Today’s B2B marketers have a lot of tools at their disposal.  However, not all tools are created equal.  And many marketers are confused by which strategies to employ.  Should they emulate B2C marketers or should they use very different approaches.  You will find that there is a little bit of truth to both of those.  Here are Five Keys to Successful B2B Marketing.

  • Be a thought leader. In the B2B world, your customers want to know that you have expertise, experience, and authority in the industry.  Thought leadership pays off, which is why the best B2B marketers use content marketing ) i.e., white papers, webinars, briefings, etc.) as a key part of their marketing. Particularly in the age of social media, customers prize value, instead of being “sold to.”
  • Remember your customers. Focusing on new acquisition is important, but not when it’s done at the expense of retention. Most of your sales are going to come from your existing customers. Nothing in the new world of  multichannel marketing has changed this fundamental fact. Communications and service outreached focused on retention are critical.
  • Nurture your leads. Statistics show that 90-95% of prospects are not ready to make a purchase when they come into contact with you.  Keep talking to them until they are. The best marketers have systems in place to score their leads and then build relationships with qualified prospects.  Nurtured leads are more likely to buy more, require less discounting, and shortening sales cycles.
  • Build on what works. In marketing, it’s easy to be dazzled by the next new thing. But in most cases, success builds on what came before. That’s why the most successful marketers spend as much time  understanding what’s right and wrong about their existing marketing efforts. Where are you seeing your biggest successes? What separates a likely prospect from an unlikely prospect. Some of this is inevitably impressionistic and in-the-moment. It’s also great when it can be backed up my real metrics gathered over time.
  • Know your DNA.  It’s easy to lose sight of who you are. This isn’t a personal, professional or corporate failing. It’s a hazard of living in a world where new challenges and opportunities are constantly arising. The fact is your business DNA changes as you introduce new products and services, seek out new markets and confront new competitors. The best marketers check in with themselves regularly. They revisit mission statements, web content marketing collateral and more to make sure its telling the right story. Particularly with social media, when we are all posting more content than ever before, it’s easy for messages to go out of alignment.