How to use B2B Marketing Techniques to win Customer Attention

Posted by frank harris on 14/02/19 10:23

How do you increase customer engagement?

customer engagementEveryone in B2B marketing is competing to capture the attention of our best prospects and customers, and that’s not easy. We’re bombarded daily with information from all sides and individually choose to let in what we care about in the moment and block out anything that just creates overload.

 

With research and buying habits from our personal lives influencing our professional lives, there’s a battle for attention that’s getting tougher to fight every day. Just like we disregard a commercial on TV or an ad in a magazine due to its lack of relevance to us, we also block out communications from brands that don’t resonate or address challenges we’re facing.

 

Engagement is the new currency in B2B marketing. When we can capture and hold the attention of our personas, we have a real opportunity to nurture and mature our relationships.

 

Here are four things to consider when trying to build trust with your audience:

  1. Focus your efforts on those you want to engage

The notion of mass communication has been proven to reduce engagement and ultimately dilute performance. Getting people to read your latest eBook or visit your website is fine, but if none of them have the potential to turn into customers, have you really achieved anything?

 

A better way is to get specific with whom you want to reach. An Account-Based Marketing (ABM) strategy can help focus your efforts on personas that have the highest propensity to engage with your message and turn prospects into customers at a higher rate.

  1. Target for engagement

To target for engagement, you first need to build a target account list involving your sales team. In doing so, you should answer these questions:

  • What companies are most important to achieving your revenue for the year?
  • Who are the 20% that are going to drive 80% of your results?

You can take a few different approaches to build this list: Engage a predictive analytics company; identify the vertical industries the sales and marketing teams are already targeting; or understand how strategic accounts are included in your target account list.

 

Whatever path or combination of paths you choose, you need to collaborate with your sales team and ensure they provide insight on the list based on their experience in the field.

 

Once you have your target account list, begin marketing to these accounts to increase your awareness among them. You can’t control when those accounts will evaluate solutions like yours, but you can make sure that you are top of mind when they do and that you deliver relevant, contextual content that keeps them engaged and helps throughout their journey.

 

Consider continuous campaigns that will keep you in the game but reduce waste through specific targeting.

  1. Measure by engagement

Most marketers want to focus on an attribution model that shows revenue optimising for channel and assets - and that’s a good thing. But don’t lose sight on indicators that can provide key insights into what drives that attribution.

 

Before you begin your engagement-focused campaigns, take a benchmark for 30 days to understand how your accounts are currently engaging with your campaigns. This will be imperative to understanding the impact of your marketing on those accounts.

 

Then, as your campaigns launch and complete, measure the engagement you achieved with your target accounts. The accounts that increased the most represent the lowest-hanging fruit for deeper-funnel campaigns that drive those directly attributed results.

  1. Enable sales to identify and act on engagement

Around 80% of website visitors aren’t from accounts that are likely to buy your solutions. So, focus on what matters most to the ones in the 20% - accounts that are engaged and most likely to turn into sales opportunities.

 

When there are spikes in engagement from an important audience, capitalise on and convert that engagement into business results. This can be easy to do when you have known people in your database, but it proves trickier when those triggers are anonymous.

 

It’s critical to be able to identify both types of spikes and supply sales with the intelligence they need to get ahead of the competition.

 

Leads alone are no longer adequate for your business. With limited attention spans, we must be able to drive deeper engagement with our target accounts and turn that engagement into actionable insights.

Then, we can determine our campaign performance and enable sales teams to act. Engagement - through relevance, timing and enablement - is how we will deliver the best results.

 

For more on best practices in B2B marketing for small businesses just follow the link below>>>

 

A Guide to B2B Website Marketing  for Small Businesses

Tags: b2b marketing, b2b customer leads, behavioural marketing, b2b customer experience, b2b marketing tips, b2b web personalisation, b2b behavioural marketing, b2b integrated marketing

4 B2B Marketing Tips on Facebook & Google Ads

Posted by frank harris on 12/12/18 16:17

Facebook & Google AdsOften, those in B2B marketing treat their advertising channels as separate forces and measure them one against another, to see which brings the best results. Mostly, it’s

Google vs. Facebook. But, there’s a better way to look at it.

 

Try to think in terms of Google PLUS Facebook.

 

Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, but when treated as one marketing force, they become more powerful than separated channels, and can improve your results (especially if your competitors stick to the “vs” approach).

 

The secret is, to fully use the power of each of these channels, and let each channel help the other.

 

Here's 4 tips to get started.

  1. Get brand searches with Facebook, close the deal with Google

A well-targeted campaign on Facebook will not only get you results by reaching and converting personas, it can increase searches for your brand on Google.

 

You’ll be surprised by the number of people who’ll go directly to Google and search for your

brand name after seeing an ad on Facebook, instead of directly clicking it. WordStream found that advertising on Facebook led to a 34% increase in brand searches on Google.

 

That’s because many of the people that see your Facebook ads may have some interest in the offer, but they want to know more about your company and what you sell. Therefore, instead of clicking the ad, they’ll leave Facebook and use search to get the information they want.

 

So, use your brand name as a keyword in your search campaigns, and match the messaging to your Facebook ads. This will lead your personas on Facebook to find what they were looking for on Google. It strengthens your marketing message and shows reliability.

 

But “Why should I use my brand name as a keyword when my website is highly ranked on Google for it?” Well, targeting your brand name as a keyword allows you to test your messaging in terms of CTR and conversions, and match it to what you’re saying about yourself in your Facebook ads.

  1. Target your Facebook ad headlines as keywords

As mentioned above, a successful ad campaign on Facebook can reach many prospects and generate a lot of brand searches on Google, but when done right, it’s not only the brand name people will be searching for, it’s also your ad headlines.

 

A catchy headline can be more memorable than a brand name and generate more direct

searches.

  1. Retarget your searching users with what they were searching for

If you manage B2B marketing campaigns on Facebook and Google, you’re probably aware of the importance of retargeting. But, there’s much more to retargeting than just displaying the same ads to past visitors, and a great way to use retargeting is cross-platform.

 

This means to retarget the users who got to your site from Google on Facebook and vice a versa. But, there’s a clever way to do it more efficiently.

 

Use Facebook to retarget people who found your website from a search ad, with exactly what they were searching for.

 

This may sound tricky, but it’s quite simple. It’s very easy to do (assuming you use unique landing pages, and don’t send everyone to your homepage). To make sure you’re displaying the right “answer” ad to the right people, you’ll need to segment your audiences on Facebook. Go to the audience tab, and create a custom audience that matches exactly the right landing page which the ad on Google leads to.

 

You can now use Facebook retargeting to reach the people who clicked on your search ads, with exactly what they were searching for.

  1. Find more people like your searching users

The power of lookalikes targeting on Facebook is insane. So, if you are not familiar with it, I suggest you start.

 

If you are familiar and use lookalike audiences in your Facebook campaigns, here’s a trick

you can use: Create lookalikes audiences based on what your site visitors were searching for.

 

The best practice about lookalikes is to use your top users or customers as a seed and base your lookalike audiences on that. However, there’s more to do.

 

To create a high-quality seed, you need a high number of very homogenous audience members. Otherwise, you’ll see good results with your top lookalikes.

 

So what to do? Create a lookalike audience based on your site visitors from search campaigns. Then, you’ll be able to reach more people who are similar to the people who were searching for what you are offering.

 

But, why target people that are like my searching users, who did not convert? Just because you did not convert the people who clicked your ads on Google, doesn’t mean you will not convert their lookalikes.

But be careful. Some people in this lookalike audience might also be a part of your regular lookalikes audience, so you need to make sure you will not target them twice with two different ads.

 

Ensure you exclude your lookalikes based on customers from your search-based lookalike

audiences.

 

Looking at the bigger picture and changing your approach from “Google vs. Facebook” to “Google plus Facebook” should improve your overall results. It helps you see the bigger picture and strategise better.

 

If, like me you use organic B2B marketing then check out the eBook from this link>>>

 

lead generation

Tags: b2b marketing leads, b2b marketing, google adwords, facebook ads, b2b marketing tips

How to write B2B Content for your Personas & Yourself

Posted by frank harris on 18/11/18 16:38

digital marketing 1018Writing B2B content for online marketing is difficult. On one hand you have a set message to deliver, but on the other you must be interesting, otherwise, you risk losing your audience.

For short passages - keep words simple, sentences short, and use signposts in your writing.

 

But for longer copy, you have to do more than that.  

 

Your writing must make an impression, convince someone of something, and then get the reader to do what they might not otherwise do.

So how can you do that? 

There are countless blog posts on this topic. Sorting useful tips is not easy.  

 

At a high level, writing online B2B content requires two approaches which may seem contradictory, but can help you deliver lively, yet relevant, online copy.

Write your B2B Content for your Persona

To write persuasive and compelling copy, think about your personas.

  • What do they care about?
  • What’s on their mind?
  • What problem are they trying to solve right now?
  • What can they accomplish by reading your writing? 

This is not the same thing as keeping your words simple and your sentences short.

 

Writing for personas means stepping back from your writing tools, assembling a logical structure, and checking, constantly, that you’re writing something which your personas value.

 

Focusing on your persona offers three main benefits.

  1. De-clutter your copy

When you have a clear idea what you are writing and who you are writing for, you’ll feel confident to remove the 'business speak' which clutters writing and confuses readers.

 

Using words like 'leverage', 'synergies', and 'learnings' during a corporate meeting might seem normal, but you would never use them elsewhere, so don’t clutter your writing either.

  1. Grab your reader's attention

When you feature items which people are already interested in, rather than what you want to say, readers will be attracted to it. 

 

According to research, individuals pay close attention to and focus on things which they consider interesting.

  1. Keep your reader's attention

Readers are faced with the same distractions we all face: emails, messaging apps, phone calls.

 

The competition to keep your reader's attention is almost too overwhelming to consider.

 

But writing about something which the reader thinks and cares about, can transcend these distractions and capture the reader.

But….

… you're not finished yet. Writing which only considers its audience can end up sounding like an essay written at school.  

 

It will cover all the right points but be lifeless. And lifeless writing loses readers.

 

There is a paradox though. To make your writing interesting, you must write for yourself. This means putting words down as they come into your head. Writing as you speak and think.

 

Somehow, this seems wrong. We’re meant to write to attract and keep your personas’ attention. How will writing in our own voice accomplish that?

 

I will address this later, but first let’s look at the benefits from just writing for yourself.

  1. Your writing will flow more naturally

If you bind yourself to writing for someone else, then you will simply find it harder to write.

 

Writing is easier when the only filter you use in deciding what to say is your own preference, not what you imagine someone else's to be.

  1. Your writing will sound more human

Back to removing clutter. If you write in a way that makes sense to you, then you’ll naturally remove the words which make you sound like a corporate-speak robot.

 

Words and phrases such as mission-critical and going forward never appear naturally when speaking.

Writing for yourself will keep them out of your copy as well.

  1. You will break rules and catch people off guard

The most important reason to write for yourself is because it makes your writing more interesting.

 

So, delivering your own quirks through your writing makes you stand out from the crowd and be interesting.

Resolving the paradox

William Zinsser, in On Writing Well, discusses these two opposing approaches to writing.  He says that trying to do both seems like a paradox but explains that writing for personas and for yourself are two separate tasks which you can do in the same copy.

 

Writing for personas, he calls 'craft' and writing for yourself, he calls 'attitude.' 

 

When you think of what you are going to say, you are practicing the 'craft' of writing and you should think of your personas. 

 

When you think of how you are going to say it, you must inject your own personality, your own 'attitude', and you need to think of yourself.

 

It's easier said than done as nearly all writers struggle with these opposing constraints.

 

Yet to capture and keep an audience, we must use both approaches when writing.

So...

…how can you manage this paradox?

 

Every writer does it in their own way, but consider:

  1. Think what you want to say and who you want to say it to.
  2. Put together an outline which covers your main points.
  3. With your outline in view, write a draft in your personal voice.

It takes practice, but allowing yourself to write in your own voice is liberating and will produce more interesting copy.

 

And managing this apparent paradox also makes writing online copy much easier, even enjoyable at times!

 

For more on B2B content, just follow this link>>>

 

content marketing for small business

Tags: b2b marketing consultants, b2b marketing agency, b2b marketing leads, b2b marketing, b2b content marketing, b2b content

What is Omnichannel Marketing and why should we be doing it?

Posted by frank harris on 08/08/18 10:42

omnichannel marketingIn a world where acronyms and buzzwords abound, it can sometimes be easier to assume a term’s meaning

than clarify it.

 

Marketers, and sales, in the world of internet marketing for small business, are talking omnichannel marketing, multichannel, cross channel and single channel, and chances are that not everyone’s on the same page.

 

Omnichannel is only a very distant relation of single channel and multichannel: they are not all one and the same. While multichannel’s about reaching out to your customers on multiple devices and platforms, for example, omnichannel takes this to the next level: its focus is providing a seamless experience, regardless of channel or device.

 

And then you’ve got cross-channel, which encourages the user to migrate from one channel to another: it’s a step behind multichannel, where each channel often has its own defined strategy and is managed separately.

 

Despite the difference in meanings, many marketers out there think they’re doing omnichannel when they’re doing cross-channel; the widely misused funnel metaphor is partly to blame here, with many B2B companies still hung up on the idea that customer behaviour can and should be mapped to the funnel in a completely linear way. This, in turn, impacts their wider channel approach.

 

A recent Sitecore survey pinpointed exactly where B2B marketers are on their omnichannel journey; it found that although 41% of 211 respondents rated their understanding of omnichannel as very strong, the real meaning of the term seems rather open to interpretation: only 29% had an agreed upon definition within their organisation.

Putting the customer at the heart of your business

Omnichannel marketing success is all about making sure your customer, on any given day or week, sees consistency across every output – if they visit your website or Facebook page, receive an email or see an ad (print, banner or retargeted), each talks the same language and drives home the same message.

 

Put simply, the brand focus at that time acts as the unifying strand linking each channel’s output. Omnichannel requires every touchpoint on the customer journey to be in sync – everything from channels, content and campaign management to marketing automation, data analytics and CRM.

 

Many marketers can only dream of delivering an almost ‘custom made’ experience to their customers. But omnichannel success revolves around thinking holistically about the customer, and making sure every touchpoint – online and offline – is aligned.

 

The challenge arises when you use channels in isolation (think website, social media, emails, mobile apps,

print ads and physical stores); with disparate channels it becomes harder to track the customer journey and provide that seamless experience every ambitious B2B marketer is looking for.

Why should you be doing Omnichannel marketing?

The benefits of omnichannel are quite compelling – customer loyalty, affection, and satisfaction to name but three.

 

A recent Forrester report revealed 75% of B2B buyers around the world would buy again from a supplier with good omnichannel capabilities, which says it all. Customers today have an incredible amount of choice, and are more informed and empowered than ever before. Their experience with a brand is the number one driver of whether they’ll do business with that brand again or instead choose a competitor – and a successful omnichannel approach can have a big impact on that decision.

 

Looking to B2B marketing, very few brands are excelling in omnichannel – something reflected in research,

which revealed only 19% of B2B marketers see it as a priority, with 28% describing their approach as ineffective.

 

This is the exact reason why taking a more strategic approach will be a big differentiator for marketers in the future. While B2C might have invented the term, many marketers will argue that B2B is far better placed to make omnichannel happen – partly because of B2B marketers’ proximity to customer data and their experience with CRM.

 

When it comes to implementing an omnichannel approach, B2B marketers have got a lot to lose by

failing to get on board. Customers’ expectations of B2B brands are rapidly evolving – thanks in part to their experiences as consumers – and omnichannel isn’t so much a ‘nice to do’ but a top priority.

 

Reading this article one word important to omnichannel marketing sticks out – CRM. Do you have one? Do you understand the basics? If not then to get your omnichannel marketing ticking smoothly get the eBook from the link below that contains some great internet marketing tips for small business:

 

Nurturing Leads in  Small Business Marketing 

Tags: b2b marketing consultants, b2b marketing, b2b online marketing, small business marketing strategy, omnichannel marketing

16 Marketing Goals for Your Business

Posted by frank harris on 05/07/18 15:58

what-are-your-goalsEvery business needs to have marketing goals, so let’s take a look at 16 marketing goals for your business:

 

1.  Focus on quality, not the quantity of your content.

 

You’ll need to produce a lot of content to make waves, but put some effort into sharing things that will be meaningful to your community.

2. Have a content marketing plan.

This probably should be first, but this list is in no order. Content is a crucial piece of marketing. Roughly 80% of businesses now use content marketing. This is what you publish on your website, share on Facebook, or on LinkedIn. Have a plan

3. Find new ways to distribute content.

If you’re blogging – great! If not, start! Consider using Triberr or guest posting on other blogs. BuzzSumo and Fractl analyzed the 1 million most-shared articles within a 6 month time frame in 2015 and found that the top million articles showed that the most engaged platforms, in order, were - Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.

4. Make something other than Facebook a priority in your social media efforts.

Facebook is a huge player, but there’s more out there for businesses than them. If you haven’t tried LinkedIn, try it. Maybe venture into Twitter. Branch out.

5. Go offline and do something in-person.

You could spend your entire marketing budget and time on just social media and digital marketing, but that won’t reach everyone. Not all your personas are always online, so go to some networking events or attend a conference and talk about your business!

6. Find strategic partners.

This could be online or offline. Find others with similar mindsets and businesses that complement yours. E.g. If you’re only handling social media for clients, align yourself with someone who does web design or SEO.

if you are a brick and mortar store, selling flowers, partner with a local furniture store to display some of your arrangements. This is free marketing so, take advantage!

7. Set realistic goals.

Wouldn’t we all love to make six figures because of our marketing efforts alone? For some businesses, you may be able to. For some, that’s not realistic. Whatever you do, set a realistic goal. Setting up unrealistic goals will only leave you feeling depressed later in the year.

8. Give away something for free (if you can).

Nothing brings in potential customers like free stuff. This could be a 30-day trial or something with purchase, offering something as a bonus or benefit will extend your business. Keep in mind your bottom line though, you don’t want to give everything away.

9. Outsource what you can’t handle or are not good at.

Business owners hate to admit we can’t do it all. We feel we should be able to do it all. Well, we could if there were more than 24 hours in a day and a had a maid, personal chef, live-in nanny, chauffeur, etc.

So, outsource what you are not good at. This could be social media marketing, graphic design, etc. You’ll appreciate the time you’ll get back and the knowing someone who is capable is handling it for you.

10. Be proactive and ready.

Know what’s coming up for your business and be prepared. Likewise, if you see something brewing (an upset client or something that could be bad or really good for your business) know what you are doing to do when it happens – have a press release or a campaign ready to celebrate or combat it.

11. Be prepared for the unexpected.

You can always be proactive but there are times things will come out of the blue and throw you off-course, in both good ways and bad. Unfortunately, you can’t plan for everything, so know the unexpected sometimes happens no matter how much you do.

12. Try something new.

If you’ve never spent time making videos, start! Wanted to advertise in something local – go for it! Go outside your comfort zone and try something new. Maybe it’s time to update your or your website.

13. Find a business mentor.

Having a mentor is something that is very underrated. All business owners need to have someone they can look to. This could be for advice or guidance or for help in an area they are struggling with.

14. Be a mentor.

If you have the knowledge and know-how, mentor a new business owner.

15. Track everything.

To see the full-scale results of your marketing efforts, you need to track the analytics (Facebook Insights, Google Analytics, etc.). Make sure you know what’s working and what’s not. Analytics is the first place to start.

16. Have fun.

Marketing is fun. From campaign creation to seeing the fruits of your labour, no matter how small, marketing is the fun arm of your business. Enjoy it!

 

16 is a lot, but all of them are attainable by any business, regardless of the size.

 

So, you put into place all the above, what’s next? Well the eBook below looks into the future. Take a look for yourself:

 

B2B & SMEs Mobile Marketing

Tags: b2b marketing, marketing goals, goals, small business goals

7 Ways Social Media Marketing has changed PR

Posted by frank harris on 26/06/18 10:27

social media moinitoringDigital technology has become the backbone of every industry, social media too has evolved from a networking tool to a marketing function.

 

Social media marketing is now compulsory for businesses who are embracing technology in ways to become smarter.

 

While social media marketing posts, with the help of exclamation marks, hashtags etc., continue to ease communications, the purpose it serves is moving towards optimising business strategy, giving PR new responsibilities and added pressures.

  1. Turnaround Time

 Digital media has accelerated the news cycle, pushing journalists to turnaround stories in a much shorter time. This in turn has forced PRs to keep up. Gone are the days of long lunches between journalists and PRs. It’s as much about reporting real-time as it is about pitching.

 

A recent study found that only 8% of the PRs surveyed still meet journalists face-to-face regarding a brief. Social media meanwhile, is the third most common method used to contact journalists, after email and telephone.

 

What’s more, journalists welcome the approach taken and are increasingly leaning towards social media to contact PRs as well.

  1. The PR Role

Most PR executives surveyed indicated that social media has changed the work they do to some extent. But what does this ‘work’ consist of? Everything PR was about and more. Apart from pitching stories, writing and distributing press releases and maintaining media relationships, social media builds a brand’s voice online via content sharing, managing and protecting the online reputation.

 

Now, tasks like content promotion, publishing, media monitoring, community engagement and measurement have all been added to the PR remit of marketing.

  1. Dependency on Media Professionals

Social media marketing has added a new dimension to the long-standing love-hate relationship between hacks and flaks. Can they finally part ways amicably because of social media? No, PR professionals now have an alternate medium to communicate with their audiences if they’re given the cold-shoulder.

 

Nearly half of the study said that they were less reliant on journalists because of social media. A further 34% of PRs agreed that journalists were no longer as important to them because of social media.

  1. Connecting with the Audience

Building on the point above, it’s important to note that PRs still believe that journalists are the most important channel of communication for them.  However, 87% of PR professionals agreed (to some extent) that social media impacted their relationship with their audiences, as it lets them directly engage with audiences at a relatively low cost.

  1. Publishing Content

According to the Study, PRs use social media most for publishing content. Sharing and retweeting posts on Twitter and publishing original comments on networking sites are the two most popular uses of social media for PRs. This is because they believe that social media is now no longer just about pushing out information and news to personas but more

about conversations with media.

 

Whether it is a press release, corporate announcement or some other interesting piece of content, social media is now very much a part of the integrated content marketing mix.

  1. Responses to Queries

Upon deeper analysis of the use of social media among industry professionals, it’s clear that despite their faith in ‘the conversation’, PR professionals are still not using the channel to its full potential.

 

There is a strong awareness of the importance of building conversations, but many  PR professionals admitted they never respond to questions from the media or consumers on social networking platforms.

  1. Channels

The press release has been sent, the emails and follow-up calls made, what next? This is when social comes into its own, and it doesn’t just stop at the most popular of channels such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn alone.

 

In fact, that while the above-mentioned networking giants are favoured by PRs to promote and publish content, they also rely on 50 other social tools including YouTube, Google +, Instagram, and some other less-likely suspects such as Ping.It etc.

 

So, there you have it, seven ways that social media is influencing the very nature of PR. While the effects social media has had on the PR profession are mostly positive, they are yet to understand and implement the full potential of social media for work.

 

Whether it is responding to queries from consumers, media professionals or using it to build brand awareness, PRs would do better to view social media as a channel that complements their overall outreach efforts.

 

Social media is exciting but it’s just another channel not a replacement. Radio did not destroy newspapers, TV did not destroy radio, then neither will social media be the replacement for PR communications activity.

 

Social media marketing has added new life to PR – it’s given small unknown brands the potential to become a viral phenomenon at the cost of a single tweet or post, or conversely, die anonymously. It’s all out there; you just need to learn how to navigate it to your advantage.

 

For more on PR as part of your overall marketing mix, follow this link:

 

Pr in digital marketing

Tags: b2b marketing, pr, press releases, press kits, personas

4 Steps to a Great B2B Marketing Strategy

Posted by frank harris on 10/05/18 15:43

digital marketing strategy 2018Giving birth to a new product is wonderful. You’re full of pride as your idea gets ready for the big wide world. But your product needs a partner, someone who will help your product to blossom. As a proud parent, you want the best. So, when B2B marketing steps out from the shadows, you might have mixed feelings.

 

Love it or hate it, marketing is essential. It translates products into sales.

 

But few SMEs have a marketing director. Often, it’s the owner or managing director who decides what approach to take – or even the sales manager?

 

If you’re about to launch a new product, you’ve likely set aside funds for marketing. But maybe you’re not sure what to do next, and everyone wants your money. Some may even promise instant results.

It’s wise to be very cautious about what you spend – and how you spend it. Things can go horribly and expensively wrong, and the reputation of both your product and company are on the line.

 

Here are some helpful tips to get it right.

  1. Think Strategy First

In some ways, B2B marketing has never been easier. Making announcements on social media means you can promote your new product within seconds of reading this blog. You can send emails to a list of targets in moments. Then there’s pay-per-click, print advertising, trade shows, websites etc.

 

No-one likes to curb enthusiasm. But don’t start marketing your product before you’ve developed your strategy and your ‘story’. Without them, you’ll waste budget, get poor results and stress levels will rocket.

Good marketing is based on solid products, backed by promises that enhance your reputation.

 

I’d say a marketing strategy is as important as a business plan. It’s the client-facing, flip-side of your business plan. You must tell your clients why you’re doing what you’re doing, and how you’re doing it. Work out the problems your product solves for your personas.

 

Marketing is about aligning resources across your company (from sales to operations) to gain new clients, solving their issues and making them happier. Recognise the need for a strategy, and find someone specialist to help.

  1. Perfect your Proposition

With your new product ready to market, you’ve probably got some ideas about messaging, approaches and target clients. This is fine, but you may be so close to your product that you miss something obvious. Also, if your main role isn’t marketing, there may be some tricks of the trade that you just don’t know about.

 

Rush in and there’s a risk your marketing will be off-balance, miss the target and confuse the marketplace. You’ll be in a worse state than when you started.

 

A specialist can help you assess your goals, give you information on the industry you wish to enter, position you apart from your competitors, assess current and future capabilities, and find the best marketing approach. They can also define your personas by showing you how to segment and target your potential clients.

 

They can help fine-tune the full marketing mix: your proposition, pricing, messaging and timescales.

  1. Execute your plan

Once you have your marketing message polished, how will you reach potential clients? You need to find answers to questions such as:

  • What sort of campaigns do you need?
  • How can you position yourself in the minds of prospects?
  • How can you deal with any obstacles or objections raised?
  • What marketing channels to use?

This last question should provoke a discussion about your content strategy, which is more important than a social media strategy or any other B2B marketing discipline. A content strategy looks at the big picture and establishes how your core messaging can stay consistent and undiluted as it executes in marketing channels, such as social media, websites, public relations, events, videos, blogs and more.

  1. Get Creative

As the owner of a B2B start-up or small business, you are an all-rounder and want to get involved. However, at some point, the workload will force you to delegate, so you need the right people.

 

Successfully delivering a B2B marketing strategy is like winning gold medals in several disciplines at the Olympics, you need people who can be, together, a team of gold medal winners.

 

Therefore, it’s so important that your marketing plan and content strategy are in place first. Use them to brief your designer and copywriter so they stay on-message while adding their own creative ideas. This will save time, money, mistakes and stress.

 

So who’s going to manage your Olympic marketing team of freelancers while liaising with you and your colleagues? Who’s able to set clear responsibilities, deadlines and milestones, and report back on a regular basis?

 

It could be someone within your team already who’s developing a passion for marketing, or it could be your helpful marketing consultant. By now they’ll understand your marketing goals inside out, and you can work with them when you need to, for a few days every week or month.

 

Find that person and you’ll have found your ‘chief marketing officer’ or whatever you decide to call them.

You’ll see new revenues coming in, and much more time and energy to run your business.

 

For more on how to develop and execute your marketing strategies click here>>>>

 

lead generation

 

 

Tags: b2b website marketing, website marketing strategy, online marketing strategy, b2b marketing

The Future look of Technology and Marketing

Posted by frank harris on 05/01/18 08:14

technology 2020.jpgThe eBook that can be found from this link>>> or the button below, discusses the relationship between technology and marketing in the future. To me this is one of the most important subjects to contribute towards and something we should all be talking about.

 

How will technology and marketing be in the future?  Here we talk about some of the technology trends we are experiencing, how they will grow in the coming years and ultimately how well marketing could exploit them.

Heaven is a Place on Earth

Every marriage has a varied and interesting history, so let’s start by thinking about how marketing has benefited from technology over the years and, in particular, the power technology has given everyone, not just those in the marketing profession.

 

To understand the advances, we can expect in the future in terms of processing power, data storage etc., the eBook looks back to the super computers of the past.

A Predictive Future?

While marriages can be unpredictable to say the least, data itself can be the epitome of predictability. The use of data to predict behaviours is popular in some areas of analysis now, but it’s the ability to exploit this capability within marketing in the future that is exciting.

 

An example of this is marketing automation, both in execution and channel management. Twenty years ago, Direct Mail campaigns took 3 months to plan, execute and deliver due to how slowly the data was processed, extracted and deployed to the print house. Nowadays this time has shrunk dramatically because we can process data at incredible speeds and the connections between the different systems are slicker and faster.

 

In the very near future all these systems will be connected in real time, decisions will be automated and based on predictive models, meaning that those models are continually learning and optimising. This leaves the marketer more time to focus on content, creatives and style, all the things that will make them stand out.

Your Children have Higher Expectations

But stretching the marriage analogy a little, consider your customers as your children. It’s a useful way to think because so much of your customer base will not be your generation, but those that are all tech savvy and have grown up with the internet as something that’s always been around.

 

An area this will affect significantly is data collection. With GDPR, will people be as comfortable sharing data and information about themselves in the future?

The Personal Web Experience

It might sound like a soundbite, but I firmly believe the phrase ‘personal web experience’ is a reality of customer’s future expectations.

 

In the future web, one of key roles will be the customer experience team. Let’s stick with our marriage analogy and think of them as the brother in law that everyone gets on with. So, whether they sit within the technology team, marketing team, ecommerce team or stand alone, they will be critical in ensuring that the technology is used correctly. Remember the phrase “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should”?

The Real Science Fiction

One of the more exciting elements of technology that marketing will need to work out how to exploit is ‘wearables’. These devices are now mass market with items like fitness trackers and smart watches.

 

This is an excellent topic to end this piece with: the future marriage of technology and marketing and how marketing can potentially exploit this exciting future.

 

This has been a snippet from the eBook, for the full story just follow the link below:

 

B2B & SMEs Mobile Marketing

Tags: b2b marketing, technology, sme marketing, technology and marketing

What does GDPR mean to Small Business B2B Marketing?

Posted by frank harris on 04/09/17 10:08

Data Protection.jpgGDPR. Just four little letters that could spell trouble for SME B2B online marketing. This new piece of EU data protection law – the General Data Protection Regulation– represents a huge shake up to the way businesses are required to collect, process and secure the personal data of the individuals they do business with.

 

And this revolution will be here soon. It’s introduced on  25th May 2018, with no transition period – and the potential is business-crippling fines if your organisation is found to be non-compliant.

 

But even at 261-pages long, containing 99 articles, the official text of the GDPR still doesn’t tell those involved in B2B marketing, and even regulators, exactly what they’ll need to do to be compliant the day after the law comes into force.

The eBook

In this eBook, we’ll set out to provide an overview of the regulation, and its potential implications, condensing the key areas Small Business B2B marketers need to be aware of, distilling the advice that is out there, and providing some practical action to consider in preparation – with the caveat that even with fewer than 12 months to go until it is enacted there is still much interpretation and advice to be provided by regulators.

 

Indeed, it’s likely that much around the GDPR will remain unclear until enforcement cases come before the regulator, or possibly before a judge in the courts.

 

But this is no reason for inaction or delay, as organisations need to act now to be ready in time to meet the deadline.

What the eBook covers

This eBook will help you understand:

 

What the GDPR is and its six principles

  1. The obligations it imposes
  2. The potential implications of non-compliance
  3. The opportunities the GDPR presents for marketers
  4. Practical steps you can take to prepare
  5. Actions that need to be completed on the path to compliance
  6. A timeline with suggested milestones for action.

The eBook’s Contents

The headings of this 21-page eBook are the following that should help you decide to get it as it will be very important to your business:

  • The Basics of the GDPR
  • Legal Grounds
  • Consent              
  • Individual Rights
  • What SMEs need to know

This appears to be a complex area for those in B2B marketing who have not, in the past, had to get involved in such a detailed way with this topic. It will become easier as time passes and we get used to it. If you need more information or explanation do not be afraid to contact me via this email address  frank@optimaxads.com

 

In the meantime just follow the link below to get your copy:

 

lead generation

Tags: b2b marketing

How to Enable Successful B2B Marketing from your Personas

Posted by frank harris on 08/05/17 09:44

personas 2017.jpgThe B2B marketing buying cycle has changed over the past few years or so. It now takes longer to convert customers, there are more decision-makers involved in each case, and more research takes place online before a lead connects with a company’s sales team.

 

It’s believed that buyers are anywhere between 50% and 70% of the way through their buying journey before they speak to a salesperson.

 

So, what does all this mean to you and your business? Well, buyers are now armed with more information than ever before which means that if you want to engage them, you best have a legitimate solution to their problem. You also need to show empathy and help them with their pain points.

 

Given that decision-makers are doing a lot of the leg work themselves, if you are going to proactively engage them (during these early stages of buying) via channels such as telemarketing, it’s vitally important that you offer a personalised and highly targeted approach.

 

But how do you get an in-depth understanding of your prospective buyers if you’ve never spoken to them? The answer is buyer personas. To help you create B2B marketing buyer personas for your prospects, we’ve created this helpful guide. Simply read on to see how you can get your hands on all the information you’ll need, and how you can turn this data into usable documents that will help you exceed your lead generation, sales and revenue targets.

 

Don’t forget that in today’s buying cycle, no single influencer has more than 30% of the total power through the purchase process.

 

The guide covers the following B2B Marketing topics:

  • What you need to know
  • How to find the best information
  • The Outcome
  • Distribution

And includes a Persona Creation Checklist.

 

You will be able to see that creating persona documents for all your prospective decision-makers and influencers can be somewhat time-consuming and resource-intensive.

 

However, if you take the time to research and build these documents, the simple injection of valuable information into your organisation will highlight just how important the process actually is.

 

In a world where buyers are almost fully self-sufficient, complete their own research and actively seek out sales teams only when they are ready to buy, any solution which can help empower the modern B2B marketing person is a welcome tool.

 

To engage the modern buyer, it’s important to show a deep understanding of their issues and pain points while also offering a feasible solution. Entering into communication with today’s decision-makers using a generic sales approach is unlikely to generate many results. However, by utilising the research included in the buyer personas it’s possible to address buyers in a targeted and highly personalised way which will set you apart from your competitors.

 

If your organisation does not have the resources in-house to produce the highest quality persona documents, consider outsourcing this task to a specialist agency or organisation. The cost of outsourcing this task will wane in comparison to the information your organisation will gain and the impact it will have on your ability to generate leads, sales and customers.

 

So to get your copy of the eBook and help you get more leads from your online B2B marketing in 2017 all you need to do is just follow the link below:

 

lead generation

Tags: b2b marketing

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