10 Simple Rules for B2B Marketing
B2B marketing doesn’t need to be complicated. Here are 10 quick-and-easy tips from Cognism, the
world’s leading all-in-one prospecting solution.
Ignore the heavy marketing manuals. Stop listening to hour-long marketing podcasts. In B2B
Marketing, when you get the fundamentals in place, the rest will follow on easily.
Let’s pull back the curtain on B2B marketing, drop the jargon and get back to basics. Here
are our 10 simple rules for B2B marketing success.
10 rules to improve your B2B marketing
B2B marketing doesn’t need to be complicated.
Ignore the heavy marketing manuals. Stop listening to hour-long marketing podcasts. In B2B marketing, when you get the fundamentals in place, the rest will follow on easily.
Let’s pull back the curtain on B2B marketing, drop the jargon and get back to basics. Here’s our 10 simple rules for B2B marketing success.
1. Create an Ideal Customer Profile
Just like in B2C marketing, in B2B, you’re still dealing with human beings. You need to make a human connection with the person who will buy your product.
To make this connection, you need to build up a detailed picture of who your ideal customer is. This is your Ideal Customer Profile or ICP.
Start by looking at the customers you already have. Who are your super-users, the customers that get the most value out of your product or service? Draw up a list and then see what connects them. Ask yourself some questions:
- What challenges do your super-users face every day?
- How does your product help to resolve them?
- What results do your super-users typically see from using your product?
Once you know the answers to these questions, you can put the information all together in an ICP template, containing industry, location, company size, the technology they use and more. Then, you should refer to your ICP every time you make a marketing decision.
Having a fully defined ICP will make your B2B marketing strategy so much easier. It’s a necessary first step to improving your marketing.
2. Know your goals
How will you know if your marketing has been successful if you don’t know what you’re aiming for? For successful, scalable B2B marketing, you need to set quantifiable goals.
If your aim is to generate leads, how many do you want to generate? If you want to generate a certain number of MQLs, what exactly makes a lead an MQL?
Sit down with the whole of your marketing department and work out team goals and individual goals for each team member. Decide who will be responsible for tracking your chosen metrics, how often and which tools they’ll be using to track them with.
3. Use accurate data
Don’t waste time trying to connect with decision-makers who have long since changed roles or left the company. Make sure the data you use for your B2B marketing campaigns is as current as it can be.
Put data at the heart of your B2B marketing operation. A good piece of advice is to run a data health check. This is where you look at the data in your CRM. How old is that data? How many gaps are there in it? If there are too many out-of-date or missing data points, then it’s time to look at data enrichment providers, such as Cognism.
An obvious signal that your B2B marketing data isn’t right is the number of bounced emails when you launch a campaign. If the number is unusually high, then your data needs a refresh!
4. Timing is everything
Companies aren’t ready to make big purchases all year round – especially in B2B, where sales cycles are often longer and deal values are higher.
There are certain times when they’re open to offers, and other times when they’re not. Look for signs that your target company may be ready to buy. For instance:
- Have they just secured a new round of funding?
- Have they recently hired a new CEO or CMO?
- Have they recently upgraded to a new office?
This is the perfect opportunity to reach out to them with a targeted B2B marketing campaign.
5. Practice lead scoring
Some leads are stronger than others. When it’s time to pass your leads on to your sales team, make sure they know which ones are the strongest.
Use lead scoring to express this in a quantifiable way. Assign points to your leads based on the number of times they’ve interacted with your brand and the quality of those interactions.
The more points a lead has, the more likely they are to buy. A study by Aberdeen Research found that companies who practice lead scoring have a 192% higher average lead qualification rate than those who do not.
6. Talk to your sales team
While we’re on the subject of sales teams, why not think about involving them more in planning your marketing strategy? There are great benefits to aligning the two functions.
Your sales team talks to prospects every day. As a result, they know what’s driving them, what their pain points are and what approaches work best with them.
Set up weekly meetings between your salespeople and your marketers. Talk about your upcoming campaigns and involve your sales team in the accounts you wish to jointly target. Ask your salespeople for the types of messaging that resonate with specific industries.
7. Measure everything
The more data you can collect on any given B2B marketing campaign, the better the next one will be. Track your metrics on a weekly basis; this will enable you to make swift optimizations, if necessary.
If you know what works well, double down on it. If something isn’t working, change your approach. Our number one tip here is always to be testing and evaluating.
8. Personalize your content
If you can, personalize the marketing content that you distribute to decision-makers. Craft content that addresses their pain points and shows the better life that your product offers.
Vary the types of content you produce depending on which stage of the B2B marketing funnel the prospect is in. If they’re at the top of the funnel and have just engaged with your brand, we’ve found that actionable content such as eBooks and whitepapers work best.
Then, if they move down the funnel and they’re looking for more information, then relevant case studies or product videos can be very effective.
9. Build rapport
When marketers fail to build a connection with their ideal buyers, it’s because they have talked about themselves too much. You may think your product is the best thing since sliced bread, but the truth is, no one else will really care.
Instead, you need to flip your marketing around. Don’t be product-centric; be customer-centric. In B2B sales, they talk a lot about building rapport with customers. The same goes for B2B marketing. You have to forge an honest connection with your audience.
Make sure your B2B marketing campaigns put your customers at their heart. Provide value, and provide it often, and you’ll quickly build up a loyal following who will engage with your brand time and time again.
10. Leverage technology
Technology is your friend in B2B marketing. There are many tools on the market that can help you improve and optimize your marketing game.
But – be careful! Don’t rush into creating a B2B marketing tech stack. Don’t implement too many tools at once. You have to be selective. Here’s our advice for buying B2B marketing technology:
- Only implement new tech if it solves a problem – if you really don’t need, don’t buy it!
- Ask peers in your industry for their tech recommendations – referrals are a good source of knowing which solutions will work best for you.
- Assemble a buying committee to review new tech – this should include not just your marketing team but your salespeople as well, and the person at your company responsible for budget.
- Before buying new tech, audit your current tech stack – chances are, you can achieve the same results with the tech you’ve already got.
- Don’t let your tech stack grow out of control – only buy what is essential for your business; tech stacks that grew too large can be very difficult to manage.
We recently published an eBook covering B2B marketing, written in collaboration with some of the world’s top SaaS brands! It’s the perfect guide for B2B marketers who want to scale their business quickly.
In it, you’ll find the answers to questions such as:
- What is growth hacking and how can I do it?
- What is content marketing and how can I get delivering genuine ROI to the business.started?
- What are top tips for SEO in 2020?
- How can I successfully amplify my content and reach more people?
- What are the must-track metrics for B2B marketing?
- How can I bring sales and marketing alignment to my organization?
Demand Generation: How to create demand that drives growth is available now.
Joe Barron is the Content Manager at Cognism, the world’s leading all-in-one globally compliant prospecting solution. He is responsible for developing market-leading content that drives the conversation and delivers genuine ROI to the business.