The start of a new year is an exciting time! Thoughts turn to resolutions for making transformations and improvements. Unfortunately - whether personal or business related - New Year’s Resolutions usually fail because they are not supported by larger goals and strategic actions. For example, if I want to ‘lose weight in 2017’ but don’t set a weight loss goal with a specific diet and exercise plan, the chances of me succeeding are about as good as my chances of driving by Krispy Kreme on National Donut Day. The same can be said for B2B marketing efforts. Unless the B2B marketing efforts you are planning for 2017 are supported by goals and a coordinated marketing strategy, there’s a good chance you won’t carry them out, much less see any measurable results.
Are you looking to step up your B2B marketing efforts in 2017? Increase your odds for success by starting with a thought-out B2B marketing plan. Here are five steps to get you started:
Step 1: Define Your Goals
The only way to hit the mark with your efforts is to designate a target. Additionally, establishing clear and specific goals will provide you with a measurable way to gauge your B2B marketing success. Give some serious thought to what it is you would like to accomplish this year. Some business goals might include:
- Gaining more market share for a specific product
- Converting more of your website visitors into buyers
- Generating more qualified leads for your sales force
- Building trust and consumer confidence in your local community
Step 2: Identify Your Challenges
What have been your biggest challenges relating to your B2B marketing efforts? Identifying obstacles will help you determine the most effective course of action and efficient use of your marketing budget. Some online marketing challenges may include:
- Lack of website traffic / poor search engine visibility
- Website visitors do not spend much time on your site
- Competitors are dominating the search ranking
- Losing track of website leads – missing opportunities
Step 3: Identify Your Prospects
It may seem pretty obvious, but you need to know who your buyers are. The process of identifying your buyers is actually more involved than many businesses realize. Failing to understand your buyers and what motivates them is the primary reason why a lot of B2B marketing messages do not resonate. We recommend identifying and understanding your prospects by taking the time to develop buyer personas. This process includes asking a series of in depth questions to reveal what inspires and motivates the people who buy your products and services.
Step 4: Outline Your Strategies
While challenges abound for B2B marketing managers, fortunately so do opportunities! The key is to select the right strategies to match your specific goals, challenges, and prospects. Online B2B marketing strategies may include:
- Creating more attractive website content
- Adding Call-to-Action (CTA) features to your website to foster ongoing buyer/seller relationships
- Leveraging ethical Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques
- Developing an inbound lead nurturing program
Step 5: Set Your Deadlines
Whether the strategies you choose involve technical website updates, improving the mobile friendliness of your website, enhancing website content, or adding / reviving a business blog, it is ESSENTIAL that you hold yourself and your team accountable for getting your action items completed. Deadlines provide a clear way to establish expectations and make sure things happen.
Would you like some assistance with developing a realistic, achievable, and profitable B2B marketing plan for 2017? Upright Communications has extensive experience helping businesses develop actionable and successful online marketing strategies with measurable results. Contact us to get started with your plan!