5 Ideas and More to Improve B2B Marketing Strategy

by Rick Volz on July 20, 2010

Rick Volz, B2B Practice Leader

Rick Volz

In a recent Modern B2B Marketing Blog article, the author Maria Pergolino suggests it’s the right time to assess your B2B Marketing Strategy and consider areas of improvement.  Maria suggests the following 5 ideas to improve your marketing strategy:

1.  Find new ways to integrate marketing channels.

Incorporating new channels into existing efforts can help improve reach – and therefore results.  For example, marketing efforts that focus on email marketing can incorporate social networking channels to maximize reach.

2.  Hear your customers.

Understanding customers’ unique challenges and recognizing the solutions they need is an essential element of any B2B marketing strategy. After all, if you aren’t honing in on what customers want, you’re likely to lose them to competitors. Fortunately, there are more tools available than ever before to support time-honored customer feedback practices such as:

  • Listening. Conversations are being conducted about your products, your brand and competitors on various digital channels throughout the Web.
  • Asking. Traditional phone polls by customer service representatives have evolved to include additional marketing channels, including email and social media.
  • Analyzing. Much can be determined by customer actions – not simply customers’ words. Website and email analytics give a clear view into whether or not you are providing the information or solutions that customers need.

3.  When it comes to landing pages, test, test, test.

Testing is key to creating relevant and optimized landing pages. By incorporating A/B testing as a tactic of your B2B marketing strategy, you can maximize conversion rates and get more leads for your money.

4.  Use content to build relationships.

If you aren’t already incorporating high-quality, relevant content for customers into your B2B marketing strategy, now is the time to do so. B2C websites may be able to focus content solely on product information. But because B2B sales conversions are based on building relationships, content can help your organization be recognized as a thought leader and trusted resource.

Use content – whether in a blog, in an e-newsletter, through a white paper or via social networking channels – to educate customers rather than offering a sales pitch.

5.  Take lead management to the next level.

The importance of lead management in a B2B marketing strategy is clear:  As many as 80% of B2B leads received are not yet ready to buy, according to consultancy Rain Today. Unfortunately, not all B2B organizations recognize the full potential of lead management efforts.

Lead management isn’t simply about lead nurturing and lead scoring. Elevate lead management efforts by:

  • Creating a lead database to manage and store all leads. Collect customer profile information over time, including their interests and behaviors. This can help segment leads to better target them with relevant content.
  • Providing sales insight. Instead of simply passing off a qualified lead to sales, provide history and insight into that lead. The more information sales has on a lead, the more likely the conversion.
  • Recycling leads. This can involve reassigning leads to a new sales rep or partner when the original rep doesn’t, or can’t, follow up in a timely manner. It also involves allowing sales reps to recycle leads and specify a timeframe for when they want leads to come back to them (i.e., if they aren’t able to connect with the prospect, or the customer isn’t quite ready to buy).

And more…

Maria’s ideas are all great approaches to consider and concepts that we are consulting on daily.  Yet there is another idea, proven in the market place to increase customer and market share, taking sales enablement to the next level: developing B2B marketing analytics to create a scientific and replicable approach to sales opportunity identification.

Employing B2B marketing analytics is a proactive process to identify the best targets for customer cross-sell/up-sell, and acquisition sets the stage for sales acceleration and lead qualification.  In addition to generating, nurturing and managing leads as Maria suggests, by using B2B marketing analytics you can do the following…and more:

  • identify and prioritize the best possible opportunities among your entire addressable universe of customers and prospects
  • deploy sales and marketing resources, by product line, to support customers and prospects most likely to buy
  • attack new markets, aligning your resources in order to achieve the biggest impact

In the complex and competitive B2B marketplace, numerous strategies need to be deployed and coordinated to exceed revenue growth objectives.  B2B marketing analytics should be considered as a foundation strategy to sales enablement and ongoing opportunity qualification and sales funnel development.


About the Author:

Rick Volz is a Business-to-Business Practice Leader for SIGMA Marketing Group, responsible for the thought-leadership and business solutions in the B2B market. Follow Rick on  or connect with him on .

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Get Smart: Make Sure Insights from Marketing Analytics Reach Your Sales Force

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kelly Jones August 19, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Great suggestions. Number two is particularly key. Consider the impact your marketing function can have on your company’s direction and strategy if you pull together decision makers from your top accounts. Not only can you learn where the market is headed and how you can play, you’ll also have the opportunity to build stronger relationships to retain and grow these key accounts.

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