B2B marketers, what to do when you're feeling left behind
Forrester predicts that most B2B marketing will be going to be account-based.
At the start of 2021, 66% of B2B marketers told Forrester they had already been using ABM for at least a year.
It's showing results too.
One of the companies reported hitting 276% of its pipeline target using direct mail targeted to key accounts.
Not just that, they also hit 28:1 return on investment through ABM compared to attending major industry events.
With numbers like these, it's hard not to be impressed.
But what if you're still running campaigns? What if your Corporate Comms wants nothing to do with 'marketing'?
What if you're just getting started with demand generation?
What should you do today that sets you up for success tomorrow?
Let's start with what you shouldn't do.
Stop obsessing over leads.
Only 28% of global B2B marketers strongly agree that they prioritise solving customers' problems over promoting products.
Fo' shame, marketers. Fo' shame!
Prioritise solving the blockers that are keeping your customers from doing business with you.
Sadly, the pinnacle of most B2B customer-centric marketing is replacing 'we' with 'you' or, better yet, 'You'.
Instead of jumping straight into channel planning, talk to your customers and your sales staff first.
Before you plan anything, identify the blockers that keep your customer from doing business with you.
In some markets, that would be a lack of brand awareness, and in others, it could be customer maturity.
Build your marketing team around solving specific customer problems.
Most B2B marketing organisations are structured around product lines, market areas, industries, or business units.
This is the source of your lack of customer-centricity.
As long as you're mentally looking inside out, no amount of consultants and technologies will switch your mindset.
Build your marketing teams to solve specific customer problems.
If you have a small team, pick a handful of markets and get everyone to focus on solving a single problem, e.g. building product awareness.
Set clear but ambitious goals and work backwards.
One of my clients recently shared a brilliant analogy for iterative goal setting.
She said, "My CMO tells us that she needs a giraffe in this room by tomorrow. Maybe we panic a little at first but then someone says, 'what if we use these papers cups and straws to fashion a giraffe?' We put our heads together and build something that resembles a giraffe. Then we present it to her, and she goes, 'Brilliant! Now make it better."
Don't fall into the trap of aiming for what's possible. The same goes for how you measure success.
Clearly define what's needed and build your way backwards.
You can't scale marketing without proper technology.
Here's a disturbing statistic from Forrester:
"Only 41% of global B2B marketers indicated that the CIO and CMO are strategic partners in developing technology-driven solutions for the business."
Don't be one of those marketing leaders.
Your operations may be out of whack, or your brand marketing may be struggling.
And on top of it all, you will have a hundred more fires to put out.
But make it a priority to lead the selection, implementation, and adoption of a marketing tech stack that improves efficiency and deliver a better customer experience.
Without it, you can not compete, let alone scale.