The business-to-business or B2B marketing industry is unique and has more challenges compared to the more straightforward B2C industry. From the more complex and involved sales cycle to the lead generation processes, there’s more to do in a volatile marketing landscape as a B2B marketer. To stay ahead in the industry, learn the trends, and constantly review emerging challenges.
This post examines some top challenges in B2B marketing and proposes effective solutions to overcome them.
1. Tough Competition:
As a B2B marketer, you appreciate how involving finding a client can be. It takes a lot of time and effort and if you lose that one client; it affects your success metrics in a big way. B2B marketers survive on fewer clients unlike in B2C, and you don’t want anyone to beat you into winning your target.
To overcome the stiff competition, start with a frank assessment of your competition and find what they offer. When you identify what they do better than you, tweak your strategy with a focus on your value proposition.
Assess yourself and identify the weak areas in your approach. Finally, look at the factors that will probably influence the decision-making of the target client and make sure you have the best solutions.
2. Technology Integration:
Technology is the future of marketing, but B2B marketers haven’t got the best out of the emerging marketing ideas. You can have the best social media marketing strategy for lead generation, but if this doesn’t align with the other technologies such as email and your website, it affects the success of your campaign.
Your clients need to see a harmonious strategy with consistent messaging. If you have a promotion running on Twitter, your clients expect to see it on Facebook or find more details of the same on your website or on the email newsletter.
Make sure you link all technologies you use for your campaigns, and the best way to do this is to start with a solid plan. Identify the role all technologies play in your marketing campaigns.
3. Lead Generation:
To say that lead generation is one of the biggest B2B marketing challenges would be an understatement. Finding leads and nurturing them through the sales journey is every marketer’s nightmare in the B2B landscape. Some common challenges in lead generation include poor response time and cost of ads.
Do more than increasing web traffic and instead find qualified leads. One of the successful strategies for lead generation in B2B is content creation, but there’s much more you can do to refine the strategy.
Consider adding powerful and relevant calls to action (CTAs), repurpose content, offer free trials or other free offers, create a personalized email campaign, measure your lead generation success, and broaden your target market with more globalized content. Leverage data through every step of lead generation.
4. The Changing Customer Journey:
Customers in the B2B marketing landscape differ from B2C regarding the customer journey. With an emphasis on inbound marketing, customers have changed the way they engage with brands.
Reposition yourself to the new marketing landscape and make it easier for B2B clients to find you. Instead of looking up your brand on yellow pages, potential clients will most likely use targeted keywords or phrases to find solutions to their problems.
Be aware of technologies such as voice search and conversational content, local search engine optimization (SEO), and other developments that make you easier to find. Consider investing in keyword research to find out what your clients will most likely search and also identify platforms where potential buyers will most likely be found.
5. Sales and Marketing Alignment:
Sales and marketing teams have always had a fractious relationship and this affects business outcomes. For the B2B marketing companies, this is a major challenge because it affects the lead generation process, customer service levels, and key KPIs.
While the marketing team works hard to deliver qualified leads to sales, the sales team sometimes is quick to drop such leads or fails to follow up. You can overcome the challenge by setting and aligning goals, enhancing communication between the departments, leveraging data, creating mutual accountability, Come up with shared definitions and goals, establish a service level agreement—or SLA and invest in technology that improves alignment.
6. Proving ROI from Marketing Efforts:
With the increasing costs of marketing campaigns, management is more demanding with budgets. As a marketer, you have a bigger challenge to prove ROI, and this can hamper your strategies. It all starts with defining your goals before you present your case.
It’s easier for your marketing team to estimate costs associated with every marketing activity. You should also prepare detailed monthly ROI reports for each campaign and closely monitor every aspect of your campaign.
B2B marketing is a tough nut to crack, but also exciting. When you have a strategy to overcome the major challenges, it becomes easier to generate leads and maintain a loyal client base. With these tips, you can actualize your marketing plan and overcome the main challenges along the way.