The 4 Fundamental Pillars Of B2B Marketing
The vast majority of marketers focus on tactics and channels without building any link to brand and strategy .In 2016, B2B Marketing , in collaboration with Savanta identified, in its High Performance B2B Marketing Benchmark report , that 94% of the marketers interviewed considered vital to their success: customers, strategy, measurement and your brand .
However, despite the fact that B2B marketers know what the necessary aspects are for success, their focus does not seem to be on the fundamentals: customers , strategy , measurement and brand.
We share the most outstanding results of this analysis process, developed in the UK where B2B marketing has evolved faster than in other countries and with a sample of 150 marketing professionals from various organizations differentiating between those with outstanding performance and those who are in average performance.
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- Without customers, companies are nothing.B2B marketers must repeat this motto loud and clear in organizations, they must drive consistent customer experiences , they must use customer data to guide strategy, and they must lead the construction of a truly customer-centric strategy. All efforts related to the success of customer-centricity must go hand in hand with marketing actions.
- The starting point of any marketing strategy has to be the business strategy
- Marketers must align their goals with those of the entire organization and demonstrate across the board how their work contributes to achieving those goals.
- Those teams that achieve high performance are those that work on the side of a marketing that is totally linked to business objectives. The technical indicators of marketing are not necessarily those that impact the income statement
- The marketing team must produce data that links its activity to the business strategy and metrics of the entire organization. In particular, they must have an impact on the construction of the pipeline , on the generation of income and on growth.
- In the digital age, brand consistency defines the difference in your business.
- Being able to differentiate your business from your competitors is more vital than ever. Marketing must work on the brand authority of the company and make sure that the values permeate at all levels of the business.
- To the extent that marketing departments are competitive, they have a high impact on significantly determining brand differentiation.
- High-performing marketing departments are those that are most aligned with these four pillars . Therefore, make sure that everyone on your team is committed to these principles. Think of them as a marketing mantra: customer, strategy, brand, and measurement. They must be part of the core of everything you do because, in this way, you can ensure that marketing actions actively contribute to the growth of the organization, being a contribution area rather than a cost area. The most successful marketing teams create strategies designed to deliver more value in relation to business and commercial objectives . If the priorities of the marketing team do not correlate with those of the organization, success generally may not become objective. Review the marketing strategy and plans that you have generated. If, indeed, they are aligned with the business objective, then go ahead. If, on the contrary, they are not, you must rethink them. And, if it is the case, that you do not know the overall business objectives, then you have a problem that you need to solve as soon as possible.
- As you review your marketing strategy, be sure to set key performance objectives ( KPIs ) based on strategy, tactics, and objectives, and think about how you can communicate those strategic objectives to the rest of the business.
- High-performing marketing teams have a complete understanding of their clients’ needs . The focus should be on improving the customer-centricity relationship and delivering meaningful customer experiences, much more than trying to control customer thinking during this process.
- Marketing has to be the voice of the customer within the organization . This means that you must go out of your way to understand the motivations, challenges and hopes that the client is looking for in the future. If you don’t have the authority to speak on behalf of the client, it is probably time to interact with them and understand their needs. You must rethink segmentation, review the use of person buyers , map their journey, build a customer-centric relationship with a marketing approach that goes beyond simple “understanding ” in order to deliver tangible marketing results and a consistent ROI.
- The most powerful marketing teams create brands that offer clear differentiation from the competition . Those who work with brands that are unable to resonate with their target customer will have to work harder to make a positive impact because their nature becomes much more generic.
- The importance of the brand in differentiation should not be a surprise or something random. There are too many standard B2B brands (average reach, no differentiation). Reflect honesty in your own differentiation. If you don’t believe in your elevator pitch yourself , you need to change it while you review your brand strategy, make sure to focus on those things that are under your control, including your presence, your personality, image and leadership within the industry.
- The measurement is vital for any marketing team. And it is even more so when you need to quantify your department’s contributions to business growth. It is highly unlikely that members of other teams will seek out the marketing evidence that justifies success (growth), so it is entirely up to the marketers to use the language and argumentation that the company needs and can understand.
- The measurement involves many aspects that are not in the comfort zone of professional marketing: ROI, data and numbers related to growth and bottom line . But we are not working in a simple time, these are not easy times and marketing teams that are not able to adapt their skills will be lost. The measurement and direct engagement with the signaling of the results must be converted into “business as usual” in B2B Marketing departments of organizations. In particular, in those that need to transmit their results to be valued.