By Maria Geokezas, VP of Client Services at Heinz Marketing
I’ve been marketing for longer than I care to admit. Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to have met and worked with many smart and talented business leaders and entrepreneurs. Most of these folks, regardless of their experience or education, have good instincts and realistic expectations when it comes to B2B Marketing. But, some do not and they generally fall in the following four categories:
- Value ideas over execution. B2B Marketing ideas are relatively easy to produce. Determining if those ideas will deliver the results you want and then executing on them, takes a little bit of time. Give your marketing team the runway they need to execute the program in way that serves your idea well. Then, give it some tome to work. Measure the impact, tinker and test. Don’t immediately abandon your idea until you’ve explored every avenue to make it successful.
- Lack of empathy. Empathy is an important marketing skill. Understanding your ideal customer is a basic requirement for all marketers. This is your starting point for each and every marketing decision. It’s not enough to understand the ideal target account firmographics (like industry vertical or company size) or the ideal customer profile (like title and level). You really need to understand what your ideal customer is motivated by and the challenges he or she faces day-in, day-out as they try to do their jobs.
- Talking about your yourself. Not to sound pessimistic, but people generally don’t care about you or what you have to say. Marketers have to earn the right to be heard. Stop talking about what you do and instead start talking about the pain points and challenges your prospect faces. Start by auditing your website, and count how many sentences start with “We” or “Our”. This will give you a good indication of the relate-ability of your marketing message.
- We need leads now. Well, you probably should have started thinking about this moment months ago. This short-term thinking prohibits your ability to sell and succeed in the long-term. Let’s be honest — it’s relatively easy to send an email. But, purchasing a list of email contacts and expecting one email drop to generate new business is just naive. It may get you what you need today, but it is not going to deliver a sustainable stream of B2B leads. Nor will it support a scalable or repeatable B2B Marketing model for the long term.
For me, the fun part about B2B marketing is that it’s not a “hard science” – there are no absolute black-and-white truths or rules of marketing. There are only shades of grey – meaning that your marketing efforts can drive varying levels of success depending on a wide range of factors like your audience, your product or service, your message, time frame, etc. This is also the scary part about marketing – in that you could spend a lot of time and money and NOT get the results you expect. This is why experience matters.