Guest post by Lane Harbin.
Just a few months into 2019, now is the perfect opportunity to talk to your team about the problems you faced last year, then work toward ideal solutions.
Keeping up with new technology
While offline channels (print, radio, direct mail) are still used, marketing dollars are increasingly moving online. According to recent research, more than half of marketers now spend the majority of their budgets on digital channels, and 70% plan to increase that share over the next two years.
Marketing today has become so advanced that artificial intelligence (AI) is already being used by many companies to improve their campaigns.
Marketing technology has progressed exponentially over the past 10 years, and it’s only going to continue. Scott Brinker’s marketing technology supergrapic has grown from just 150 tools in 2011 to almost 7,000 today.
B2B companies have found that successful digital marketing campaigns allow them to reach their audience and grow their revenue. But while rapid technological advancements provide a wealth of opportunities for B2B marketers, they also pose some significant challenges.
From AI to marketing automation tools, innovation seems impossibly fast-moving and ever-changing. As a B2B marketer, this makes it exhausting to keep up with new technology. Before you can become an expert on one marketing tool, a new one is released.
It isn’t just mastery of the tools that’s a concern. With the sheer variety of marketing technologies available, you might experience difficulty when deciding which ones are the best for your business, budget, and overall requirements.
Creating quality content
Content has become the cornerstone of B2B marketing. It’s been reported that 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing. The problem is that some B2B marketers seem to think that churning out new content every day is the key to expanding their reach (it isn’t).
Content marketing is about quality, not quantity. Your customers and sales prospects do want content, but will only take the time to read it if helps them in some way, whether they learn something new or gain a new perspective on an already established topic.
Avoid publishing excessive content simply for the sake of promoting your product or service. Instead, provide your customers with value through your content.
Publish blogs that explain how your products or services can help your customers. For example, if you’re a B2B marketer for a company that offers inventory management software, you can publish posts about how your software can help improve cash flow, reduce storage space requirements, and improve profitability.
To promote your new content, take advantage of email marketing. Use a list-builder tool like OptinMonster or Sumo to grow you opt-in email list. Then find an email marketing service that has professionally designed email templates, like AWeber, Campaign Monitor, or MailChimp. That saves you time trying to design the perfect email to promote content to your B2B audience.
Even if you only publish new content once a week, your audience will be more engaged if it contains valuable information or new insights.
Marketing and sales not working together
Both revenue generation and customer experience are optimized when sales and marketing teams are in alignment, working collaboratively.
Too often though, marketing and sales teams aren’t on the same page, and communicate poorly with each other. Furthermore, these teams often have individual goals . Left unchecked, this can negatively impact both brand image and sales.
To fix this lack of communication and disparity between goals, both teams need to review their roles and how these roles can help the other team. Marketing is about building brand awareness and generating as many qualified leads as possible that sales can convert them into paying customers.
You can generate more leads by getting input from sales as part of your content research process. Examples include common questions from prospects, or the common reasons why some prospects fail to complete the sales funnel.
This kind of information gives you deeper insight into how prospects think, which enables you to fine-tune your marketing strategies.
B2B companies face some challenges that are unique to their industry, size, target customer, and product. But some challenges are common across segments. If any of the challenges mentioned here sound familiar, hopefully this guidance helps.
Lane Harbin is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at Campaign Monitor, an easy-to-use email marketing platform that empowers marketers to send targeted campaigns that grow their business. When she’s not geeking out over email marketing, she enjoys binge-listening to podcasts, catching up on the latest tech news, and constantly rearranging her living room.