B2B buying cycles get longer and more complicated, and the more time you spend in the funnel, the more likely you are to make mistakes that can ruin your marketing budget.
Many companies are victims of common mistakes, so it’s not the end of the world if you make one. But if you want to protect your budget, you first need to know what the most common pitfalls are.
This article outlines seven steps you can take to avoid these common pitfalls and protect your marketing budget.
- Focus only on high-level managers
If you’re only marketing to senior or executive level executives, you need to reevaluate your strategy. While 64% of senior executives have the final say, 24% of those who also play a role in purchasing decisions are not on the board, according to a Google survey.
You cannot limit the role of non-C fans in influencing approval. If you spend your marketing budget on the board alone, you risk not reaching other important decision-makers in an organization.
For example, if you are marketing at a manufacturing company with multiple locations in the region and want to get their attention, tailor your messages to the head of each plant, not just the CEO.
Including non-executive decision-makers in your marketing strategy will give you a broader, more focused reach, and maximize your opportunities.
- Ignore the generation Y audience
Millennials now account for 46% of all B2B buyers – almost half – according to Google. Also, young people between 18 and 34 years old represent almost half of B2B researchers.
- Focus exclusively on generating new leads
It is essential to actively increase your customer base to support your business and that means gaining leadership. But sometimes companies focus their marketing efforts solely on lead generation and forget about other goals, like cultivating leads.
If your only purpose is to generate leads, what do you do when the leads are in the stock market? You risk losing it. Not all potential customers are ready for conversion. Generating new leads is only half the battle.
In the B2B world, where the sales cycle is longer, it is worthwhile to have a more complete approach with several objectives: brand recognition, reputation management, lead generation, lead promotion, and customer loyalty.
- It is not an adaptable strategy
Change is inevitable. Technologies come and go. Trends emerge and disappear. The data is getting out of date. If you want to get the most out of your marketing budget, you need to adapt to these changes.
For example, the COVID-19 crisis has put the status quo of millions of businesses around the world to the test. The economy is extremely volatile and uncertain about the future. If such an event is weakening your marketing budget, you have to adapt if you want to survive.
A good marketing plan is agile. Evaluate budget changes every quarter and be open to increasing or decreasing your budget for certain tactics.
- Not Doing A/B Tests
It is an expensive mistake to ignore the A / B test or the split test, which is an essential part of marketing. Without testing the variables in your campaigns, it is impossible to determine what really works. By spending just 5% more than your split test budget, you protect your marketing budget from wasted and unsuccessful public tactics.
- Forget ‘Social’ in ‘Social Network’
Some B2B companies use social media as a billboard to advertise their offers, which is a mistake. Social media is not just an advertising channel.
Imagine that you are talking to someone who only talks about himself. That way, you only use social media for advertising. Potential customers may negatively see your brand, which is counterproductive to your marketing budget.
Instead, view social media as a two-way street. You need to add value to the table if you want to maximize profits in the middle.
Try to understand your customers and how they use social media. Educate, engage, entertain and inspire to deliver value to your customers; only then can you make your company heard.
- Don’t measure the results
52% of marketers admit that their company has little or no ability to measure and analyze the impact of their marketing efforts.
This is common in B2B and B2C: a company spends a significant marketing budget without developing a system to measure results. But if you don’t analyze the results of your strategy, you can waste your budget and fail in court.
If you cannot measure, you cannot improve, as Peter Drucker says. To measure the effectiveness of your strategy, determine the metrics that apply to your campaigns: including ROI, traffic, leads, engagement rate, time spent on the page, and CTR.
If you analyze results in conjunction with the split test, you can use all of this data to improve your results and get the best out of your marketing budget in 2021 and beyond.