B2B marketers face similar challenges across all industries. It is important to remember, that with each challenge comes a great opportunity. The first step is recognizing when something is becoming a road block for your department’s success, then you can work together to find out how to overcome that issue and grow stronger and smarter because of it!
Here are some common challenges for the B2B marketer and possible solutions to try out:
#1: Marketing & Sales Data
Data can be one of the scariest words when it comes to being a marketer. We put advertisements out there and claim that they will turn into sales, but do they? Our bosses in the C-Suite demand proof that our efforts are working…and do we have that proof? When it comes to USING data, we can interpret numbers, audience behaviors, etc., but the trick is COLLECTING the data.
Solution: Sales and Marketing teams need to come together and create SMART goals. These goals should require certain data for success (KPIs) that you can MAKE SURE you have in place before your marketing efforts are implemented. Everything should be tracked. Spending money on marketing initiatives that you can’t prove are successful isn’t good for the company, or defending your job.
#2: Tracking Customers
What are our customers doing? Are we losing them at a certain phase in the buying process? Are you able to follow them around on their computer to see effectiveness of an online ad? Just like data is important for seeing if our marketing is resulting in sales, tracking customers will help us understand where we are going wrong and where the customers are in the buying process.
Solution: It’s the 21st century and technology has evolved over the years to the point where most everything is being tracked. Believe it or not, you are probably being tracked right now. Google Analytics is a great beginning phase of tracking people on your website, but maybe your company would benefit from live tracking, smart phone tracking, or even social interaction tracking- it might cost you money from your budget, but audience knowledge is everything in the marketing world.
#3: Campaign Execution
As marketers, we are really good at coming up with plans to benefit our customers or even our own companies. Campaigns, on paper, are usually creative, diverse, powerful, and have the potential to push things to the next level. The problem? Execution.
Solution: The execution phase is daunting, but doable. It all comes down to systems. As humans, we operate great when systems are in place and not so great when it is a “do as you go” operation. So the solution here is to map out the execution plan immediately after (if not during) creation of your campaigns. (i.e., who does what, when they do it, how they do it, and for how long). It’s not rocket science, but it is an easily forgotten step.
Just remember, every obstacle is an opportunity to pave the way for your company and your brand. Take advantage of the growth opportunities that are around every corner (and some that are right in front of you right now!) Petal to the metal my friends.