious and prudent with your digital marketing.

If you’re still skeptical towards digital marketing, do know that your competitors will be using and taking your visibility. Even now as we see a slowdown in the markets towards 2020, you really need to be understanding where to focus your marketing efforts.

Can digital channels be powerful? Absolutely! 

Even some of my most successful B2B clients ask, “What is the first step?” And the first step many marketing agencies will tell you is, “You need to revamp your website,” or my favorite, “You need to sexier, more dynamic website.” Or, “You need to blog more.” 

That is terrible advice. One of the things I see an awful lot is that people and companies will invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in their website and fancy SEO reports and stats, and they never even look at them. They never upgrade anything after they make that investment. 

A lot of these businesses are incredibly savvy business-wise, but when it comes to their marketing, they haven’t taken a structured approach to their lead generation and sales processes, or indeed a realistic look at what gives them a high ROI in a sustainable way. So upgrading a website isn’t the first step.

The first step is to get a real snapshot of your business. What do you sell, who do you sell it to, and what does that look like? How do your clients and the people who influence them touch you and find you? 

We do a very structured exercise that gives us a very good picture of where you are, what is working, what is broken, the processes you have in place, and where you should start. 

We look at how to create momentum to get big wins and reduce your risk by doing some things that will actually create momentum. We’ll give you big wins, reduce your risk by not committing to anything that might hurt too much. 

We always start from the point of sale and we work backwards. We start with numbers. Any sales pipeline, any marketing is really just metrics – which is why we focus on your numbers. You don’t need fancy tools for this. A simple spreadsheet is a great place to start, or with a piece of A4 paper, a pencil, and a calculator. 

The second thing we look at is what we call your funnels and your touch points. Where can people find you online and offline? What do your leads and sales conversations look like? If you’re using email, what do your open rates look like? What do your conversion rates look like? 

We’re looking for ROI, because you need to have data upon which you can base your marketing decisions – and not just base them on your gut. It’s all about numbers.

If you’re using an external marketing agency and you’re not getting the results you want or the service that you deserve, or you have invested already in a digital tool, for example, and you want to know if it is cost-effective, then let’s take a look at this together. 

If you would like to find out what your numbers look like, please reach via email or our contact page.