Do you work with B2B marketing? Do you want your business to get better at marketing? An excellent first step is to check that you are not making any of these seven common mistakes. Many B2B companies do a great job with their marketing. But many companies could improve what they do a lot.
I have selected a few suggestions that several B2B companies could follow. It's not a matter of having a big budget or an enormous marketing department. It's more about daring to think differently and realise that there are more efficient ways of working.
Don't just tell the facts
In many B2B companies, there is still a widespread belief that their buyers make their decisions based solely on facts. This is despite knowing that emotions affect people in every situation, even in a B2B purchase. Yet, many companies are still entirely focused on talking concrete benefits and coming up with rational arguments. Everything else that feels unserious is a common explanation, but the result is that you do not use one of the most potent ways to reach out. If your company wants to reach your customers, you need to speak to their hearts and minds.
Talk less about products
This is also an old classic - companies would rather talk about product benefits than spend time and effort understanding the buyer's situation to explain how their solutions can contribute. If we do not put what we sell in a context that makes sense to the customer, we will never sell. And that context is not the technical specifications of what we sell; they come in later.
Invest in more relevant content
When I say content here, I mean relevant content and value-creating for the target group. Content that can be used primarily in its touchpoints to attract search and educate the customer and the purchase price. In other words, prioritise content or inbound marketing.
The B2B companies that do not spend time and budget on this lose the piece of art before becoming aware of the competition. They happily leave it to their competitors to take a seat in the heads of customers and prospects by not being visible when they start searching and doing research.
Don't say everything at once
None of us likes to get too much information simultaneously and then spend time going through it to find the answers to what we are interested in right then. On the contrary, we want companies to quickly respond to the current question to then be able to return when we want to know more. Nevertheless, many B2B companies succeed in putting all the information on a single page or comprehensive document.
Instead, think of your customers' buying process as a journey where they come back to you several times to learn more and ask questions based on the new knowledge. Then structure your content to match the different steps.
Less is more
It's easy to say something so that only a tiny group understands what you mean; ask an expert. But, and this is what it can look like in many B2B companies' marketing; you only talk to those who know the same level as their experts. Preferably with some difficult-to-understand concepts and abbreviations that exclude a more extensive group from understanding.
But it is much more important to tell about what you do so that many can understand it. Simply because there are more buyers than the tiny group of ambassadors who in detail understands what your company do. Yet, we are often afraid to make the complex easy to understand, and the result is that we exclude potential customers.
Distinguish between customers
A truth among salespeople for many years but has had a hard time impacting marketing is that not all existing customers are equally important. Or that all prospects have the same potential. Among the customers you already have, some are larger or more profitable or have a higher potential or something else that allows them to receive special treatment. And among potential customers, some fit better into our strategy or are reminiscent of our existing favourite customers.
We will put extra effort into reaching these potential and existing customers in our marketing with the help of tailored content and special activities. This is the very foundation of Account-Based Marketing (ABM), which has gained so much success in recent years.
What to bring with you
There are some critical steps you can take to ensure that your business improves its marketing. Start by identifying and examining your target group; based on that knowledge, you can improve both content, messages, and insights about the buying price. Also, make sure that you start working with content or inbound marketing to reach out with your messages in the right way. And finally, take a closer look at how ABM can help you achieve better results.
Answer the customer's questions
It is a matter of course for many companies that their marketing should be about things they think the customer should care about. However, a much more innovative way to work is to find out what is essential in the customer's world and discuss how your solution can help them solve problems or create new successes.
The best advice in content marketing that I have heard is this: "Answer the questions the customer has, not the ones you think they should ask." And it works well in marketing in general as well.
If you need some inspiration or help in creating high-quality content, make sure to download our guide to content creation below - it's filled with tips to improve the quantity and quality of your marketing content.
Founder, CEO & Strategist since 2001. Anders provides thoughts and reflections about what and how to think about onlinification and digitalisation in B2B. Asks a lot of questions, and knows what to do with the answers.