Being a business owner, you may have a b2b marketing team or a b2b marketing professional responsible for handling all marketing tasks in your business. You allocate a certain proportion of your company-wide budget for marketing, review a new digital marketing campaign proposed by the team and give them the go ahead. Soon they ask you for more funding to develop a different campaign, to support the existing campaign or for a different product / service altogether.
Essentially you and your marketing team spend a considerable amount of time and money to ensure marketing happens. Through it all, do you or your marketer(s) stop to think if marketing is delivering results, contributing to revenue and helping you grow?
Not really, because there is no time to do so. As we get too busy doing things, we forget the most important thing, which is to make sure we’re getting results from our efforts.
So, I’d like you to take a moment and ask yourself the following three questions:
- Is marketing generating sufficient qualified leads?
- Are marketing generated leads converting into customers?
- Is marketing bringing in revenue to the business?
If you can’t answer these questions with a confident "yes", marketing isn’t helping your growth; so you should ask yourself: is marketing preventing your growth?
In this blog, we discuss the three key reasons why your marketing could be hindering your growth:
1. No clear marketing plan
One of the main causes of marketing failure in an organisation is the lack of a clear plan. All too often, marketing is deemed to be an easy feat that organisations dive into without the right support. For marketing to generate any positive effect, organisations must start at the beginning: a marketing plan which has goals to be achieved by the marketing department, both in terms of number of sales and revenue.
This plan must be centered around your buyers, not your company or your product / service. It is critical that you first define your buyer persona, and then work out the key problems they face in relation to the product / service you offer, their needs and their buying preferences at each stage of their buying journey. This information will help you build out your content plan, as well as the tactics you can use to engage them. With this in hand, you have the ability to develop a fully fledged lead generation map that integrates the different tactics, making sure one flows to the next seamlessly.
2. Outdated techniques
It’s easy for businesses to get stuck on the idea of promotion through advertising and print brochures, because that’s what’s been used in the past. But consider the changes in the buying process. In this day and age, buyers are smarter, faster and empowered through technology and the Internet. Research has found that B2B buyers complete 60% of their buying process before engaging a salesperson. So to survive in the market, businesses must let go of promotional style marketing and embrace digital marketing to stay up to date.
But simply using digital channels isn’t going to cut it. Gone are the days when marketing materials only consist of information about your company or product / service. To engage buyers, the content you put forward through these channels must address the problem they are facing and their needs at the different stages of their buying journey. This means that when you target new buyers, you must share with them insights and tips on how to cope with the problem they have, before you bombard them with sales-y material about your product / service. After all, you wouldn’t buy a new computer for your office unless you had a problem that required a new computer, whether it be a new staff member or that your existing computer broke down.
3. Ad-hoc efforts
If there’s one thing that indicates the failure of marketing to deliver results, it’s ad-hoc marketing. You must understand that your business isn’t the only one vying for your target audience’s attention. You are fighting a myriad of content to be seen. One-off digital campaigns, irregular blog posting, and random social media posts will not bring you any leads. If your marketing is only done when you have the time for it, it’s as good as doing nothing at all. For marketing to generate results, you must put in a real effort by prioritising marketing activities.
Consistency is key. Develop a schedule for your digital marketing efforts to ensure you are maximising the reach of your content. If you lack the resources to achieve this consistency, invest in an automation tool. One automation tool allows you to create emails, blogs and social media posts in advance and then schedule them for publishing at the frequency that suits your buyer persona.
To ensure marketing is helping you grow, you and your organisation must be focused on it. Start with a clear plan, and when executing, be current, relevant and consistent. But this is not all, you must have the right foundations for successful marketing: the tools and the skills.
To better understand the status of your marketing, take our free marketing health check by clicking on the link below. Otherwise to learn about the key components of a B2B marketing plan, refer to our blog article on the five must-haves for a successful B2B marketing plan.