Businesses need to set themselves clear marketing objectives if they are to run successful campaigns.
Setting concrete goals and incorporating ways of measuring return-on-investment into marketing strategies are at least as important as getting hold of high-quality business data.
Clear business to business marketing aims help firms better define their content offering and will ensure that they do not lose clients they win over because of a lack of engagement. While all companies realise the importance of maintaining an accessible and interesting website, many do not have the same attitude when it comes to email marketing, pay per click and other content strategies. Being consistent is one of the most important factors affecting brand recognition, email open rates and recipient engagement.
Where to begin?
There are a few important questions that you will need to ask yourself:
- What are you offering?
- Who are you targeting and why?
- How are you going to reach out to them?
- How will you measure the success of your strategy?
What does your business offer?
This first one is easy, but that does not mean you should skip straight to step two. Business to business marketing needs to ooze clarity and appeal. The best way to ensure this is to start with a concrete offering that sits nicely – and succinctly – under an appropriate brand. This is not just about what you are offering, but the benefits of it – why your business to business email marketing recipients cannot live without you and your services.
According to Crowd Science, more than a third of people are predisposed to stick with brands that they know and trust, while a similar amount will opt for a quality brand when engaging with something new (Crowd Science JustAsk! 2011, Brand Loyalty Statistics by Age).
Who are you targeting with your business to business marketing?
The Crowd Science stats above show that brand loyalty – which is closely tied to your business proposition – is a key ally. However, brand loyalty varies wildly between age groups and industry sectors. So, business to business marketing professionals need to clearly define who they are targeting with their marketing promotions and why.
Using top-quality business lists is the best place to start. Companies can ensure that their email newsletters and direct mail promotions are landing in the laps of people who are likely to be engaged with a good data list.
The effective use of relevant business data is the key to promoting anything – particularly in the saturated online business to business marketing marketplace. Business lists have a number of benefits over other means of ensuring marketing is targeted effectively, it seems. 75 per cent of businesses use social media for targeting marketing material, but according to Econsultancy’s State of Social Report, 47 per cent of web users are put off by this type of promotion (Econsultancy, State of Social Report 2011).
How are you going to reach people?
Picking the right method of promotion is vital. Different demographics interact with brands in radically different ways. However, once you have defined your target audience and acquired the relevant business lists to ensure your campaign is reaching enough people, the decision of how to interact with them should be a relatively easy one to make.
One thing to bear in mind is the importance of a good marketing spread – and there are definitely lessons to be learnt. For example, just 34 per cent of B2B marketing specialists include blogs in their marketing mix (Safefrog Marketing Group, 2011 B2B Marketing Mix Survey Results).
Measuring business to business marketing success
Once you have defined your product, picked your target audience and decided how you are going to engage with them you need to proactively start investigating the performance of your strategy.
It is no longer good enough to just sit back and wait for the money to come rolling in. Measuring success will inform your future campaigns and help you refine your list of marketing material recipients – which is essential seeing as you will have to be consistent with your campaigning.