Crafting a Successful B2B Marketing Strategy

For many B2B marketers, the traditional marketing funnel that motivates prospects to self-identify and then move to a sales funnel, is ingrained in our minds. However, in the Age of the Customer, Forrester Research’s phrase for a customer-driven marketing landscape, the funnel has evolved to reflect a new customer expectation requiring sales and marketing to work in tandem.

With this in mind, B2B marketers must evaluate how their current B2B marketing strategy is aligned with the psychology of their buyer journey. In other words, B2B marketers must know how to craft a marketing strategy based on the predominance of the customer.

So, we have outlined a series of steps to follow when crafting a customer-centric B2B marketing strategy. Ask yourself and your team, “have we checked the following boxes when crafting our B2B marketing strategy?”

IDENTIFY TARGET PERSONAS IN YOUR B2B MARKETING STRATEGY

Going through the exercise to develop personas based on market and customer research is fundamental to understanding not only who is your audience but how to engage them in the buyer journey. Incorporating marketing personas makes websites two to five times more effective and easier to use by targeted users. However, only 44% of B2B marketers use buyer personas. So, ensure your B2B marketing strategy includes persona-based experiences that moves buyers forward in their journey with your brand.

MAP A PERSONA-BASED CUSTOMER JOURNEY TO DRIVE YOUR B2B MARKETING STRATEGY

Building out your influencer and decision personas to understand your target audience is only part of the process of laying a customer-centric foundation for your strategy. Next is to map the touch points of your buyer journey through all buyer stages. In order to close the loop from awareness to revenue it’s critical to know the touch points along the journey that are motivators and detractors in order to influence all parts of the customer experience. When developing your B2B marketing strategy answer the following, “How do I craft a strategy with the framework that aligns with your customer’s journey to gain clarity and define priority?”

DEFINE AND MEASURE B2B MARKETING STRATEGY GOALS & METRICS

Perhaps a no-brainer for a data-driven B2B marketer is clearly-defined metrics for success. With a heightened emphasis on personalization and customer experience (CX), B2B marketing goals and metrics must be established to measure the success of the marketing efforts supporting a customer’s progression through the buyer journey. Your B2B marketing strategy must outline how it will create direct contribution to revenue with a return and fuel high growth.

A recent case study example from one of our technology platform and services clients is Viewpointe, a leading private cloud managed services provider. Viewpointe was challenged with continuing to engage customers over the course of a 6+ month sales cycle. After clearly defining their B2B marketing goals, they aligned their content marketing plan with their persona-based customer journey. As a result, Viewpointe stayed engaged with their customers throughout the buyer journey and closed more deals. One way Viewpointe measured customer engagement lift was a 52% increase in persona aligned website content and 164% increase in blog content engagement from organic search referrals.

YOUR B2B MARKETING STRATEGY INCORPORATES ACTIONABLE INSIGHTS WITH SALES

Referring back to our earlier customer funnel illustration, the traditional hand-off from marketing to sales, with no feedback loop when a lead is “flipped over the fence to sales”, causing misalignment between B2B marketing and sales teams. In fact, 25% of B2B marketers have no idea what is their customer conversion rate. In the Age of the Customer, your marketing strategy should outline how to rip out the proverbial fence and instead encourage inter-team collaboration. Ensuring this marketing and sales alignment is crucial to creating a consistent customer experience along a buyer’s journey. Being intentional about sharing insights between teams is one way to encourage broad acceptance of a successful B2B marketing strategy execution.

YOUR NEXT STEP

With only 45% of B2B marketers confident that they have decent, if not high, levels of customer centricity, the time to is now to author your new B2B marketing strategy that elevates you above your competition.

Digital Marketing to Promote Businesses to Greater Heights of Success

Conventional or off-line marketing has existed since the beginning of history. But, these days, if a business is to achieve success then, there is just no better alternative to on-line marketing. To put it in short, on-line or digital marketing is all about promoting a business across the virtual domain of the Internet. Some of the core strategies for this line of marketing include web designing, email marketing, social media promotion, search engine optimisation, content marketing including videos and others. This modern marketing concept is potential enough to make or break major international brands and small-scale startup businesses, along with everything that range in between.

Overlapping domains of conventional and digital marketing

Any marketing approach through digital media channels is digital or on-line marketing. The domain of digital media is fast expanding. Presently, social media channels, websites, TV, radio, mobile handsets and even non digital media like billboards and transit displays are considered as digital marketing components. In other words, at present, conventional marketing include aspects like P2P (person to person) marketing, elements of direct marketing that on-line marketing does not cover and print advertising. Actually, the domains of off-line and on-line marketing are fast overlapping each other. Elements of traditional marketing like on-line directories, URL landing pages, web banner advertising, QR codes and others have a strong connection with on-line marketing.

Reasons to assign greater importance to digital media

It is not just marketers and business owners who are driving the shift to digital media. Even consumers are contributing to this phase change. The majority of digital media channels, including various social media platforms and websites, can be more easily tracked. Whereas, print media and other traditional marketing approaches are hardly easy in that aspect.

In contrast to traditional advertising, its on-line counterpart is much cost-effective. Unlike running conventional advertising, one does not need to invest a fortune in running on-line advertising campaigns. The modern advertising approach is equally ideal for small, medium and large-scale businesses, as well as for startup brands.

These days, consumers do not flip through yellow-pages or directories anymore, to find any business to avail its products or services. They Google the required information, either using their hand-held mobiles, laptops or desktops. Thus, businesses hardly have any better alternative other than depending on on-line marketing using the platform of digital media.

Dependable web solutions companies

In this vastly changed landscape, businesses need to hire reliable web solutions-providers. Actually, modern marketing efforts for businesses revolve around building smart and business-friendly websites. A corporate website should ideally represent both the business and the brand. It is also important to ensure that it is easily navigable and user-friendly. Last but never the least, businesses need to invest on optimising their websites, so that the sites rank higher in SERP (Search Engine Result Page).

There are many freelancers, providing web design, development and SEO services at reasonable rates. It is better to pay a higher price and hire a professional brand that provides comprehensive web solutions than working with freelancers. There are many brands that provide a wide and impressive range of services including web design, search engine optimisation (SEO), content marketing, PPC advertising, social media marketing and many more. Hiring such companies will give better mileage in course of time.

Market Timing and Market Forecasting

A few decades ago, it was widely believed that the most effective way to analyze the markets for trade was to determine the fundamentals, such as the number of bushels in storage, the current demand figures, the expected harvest yield, etc. Many assumed that Technical Analysis was not useful. Reasons given were that price action is random, or that it ignores the fundamental factors of the underlying asset. The facts are quite the contrary.

Many have come to learn that the old ‘buy and hold’ strategy can be a costly one. Stories abound of those who have found the value of their portfolio has only broken even (or lost value) after holding for several years. The financial crisis of 2008 highlights one of several historical periods where investors have lost millions. While it is always a good idea to know a company’s financial health as well as their future potential in sales/profits, what may be a healthy financial statement and outlook today can look a lot different tomorrow.

Technical analysis focuses on price movement, anticipating price direction based on its ebbs and flows (ie. swings, cycles, etc.). Fundamental factors of any asset is built into price action, as the market discounts everything. In addition, history tends to repeat itself and this repetitive nature of price action can be anticipated and taken advantage of.

Many technicians rely on various indicators that help expose some aspect of historical price data for the use of timing. Where one indicator might highlight some underlying cycle pattern that could help anticipate the next trend change period, another indicator might highlight a markets overbought or oversold condition, all relative to past price action.

The technical analyst relies heavily on price charts. Certain patterns often repeat giving the technician a heads-up to a potential price break. Such patterns are given names, such as the ‘Head-and-sholders’ pattern, the ‘wedge’ or ‘flag’ formation, etc. All of these technical approaches are useful to some degree.

Precise market timing is crucial in today’s volatile markets. Without greater precision in timing, the trader is exposed to a higher degree of risk and can leave more profit on the table.

Let me illustrate this.

For the sake of discussion, suppose that the price range of each trading day is 50 points. If your allowable risk exposure (how far you will allow the market to move against your position) is 50 points, you must enter the market on the exact day you expect the move to start in your favor to avoid being stopped out with a loss. If your allowable risk exposure is 100 points, you must be accurate in your timing within +/- one day to avoid getting stopped out with a loss. This highlights the importance of precision market timing.

Now in the real world, each day the price range varies from the next. Depending on how effective your market timing approach happens to be, you may be able to risk less than the average range in points. The less precise your market timing approach happens to be, the more you should initially risk on the trade.

While market timing itself can be loosely done using standard technical indicators, trend lines and moving averages, precision market timing is achievable with good market forecasting methods. Market forecasting for market timing purposes is extremely effective because, unlike most technical indicators that are ‘leading’ or ‘lagging’ in nature, a good market forecasting method can forecast a market turn to an exact day of a trend change. Giving any market forecasting method a small deviation allowance of +/- one day can give any trader an incredible edge in predicting market turns for the purpose of precision market timing and trading.

Some traders are historical legends having used market forecasting methods for precision market timing purposes. Who has not heard of William Delbert Gann (better known as WD Gann)? This financial trader is famous for developing several technical approaches, such as the use of Gann angles or the trend indicator. His forecasting methods included the use of the Square of Nine, cycle analysis and market geometry. By using ‘market forecasting’ tools such as these and others, he is famously reported to have many times turned a small amount of money into a large amount rather quickly.

So there are two main points that I hope you have garnered by reading this article. Point #1 is that in order to better manage your risk exposure and maximize your profit potential, the more precise you need to be with your market timing approach. Point #2 is that the most precise way to time the markets is to take advantage of market forecasting techniques, where often you can time your trades to the exact day of a new move.

There are many market forecasting secrets, methods and techniques that you can learn right now to improve your market timing. Some are good, some not so good. I have spent over three decades learning, testing and discovering market forecasting approaches. When I started, there was not much available as there are today. So it has definitely seen some growth over the years and therefore you should have no problem finding the approaches that will fit your style of trading and investing.