So you need a marketing strategy for your B2B business?
You have come to the right place! We created this cheat sheet on B2B Marketing Strategy to help you kickstart your planning efforts.
B2B Marketing Strategy Cheat Sheet
1. Craft Your Mission and Vision Statement
Your mission statement is a one-sentence statement describing why you exist.
"Asana's mission is to help humanity thrive by enabling all teams to work together effortlessly."
Your vision statement is one-sentence statement describing the clear and inspirational long-term change resulting from your work.
Feeding America conveys their powerful vision in just 4 words:
"A hunger-free America."
2. Develop Buyer Personas
Buyer personas (sometimes referred to as marketing personas) are fictional, generalized representations of your ideal customers. Personas help us all -- in marketing, sales, product, and services -- internalize the ideal customer we're trying to attract, and relate to our customers as real humans.
Buyer personas might be the most important aspect of your strategy, yet they are often overlooked and approached in the wrong way. You may sell to manufacturing companies, but even in a B2B environment, we still have to sell to people. You can use buyer personas to first identify the common positions and roles you target within another organization, then from there drill down to specifics like common demographics, shared beliefs, reading and communications preferences and more.
Another way to use buyer personas in a B2b setting is to classify them by industry vertical. But don't stop at the industry itself. Look at your customers in each of these industries and identify what they share in common.
3. Create S.M.A.R.T. Goals
SMART Goals are specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused and time-bound.
Here's a sample SMART Goal template:
Increase _____ by _____ ( starting at this amount _____and go to this amount _____) by this date _____.
And here's a sample SMART Goal example:
Increase website visits by 20% (5,000 per month to 6,000 per month) by June 30th, 2015.
4. Develop a Content Strategy
Content strategy is a must-have for any B2B business in this day and age. Look at your buyer personas and goals, and develop a list of topics you want to write about that will appeal to them. Use keyword research to find out which topics your target audience is searching for and develop blog posts based on your research. Combine your blog posts to create eBooks or kits for your prospects to download in exchange for their contact information. Make sure to include a Call-to-Action (CTA) in each of your blog posts to entice your readers to download your eBooks.
5. Create the Game Plan
You have now established what you do, why you do it, who you're doing it for, what you hope
to achieve, and how you expect to get there. Congratulations! You have built a solid foundation. Now it's time to get to work on implementing your B2B marketing strategy.
A marketing gameplan is an outline of your marketing activities with expected deliverables. Each of these deliverables should be directly aligned with your smart goals, and your activities should be focused around your highly targeted buyer personas.
6. Avoid Common Pitfalls
All of this hard work will amount to nothing if you fall victim to any of these common pitfalls:
- No Buy-In from the Top. Your strategy must have the support of your leadership team
- Lack of Communication of Your Strategy. You likely will not get buy-in if your team does not know about or understand your strategy.
- No Accountability. If no one holds you and/or your team accountable to achieve the goals you have set out to accomplish, you will have little motivation to implement your strategy.
7. Create a Scorecard
Use analytics and reporting to evaluate your marketing performance. Determine your KPI's and put them in a scorecard to present to your stakeholders on a monthly or quarterly basis.
Some marketing performance KPIs for B2B businesses might include:
- Sales Growth
- Website Visits
- Number of Website Leads
- Number of Qualified Leads
- Lead Conversion Rate
- Social Media Reach and Engagement
- Email Marketing Performance
These are just a few examples of KPIs to include in your scorecard.
B2B organizations have the opportunity to achieve new levels of efficiency and effectiveness by using the elements of this cheat sheet to create a single strategic plan, and implementing dynamic campaigns that continually re-allocate resources based on performance.