B2B marketing strategies, tactics, and techniques revolve around attracting business decision-makers, generating leads, and nurturing those leads into paying customers.
This is distinctly different from B2C marketing, in which businesses sell products and services directly to end users. Decisions are often easy and low risk and they can happen after just one encounter.
Applying B2C strategies to B2B audiences can set you up to fail. As a result, marketing mistakes like these happen:
1. Neglecting Data and Creating Buyer Personas Without it
Many startups make this mistake. But that’s because they don’t have the data. There’s no excuse when existing companies assume they know the customers.
Pull the data. It can be eye-opening.
Make sure you have the technology and systems in place to collect the right data from customers. Build your buyer personas from real data.
2. Not Engaging in A/B Testing
Don’t accept just good enough. It’s never good enough in B2B marketing. A small tweak can send your conversion rate soaring. Failing to test can lead to ineffective methods that ultimately annoy customers and cause brand damage.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the sheer number of things you could test. Narrow your focus and work your way out. Talk with your product, marketing, sales, and customer care teams to listen for topics that consistently come up.
Evaluate your competitors to see how they do things differently. You may want to adapt, based on what you see, to determine if it works with your customers.
3. Not Focusing on CTAs
Human behavior is funny. People often don’t remember to do something until they’re directed. How often have you liked or subscribed only after someone asked you?
Marketing mistakes with CTAs often revolve around not having enough of them or making them an afterthought. You’re losing people. Call them to an action.
Use CTAs to get people to do something – take an action – any action. Don’t be afraid to create bold and direct CTAs. Use a little creativity. Avoid the CTAs that people see everywhere:
- Get a quote
- Sign up now
Change it to:
- Get your custom quote
- Start receiving B2B marketing tips
4. Not Paying Attention to Your Social Media Channels
Some 78% of salespeople who actively manage social media outsell those who don’t.
Posting sporadically, not checking messages, failing to respond to comments or interactions – these can all amount to a lot of missed opportunity for:
- Lead generation
- Sale completion
- Customer satisfaction
Leverage the power of social media to engage and stay connected with your customers. Small businesses often struggle with this and consider it secondary. Make social media marketing a priority.
5. Following the Crowd Instead of Standing Out
You should be aware of the competition. And yes, sometimes, you’ll adapt what they’re doing. But you don’t know their goals or their business model and you don’t have their customer data.
This blind spot may make you oblivious to the fact that what they’re doing won’t work for you. It can create brand confusion and discord. It seems inauthentic.
Be authentic with your target audiences about who you are by developing and using a consistent voice and tone.
6. Approaching Social Media the Wrong Way
You’ve heard about multi-channel marketing and the desire to be everywhere. But avoid it, if you don’t have the bandwidth or team to give each channel the dedication it needs.
You might try to cut corners by creating a single post for all platforms. But it just doesn’t work. You can’t be all things to all people in all the places.
Evaluate your resources and the best platform for lead generation. Start there. Build momentum. Then test others slowly and purposefully if you’d like to branch out. Understand your messaging and who uses which platform.
7. Ignoring the Website
And the marketing mistakes continue. You may think B2B buyers are practical. They gravitate toward the company with the best product or service. They don’t care about the website…. Except they do.
Presentation matters. If you have a clunky, non-functional site, potential customers wonder what’s wrong with you and your products.
Embrace functional design, content, and meet basic standards for appearing in search results. Your website should guide B2B buyers through the buyer’s journey, giving them all the resources they need to know about your product, service, and company. Show them you’re a good fit for them.
Track relevant website performance metrics to ensure the entire site delivers the right user experience.
8. Producing Irrelevant Content
Excellent B2B content matters. Content generates awareness. It provides value you can trade to generate a lead. It helps a potential buyer choose the right options. It supports frontline managers as they convince their bosses you’re the one.
Many B2B marketing mistakes revolve around a misunderstanding about relevant B2B content.
Create data-driven content. Use your target customers’ questions to build content. Then they find that content when they look for an answer.
9. Assuming Branding Is Not That Important
B2C customers aren’t the only ones who buy something because people talk about it, or it sends a certain message about who they are and how they see themselves. Branding matters.
People – including business buyers – see the brands they consume as an extension of their own brand identity.
Consider your brand positioning and who you are. Build a brand people remember and want to be a part of, but remember who you are and what you can deliver on consistently.
Wrap Up: B2B Marketing Mistakes You Don’t Have to Make
These B2B marketing mistakes cost you time. They drain your money. You don’t have to make them. If lead generation feels like a stall in the supply chain at your company, learn how we can get your marketing on track.