5 Common Marketing Fails That Stop B2B Business Growth

Growth – the goal every business sets out to achieve. Marketing has been one of the key components of every business’ growth plans and strategies for as long as we’ve known. A good marketing plan and disciplined execution have been proven to help a business achieve its growth objectives. However, not many businesses have got marketing down pat. Here we identify the 5 marketing mistakes commonly made by business that hinders growth:



1. Prioritising Sales over Marketing

All too often, business owners think Sales will do their magic and get them where they want to be. They support Sales completely, allocating more budget when asked without a second thought. In doing so, the business inadvertently restricts Marketing and its ability to address the target audience based on their buying journey. Promotional materials are then made based upon Sales’ requirements without any consideration for the type of content suitable for different stages of the buying journey. Marketing then ends up being an add-on to help promote the sales materials and falls flat, wasting valuable budget and hindering growth. 

I am not advising businesses to go the other way round and prioritise marketing over sales. Every business needs salespeople to make the sale; but they also need Marketing and their knowledge of the buyer’s behaviour. Bring Sales and Marketing together to build your growth plans and you will come up with a set of actions that both sides agree on and are accountable for.

2. Arbitrary tactic selection

Business owners are sometimes guilty of choosing tactics based on what everyone else is doing. Communication pieces are therefore built without aligning to their specific buyer’s journey, and when it fails to deliver as expected, they stop executing it. Ultimately, these businesses end up spending more resources trying many different tactics without actually ever committing to any.

There is no one tactic that will magically lead you to more sales and growth. Before you go into discussing or selecting tactics, you must understand your target audience – their problems, needs and their buying behaviour. Understand the stages they go through when making a buying decision for a product / service such as yours. Then, determine the best tactics for each stage of their buying journey so that you can nurture them well.

3. Marketing not accountable to revenue

This is the biggest mistake made by business owners. Marketing is seen as the department that creates fluff and pretty pictures, while Sales do the actual work. Marketers are then left to build their brochures and flyers, which have no purpose beyond promoting the business / product / service and don’t accomplish much for the business.

Marketing has the potential to deliver real value to a business, if given the chance. Marketers should be held accountable beyond lead generation. They should be made responsible for delivering qualified leads to sales and then supporting sales with appropriate materials to close the sale.

4. Promoting your company, not helping your buyers solve their problems

Most businesses think the sole purpose of marketing in their organisation is to build materials that promote their company, their product and their service. Most of this content is product-centric or company-centric, never actually giving the target audience any information of value and therefore, rarely generate any real leads. As a result, Marketing is then chastised for failing.

Business owners need to realise that marketing can only generate results if it is delivering real value to your target audience. How can you deliver this value? Your marketing material must be informative and helpful to the audience, and most importantly, in tune to your buyers’ problems and needs. Overall, your content must be relevant to your buyers for it to get any attention from them.

5. Underestimating the power of digital marketing

Business owners are often skeptical when it comes to new ideas. Digital marketing has been perceived as a cheaper and less successful alternative to real marketing. Some organisations even get on to it without really understanding what it entails. They get marketers to build a website, create a few social media accounts and they think they’re set.

Digital marketing can generate results with proper planning and execution. Build a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that outlines all your channels and content plans. Social media may even have its own strategy, depending on how you plan to use it. When planned and executed properly, digital marketing has the power to draw your audience, convert them to leads and nurture them.

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Topics: marketers b2b marketing strategy business owners digital marketing