At CXGlobals we like to talk about everything the digital marketing industry does right and how we can help you improve your brand’s online effectiveness. But it’s also important to analyze pain points, downsides, and forks in the road that may lead to ineffective marketing and misused time and resources. Fortunately, we’ve been in business long enough that we’ve dealt with all sorts of situations that have challenged us and made us wiser as a marketing agency. Here are 5 mistakes companies make that can rapidly hurt their B2B marketing effectiveness.
5. Impersonal marketing strategies
It’s important to keep in mind that you are still talking to people while you are marketing to companies. Your communication and messaging with your audience need to be humanized and personalized to your target audience as much as possible to ensure that you’re not coming off as a soulless corporate entity whose only interest is selling. People want to know they will be dealing with real people when they interact with your brand and feel that their concerns, challenges, and unique needs are being addressed.
Build marketing strategies capable of communicating with audiences on a human level, balance the amount of useful information/facts vs. selling points that you pitch in your content; use your platforms to tell customer stories, and showcase your business’s human side.
4. Poorly defined targets
One of the biggest reasons why B2B marketing strategies fail is because they misunderstand who they are supposed to be directing their marketing efforts to, who is going to interact with their brand online, and what the hierarchy is from the person who first finds your information to the person who makes the decision to purchase a good or service. We often see B2B marketing targeting C-levels strictly and ignoring the actual stakeholders who will directly benefit from the offered solution.
The people who are most likely to interact with your brand online are often mid-level executives and business managers, or even entry-level marketing associates, so you need to consider that you’ll need to capture their attention and speak their language first. Digital marketing strategies need to be multi-directional and have several layers of communication intended to pierce that hierarchy in a potential client’s company and get your message across. Your message will eventually reach the C-levels and needs to convince them as well, but remember you need to open the door before you can get inside and talk to the decision-makers.
We recommend doing a Buyer Persona exercise in the early phases of any marketing initiative. Build a profile of every person you feel will interact with your brand, characterize their motivations, intentions, and specific needs within their roles; this exercise will give you a deeper understanding of how to better communicate with each persona.
3. Unclear or ineffective CTAs
CTAs (Call-to-Action) are the hills where marketers find victory or defeat. Your CTAs are the parts of your online content that provide an instruction to your reader. Whether it’s a request for information or merely an indication to continue reading, your CTAs need to be clear and effective if you want visitors to turn into leads.
Make sure that your CTA leads somewhere; it could be the next paragraph, a button to download a digital asset, or a prompt to provide information, but make sure it’s not a dead-end. If your reader reaches a CTA and cannot do anything else from that point on, you’ve just lost a potential lead. Your CTAs also need to be intuitive, strategically placed, and not over-bearing. Plan them carefully as part of your content structure, keep them concise, direct, and easy to read.
You can find some great tips for writing CTAs here.
2. Marketing not aligned with the buyer journey
B2C and B2B buyer journeys are entirely different, and many B2B marketing strategies fail to understand this on a digital level. In connection with our point above about accurately defining your targets, the people who first interact with your brand online are often not the decision-maker or person with purchasing power in the company, but they may be the direct stakeholder for the solution you’re offering. Your marketing strategy needs to take all of this into account and ensure the flow of information is designed to capture the interest of the first person to interact with it, who will then approach someone above them until it ultimately reaches the decision-maker.
In our experience, B2B companies have longer purchasing cycles than B2C companies, so we apply several marketing tactics to ensure sufficient brand exposure and communication in the right places, combined with targeted advertising and social media output. Your audience is likely not to make a decision the first time they are exposed to your brand, but they are likely to keep coming back for more information while they’re evaluating potential partners. This is where consistent, targeted marketing helps you close that gap.
1. Poor content
We’ve carried a phrase with us for over a decade: Content is King. We continue to believe that and use it as a pillar for all our marketing strategies.
The truth is that poor content is the main reason why most B2B digital marketing strategies fail. Many companies underestimate how difficult it is to produce good, relevant content on a consistent basis; it’s the reason why companies like CXGlobals exist and specialize in the task.
Your content needs to be planned, aligned with your marketing objectives, published often, and it needs to appeal to your audience, which means there needs to be sufficient research behind it. It also needs to fulfill SEO standards, Google minimum requirements and should ideally be accompanied by fresh and enticing design. Good content goes way beyond publishing a weekly blog; it’s a full-team effort for your marketing crew.
Don’t skimp on content, as it will be the primary driver of traffic, and consequently leads, to your website and other online assets. You can find out more about how CXGlobals can help you with your marketing and content here.