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Strategic Marketing: The Duty for B2B Companies

Your marketing isn't working the way you want it to yet? To establish a marketing strategy in the B2B sector, uniqueness is required. We'll show you what's important in a strategic approach to marketing and how to choose the most important focus areas for you.

Relevance of Strategic B2B Marketing

Billions are invested in marketing every year without any visible success. If you want to be successful in B2B marketing today, you have to act strategically and proactively and not just try "something".

Many companies half-heartedly try to find a strategy without really knowing their own problems and challenges

A few texts here, an explanatory video there and repeating a blunt keyword as often as possible may still have worked in 2010

Marketing without a plan and concept is hopeless. Only those who know what they are doing can scale success and increase the performance of their marketing measures.

Good marketing is not based on feelings, but on facts. It is not without reason that more than 90% of all pages still receive no traffic, as shown in a study by Ahrefs. Only those who categorize their target group exactly can do targeted and profitable marketing.

In most cases, there is a lack of elementary planning to conduct strategic B2B marketing and acquire new customers. In order for successful marketing to be automated, a successful strategy must first exist

Here we have compiled for you the most important basis for the conception, planning and execution of promising B2B marketing.

Strategic Challenges in B2B Companies

The megatrend of digitalization has been influencing the way we do business for a long time. The Corona pandemic has intensified the effect even further, which is why we have to face the following challenges from a business perspective, better now than in the distant future:

  • User and purchasing behavior has already changed significantly in B2C and will increasingly do so in B2B as well.

  • Globalization means that country and language borders are less important, making it easier for you (and your competitors) to enter new geographic markets.

  • More and more information, solutions and vendors are available, making good market positioning and content marketing increasingly important.

  • Marketing is increasingly acting as a control center for a wide variety of disciplines, which need to be learned and refined.

  • Disciplines in marketing, sales, customer success and product management are increasingly overlapping, making a clear division of responsibilities and tasks indispensable.

  • Employee turnover is increasing in many companies and specialists are increasingly scarce, which often leads to internal resource problems.

To be successful as a B2B company in the VUCA world, you need to be able to adapt to new conditions ever faster. In order to be able to concentrate on the most important things amidst all the noise and confusion, there are fortunately already many solutions.

Thanks to digital progress, you can have more and more tasks automated by a machine and thus save resources. Of course, there are still many jobs that require experts, whereby the outsourcing of special disciplines is particularly promising and can save you a lot of time.

The Problem with Resource Efficiency

The many areas of marketing are hard to keep track of, even for you? With such comprehensive processes and interfaces, it's hard to meet all the challenges. Especially when you still have to deal with scarce resources.

That's why a clear focus in B2B marketing is an absolute must. So make sure you have the necessary knowledge, time and budget for the most important tasks:

  • Lead Generation: Acquisition of potential new customers

  • Lead Qualification: Identifying interested users

  • Target Group Definition: Clear analysis of the ideal customer

  • Content Production: Creation of texts, graphics and videos

  • Search Engine Optimization: Implementation of technical trends for content

  • Marketing Operations: Planning and process management to increase efficiency

  • Marketing Strategy: Long-term planning, positioning and go-to-market implementation

But what can you do to balance all these factors? The answer to this will always look different depending on your organization, but will involve at least one of the following dimensions:

  • Building or buying knowledge and specialized skillsets, e.g. in the form of SEO agencies

  • Closer collaboration and clear division of tasks between departments, especially Marketing & Sales

  • Process optimization with artificial intelligence Marketing automation

Basically, the better you align your team and processes, the better your efficiency and chances of success in B2B marketing.

Collaboration in and with the Marketing Team

Unfortunately, the cooperation within marketing and the different departments in many companies is anything but smooth. Especially in large companies, garden-variety and silo thinking is often the order of the day

The marketing and sales teams each do their own thing without keeping the opportunities for other departments in mind. We find: For strategic B2B marketing, there is nothing worse than demotivated lone warriors who get in each other's way.

This not only has a negative effect on your motivation and efficiency, but also quickly has a negative impact on your data management. If each department collects its own data, identical processes are repeated over and over again. Most data is thus collected twice for no reason, since no one knows what the other is doing.

Conditions such as home office work and remote work have not exactly been able to improve this problem. What at first glance gives employees more flexibility and freedom makes direct collaboration virtually impossible. While digital meetings can be convenient, they quickly become an obstacle to bringing departments together.

Increase Efficiency & Effectiveness in Your Marketing Team

However, even on-site teamwork is far from a guarantee for a functioning marketing organization in the B2B sector. If tasks are not clearly formulated, the necessary structure is also lacking during the work. As a result, the results often fall short of expectations, which automatically also applies to the performance of the other departments.

The Objectives & Key Results approach, OKR for short, can help here. By defining a clear mission statement and measurable goals, every team member has the target in mind. Especially in marketing, this no longer leads to everyone bringing their own definition of success.

In order to further increase efficiency, there must be no lack of good working tools. In addition to the individual attitude, technical factors such as a powerful PC, practical tools and sufficient space for fresh ideas are therefore also important. If you feel good in the working environment, you will automatically work more productively and contribute more to the success of your company.

Clear Positioning & Storytelling

Establishing and truly living out a marketing strategy in B2B comes down to more than just ambitious goals. In every industry, there are competitors with similar goals to yours. In order for your strategic marketing to remain successful despite competition, crystal clear positioning is necessary.

The worst idea here is to blindly copy your competitors. Even in marketing, the copy is usually worse than the original, which is why your own ideas work best. The following 4 factors should therefore be on your To Do list:

  • Branding

  • Storytelling & Content Marketing

  • Tone of Voice & Customer Centricity

  • Unique Selling Point & Unique Values

Impressive Branding

What makes you stand out? How do customers recognize you in everyday life? If you can't answer these questions, you're suffering from poor marketing. Define important unique selling points that put you ahead of your competitors. This will make you the first choice contact for your target group.

Storytelling & Relevant Content

Boring copy and rushing videos are a dime a dozen. Lively content, however, seeks out conflicts with the target group, describes with more than just dull words and creates images in the minds of your readers. An experienced content team is a must for any marketing organization.

Tone of Voice & Customer Centricity

We all want to be understood. To build trust with your target audience, you need to show that you understand their concerns. Speak the same language as your customers and deliver content that is truly relevant to them.

Unique Selling Point and Added Value

Don't keep your target audience guessing about what you do. To convince customers of your ideas and concepts, you should present them as clearly as possible. The following questions are just some of the things your potential customers should know about you:

  • What makes your products special?

  • What is your goal as a company?

  • How do your services help your target group?

  • What advantages do you have compared to the competition?

The more clearly you position yourself, the more likely you are to be recognized in your industry. This further establishes you as an industry expert who attracts new customers

Once you've found your sweet spot in the market and have a clear understanding of what your customers want, your messaging will resonate much better with leads.

Marketing Basics to Execute Your Strategy

Even if you can work with your team on new campaigns and effective strategies for the long term, there's usually still room for improvement. When optimizing your marketing, you should pay special attention to a balanced mix of marketing tactics and your multichannel management. Because not everything always has to be new. By applying existing measures to new formats and channels, you can often achieve a lot with little effort

If you have your basics and the marketing mix under control, you can increase your efficiency and reach new heights, especially through the implementation of marketing automation.

What humans can do in a week, good software can solve in a few minutes. With marketing automation, you create new standards that bring you one step closer to your strategic goals

To be honest, you'll probably never reach the maximum. Nobody does. With billions of potential customers, it's simply impossible. However, with an effective marketing strategy in the B2B area, you will succeed in moving your horizon higher and higher.

Good Luck with Your B2B Marketing Strategy

With this guide, you're guaranteed to stop hanging measure after measure without a real strategy. Good marketers know how to tackle their problems and what is currently on the agenda. This way, you're sure not to run out of steam in marketing either.

Therefore, in order to establish a successful marketing strategy in B2B, it is not just sheer expertise that is required. Above all, aspects such as team cohesion and coordination make the difference and move you forward. Take a look at this guide whenever you need new impulses for building an effective B2B marketing strategy.