4 challenges in B2B marketing and 10 tips to help

February 3rd, 2021 Posted by Marketing 0 thoughts on “4 challenges in B2B marketing and 10 tips to help”

For those who may have started in B2C, engaging in B2B marketing can be a daunting challenge. Below are some of the common challenges you may see and some tips to help solve them.

Low data volume

B2B businesses tend to be more niche than a lot of B2C companies. This means relatively low keyword volumes over a wide range of keyword phrases. This is a difficult situation to be in as measuring performance or data significance can be tricky with such low data volumes

Tips

  1. Bucket keywords into groups (behavioural or product category) so there are higher keyword volumes. This will give you better insight into conversion and performance.
  2. Avoid looking at channels in isolation. Make sure you are looking at first click and last click data. Attribution is increasingly important in B2B as the customer journey tends to have a lot of touch points across channels.

Lack of a single view of the customer

This issue is a widely prevalent one in almost any industry or sector but can be especially grating in a B2B company. 48% of enterprise CX leaders agree that lacking a single view of the customer and customer journey is the #1 challenge for effectively measuring customer experience. The reason for this?

Typically, a lot of data sits in CRM or back-end order legacy systems which can be difficult to access. This creates a series of headaches around data transparency and availability resulting in limitations in the ability for companies to grow without the right systems in place.

Tips

  1. Ensure you have senior management buy-in and they understand how data will move your business forward. This will help unblock any barriers you are facing across business teams
  2. Focus on the use cases of how you can use the data when you have it, rather than trying to build a state of the art solution from the beginning. For example, if you need to send trigger emails using specific order information (end of contract), it could be you do not need to refactor everything to put this in place. So it’s important to be pragmatic. At the same time, avoid just implementing short cuts which will break when someone leaves the company or parts of the application change.

I can’t get digital channels to work

There are a range of issues that prevent your digital channels from working effectively.  From having incorrect lookalike audience data, to targeting the wrong keywords, to using the wrong channels digital is prone to errors. It’s important to have a plan in place without chopping and changing campaigns too much.

Tips

  1. Make sure you are running a wide set of tests across digital channels so you are not putting all your eggs in one basket.
  2. Set expectations – B2B strategies take time to implement and you will need to make sure senior management have the right expectations of when you will start seeing success
  3. Speak to customers – When data is limited and it is hard to see what is going wrong, qualitative research is pretty handy to understand the pains and gains of customers and why they are not converting. Typically, you should be trying to speak to 2 prospective customers each month and iterating your user experience based on this input.
  4. Make use of lookalike audience data and test different types of audiences – It’s a painstaking process to see what works, but it is important to test different variations and to not assume anything. You will be surprised at the results!

My B2B spend seems to be wasted on awareness driving activities

Although awareness is important in ensuring you are kept top of mind when someone is looking for your product or service, taking a more targeted approach for marketing spend to focus on customers further down the funnel will result in more sales.

Tips

  1. Applying account based strategies where content is targeted towards specific clients you  are already speaking to will drive further consideration or action
  2. Don’t just rely on online. Ensure you are integrating any offline activities so you are nurturing offline opportunities with complementing support advertising

In conclusion

Many experienced marketers have stumbled when engaging in B2B marketing. Low volumes and niche markets can make it tricky to understand where to get traction. On the flip side, smaller niches can lead to higher marketing conversion rates if implemented correctly

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    Chee Ho Wan
    Latest posts by Chee Ho Wan (see all)

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    20+ years experience on digital marketing projects + 6 years focused on marketing and data automation

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