If you’re a marketer in the B2B world, you’ve likely faced an increased incidence of market disruptions, heightened competition and arduous customer demands, not to mention rising pressures to keep your campaigns profitable and sustainable. Sound about right?
The ever-evolving B2B marketing landscape means that informed (and quick) decision-making is increasingly critical – especially if brands want to stay flexible to maintain a competitive edge and achieve commercial success long-term.
Strategy is the foundation on which successful marketing decisions are built. But how should B2B businesses approach it? Here are our 3 top tips for making smarter and faster decisions in the dynamic B2B marketing arena – spotlighting the intrinsic value of strategy and insight.
1. Sharpen your industry focus
The B2B landscape is characterised by its complexity, diverse buyer personas, intricate decision-making processes. Unlike its B2C counterpart, there are also longer sales cycles, aggressive competition and (usually) less brand recognition.
To navigate this terrain successfully, businesses must develop a comprehensive understanding of their respective industries, that goes beyond in-house knowledge and assumptions. Relevant and reliable insights – based on accurate information, data and knowledge – will help take calculated risks, create distinguished offerings and tailor marketing strategies to address specific customer needs. In fact, did you know that companies that effectively use analytics in their marketing and sales decisions are 1.5x more likely to achieve above-average growth rates compared to their peers?1
Our top tip? Use a third party with a 360-view of your marketplace to support your analysis. Not only can they provide an invaluable and unbiased external perspective, but they can help to identify blind spots, provide even deeper insights and accelerate data collection; saving significant time and money and allowing decision-makers to focus on core activities.
2. Sharpen your customer lens
Taking a customer-centric approach to leveraging insights builds trust, enhances customer satisfaction and helps to establish long-term and fruitful relationships. More importantly, it leads to testing your assumptions and validating (or reshaping) your customer knowledge.
Investing in customer and market research – e.g., performing stakeholder interviews or conducting anonymous surveys – is a good starting point to obtaining honest and unbiased feedback which will lead to a better understanding of customers’ experiences and pain points. Bonus points if you take a more personalised approach and involve representatives from different departments in your company.
Data-driven user experience and customer insight should also be top of mind even when going through channel selection. Identifying and exploiting channels where the target audience is most active and receptive is critical to ensuring that marketing efforts are focused on platforms where they are more likely to be seen and engaged with.
Don’t have the time to do this? Why not source help via an external partner with expertise in customer research and tailored marketing campaigns? A successful example of this is Panasonic’s use of marketing automation. Marketing automation is a technology that allows companies to centrally orchestrate and manage their interactions with customers across multiple platforms. Panasonic uses marketing automation to sell to its 300,000 B2B customers worldwide – customers that trade in distinct industries, have unique needs and different challenges. The company relies on marketing automation to collect precise data and drive high-impact and cost-effective campaigns that will reach their extensive customer base with tailored content and messages.2
3. Sharpen your innovation power
Innovation is not only an opportunity, but a necessity. Insights are the foundation of successful innovation – informing decision-making, guiding product promotions and helping brands resonate with customers and the broader market. By leveraging insights to power innovation, businesses can stay competitive, seize new opportunities and continuously deliver value that meets the evolving needs of B2B customers. Data-driven insights also enable organisations to address anticipated market changes and challenges via invention – helping them to remain agile within the fast-paced and rapidly developing B2B landscape.
Our best advice is to never stand still. Strategy and insights shouldn’t be static concepts; they require continuous commitment, evaluation and refinement. Effective measurement and analysis enable organisations to assess the impact of their marketing decisions, identify areas for improvement and make data-determined adjustments. For example, establishing key performance indicators (KPIs) that are aligned with strategic objectives provide insights into the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, customer engagement and overall business performance. This iterative process ensures that businesses can adapt to evolving market conditions and optimise their marketing efforts for maximum impact. When was the last time you reviewed your KPIs and adapted your plans?
If you’re wondering how our experience in unlocking growth through strategic insights can help you, get in touch today.