The last three months of the year are upon us and many companies wonder what their best approach to this time of the year is in terms of marketing. With several holidays and end-of-year bonuses lined up, Q4 is probably the most active and busy time of the year for B2C companies. From Black Friday to pumpkin-spiced everything and presents for everyone, consumers eagerly buy more during this time of the year than any other time.
“That’s great”, you might say as the decision-maker in an IT firm that services SMEs, “but what about B2B companies?”.
Glad you asked! Many B2B companies try to engage Q4 focused on the same holiday-centric angles as B2C companies, but evidence shows that this may not be the best approach. The Q4 holiday-spending approach relies heavily on holiday discounted prices and historically established buyer patterns around this time of the year. There is a lot of shopping for consumer goods and end-user technology, as well as a lot of travel and vacation spending going on during Q4. When it comes to B2B, however, the scenario may not always play out this way.
Here are 4 suggestions of how to make better use of your marketing budget and resources during Q4.
As the year ends, one big thing on everyone’s mind is the next year. For many companies, investing time and effort into strategic planning for 2022 will help them start a strong Q1. At this point in the year, you’ll have collected quite a bit of data that you can study to gain insight on how you can improve your marketing tactics for the coming year. Gather and analyze your data, set up brainstorming sessions with your team, study upcoming trends, and have a robust plan in place before leaving for the holiday break.
Branding, Website, and Marketing Asset Updates
With an expected dip in B2B sales, investing internally in your marketing department might be a wise approach. Go for that branding update you’ve been holding off all year. Start planning and building a new website you can unveil at the beginning of the new year to start Q1 with a bang. You can also use this period to create new digital marketing assets you can use for 2022, such as case studies, whitepapers, brochures, and infographics.
Nurture Warm Leads With Social Media
Just because sales aren’t booming during Q4 doesn’t mean you should forget about outbound marketing completely. Anyone in B2B sales knows how important relationship-building is to the nature of their business; Q4 is a great time to focus on strengthening your relationship with warm leads. Beyond sending out the customary (and hopefully personalized) seasons greetings emails, engage in social selling with audiences you already know. For example, LinkedIn is a fantastic tool that can help you use social selling to nurture warm leads.
First of all, make sure your LinkedIn profile is updated and visually appealing. Then, with LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you can define, find, and market to specific target audiences and easily interact with these leads by commenting on their posts, sharing information they may be interested in, and making your company’s brand familiar to them on a social media platform where they are willing to engage for business purposes. You can also integrate LinkedIn Sales Navigator with your CRM to more easily identify warm leads you can nurture, preparing the field for a more direct outbound marketing approach in Q1 2022.
Email marketing is still a powerful marketing tool that can help revitalize both prospects and existing customers for business in Q1. We said it before, it goes beyond the seasonal greetings; you can use leverage email marketing as an informative newsletter or bulletin to pitch relevant topics and ideas that let your audience know you are in tune with their trends and speaking their language. With email marketing automation features available, you can move leads through your sales funnel without having to invest too much time or effort.
Let us know how we can help you consolidate your Q4 approach or help you plan your marketing efforts for 2022!