In previous posts, we’ve talked about conversion funnels, customer acquisition, digital marketing case studies, social media strategies, email strategies, and the rest of the tools you need to excel at B2B marketing. But one has to be careful not to use technology to drive the marketing strategy – it’s quite the opposite. Technology, as always, is a tool to accomplish your goals and should never be used without a clear purpose. As modern B2B marketing offers many channels and platforms, you need to start with the basics so you don’t waste time, effort, and budget.

Begin with these 5 questions to set up goals and establish your marketing strategy:

1. What is the one theme that should run through your B2B marketing strategy?

It’s not make more money or get more B2B leads, although that will happen if you keep this simple focus:

Help your customers.

Help them solve problems.

Help them solve big problems that are keeping their businesses from growing.

Start there.

Begin telling a story about your brand.

2. What is the one thing your service or product does that other companies don’t?

Or can’t?

What’s the second thing? And third?

(these are called differentiators – the thing/s that make you different than your competitors)

Weave your differentiators into your story.

3. Who is your customer?

(if you said “everybody who…”, please sit down)

Where do they work?

What are their job titles?

What level of education do they have?

What age are they?

Where do they live?

(these are called demographics)

Think about what will motivate your customers to buy from you (it’s not necessarily price). Work it into your story.

b2b marketing strategies

Traditional vs digital B2B marketing channels.

4. Where do you reach your customer?

Is it email, social, PPC, SEO?

Social media is for a conversation.

SEO is the fishing net.

Email is for retention, reselling, and moving prospects down the sales funnel.

PPC is for making an offer.

Tailor your story for each channel.

5. What is your offer?

(This is sometimes a difficult conversation)

You don’t want to give away the store so to speak, but you do want to make your price attractive to reel in the first time buyer. Should you sell at cost? 10% above? 40%? 150%?

Discover what offer your competitors are making online and/or through their sales team. Then beat it.

That may not mean beat the price, but you can always beat the level of service if you’re willing to go the extra mile.

But yes, beat the price if you can. (although cutting price can be a race to the bottom where nobody wins)

Sure, that razor-thin margin might make you nervous. But look at the big picture: what is that customer worth to you over the next 5-10 years? Are you a 1-purchase company (weak goal) or do your customers keep buying from you again and again? (strong goal) What is that years-long relationship worth financially? Now does that 1st time offer look a little better?

But you might be asking, how do I know they’ll keep buying from me if I give them that razor-thin margin price?

You don’t.

But if your product is great and your service is amazIng, why wouldn’t they?

It’s human nature to buy and buy again from a brand you trust, no matter if it’s a business buyer or consumer.

Tell your story.

Build trust.

Get the sale.

Reap the rewards.

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