8 of the Best B2B Marketing Myths
The marketing myths and rules of thumb I’ve learned over my career, sometimes painfully, sometimes easily, but always with good effect
The Easy Way
There are no magic bullets. Marketing is 5% inspiration and 95% perspiration. If anyone tells you that their promotional idea/product/process will transform your business in a flash, they are certainly foolish and probably lying.
It’s About Numbers
Quality will beat quantity every time. You don’t need millions of visitors to your web site, to promote your product to the widest possible audience or mail 10’s of thousands of people. You need to have a few conversations with the people who are actually in a position to buy, delight in your product and give you glowing references.
The long term
Most marketing campaigns are far too short. Marketing, particularly lead generation is a cumulative activity. Many businesses try something once, declare it a success or failure and move on to something else. I once ran the same B2B lead generation campaign for 5 years, refusing all encouragement to spend money on refreshing it. The results in year 5 were better than in year 1.
Most people are not ready to buy. A typical B2B customer is ready to buy 5% of the time, don’t beat them over the head with “sales messages” for the 95% of the time they are not ready to buy, you’ll drive people nuts. Better to engage them by delivering some value, you’ll hear soon enough when they are ready to buy.
Again and Again
Consistency is the key to branding; and not just the name and the logo, it’s important to get the details right too. The more consistent you are the more effective it will be. Don’t neglect the need to live your brand values either; if you say one thing and deliver another you’ll get found out. When did you last hear “your call is important to us” and believe it?
It’s a great big market and I’ll get a small share of it so everything will be OK is simply not true. Research has shown, many times over; that the successful companies are first, second or the lowest cost in a specific market segment and that everyone else struggles to make money. If you cannot see your way to becoming no1 in your chosen segment and don’t like the idea of being cheapest, refine your segmentation or product offering until you can be number 1.
Digital is Free
No, it isn’t. It’s true that it doesn’t cost anything to publish, post, tweet, share, like or whatever on any of the social platforms. However, you need to be working with material that reaches customers and potential customers, adds value to them, reflects your brand and is written by someone who has a genuine understanding of what you do. These people are called employees and they cost money. While we are here; be very careful about outsourcing your digital marketing; if the people who actually post don’t understand your business as well as you do then the relevance of the digital content you are paying them to generate will be negligible at best. At best a waste of money; at worst, a complete loss of your credibility.
If your sales and marketing teams are not fully aligned around what a lead is, how it is measured, how it is processed and who is responsible at each stage of the process; then you are most likely wasting your marketing budget, and quite possibly the time of your sales team too. An expensive issue and easily fixed it you take the time to focus on it.