The Beautiful Music of B2B MarketingNovember 15, 2019
People don’t pay to hear the New York Philharmonic get on stage and make a lot of noise. They pay to hear music—beautiful music that is performed with precision and expert guidance. And then they pay to hear it again.
In our recent webinar on October 17th titled: Taming the Marketing Funnel and How to Integrate Your Marketing, we offered up an analogy between a poorly conducted orchestra and a common B2B marketing pitfall. Both result in a highly disenchanted audience.
Common B2B marketing (dis)function
With the full spectrum of high and low-cost marketing tools available today, it is not uncommon to see firms employ an array of modes simultaneously at their target audience. The result is a series of random exposures that are difficult to track and measure.
In the absence of an integrated, results-driven marketing strategy, two negative outcomes typically emerge:
• Poor results (minimal ROI)
• Little opportunity to improve (nothing to leverage for the future)
Whether it’s e-news, events, social media, or paid advertising, the goal is not to make a lot of noise in the market simply because you can. The goal is to make music—the type of music that will keep people coming back for more.
Here’s what we recommend.
The saying that 50% of our marketing dollars are wasted, we just don’t know which 50%, is often true. Using a variety of marketing tools to attract B2B customers through randomly sequenced exposures makes matters worse.
At MEET, we focus on in-person events as a B2B marketing strategy for targeting high-quality prospects. But whether you are putting money into events, print advertising or social media, something vital can be learned and leveraged from every marketing endeavor.
The first step is to integrate learning through measurement into your marketing strategy. (See this post for an introduction to the variety of ways to introduce learning at trade shows and in-person events).
The second step is to convert that learning into positive change by actively evolving your marketing strategy. While 50% of your marketing budget may still be wasted in the short term, the key is to figure out which 50% is bearing fruit and leverage it.
Leverage each stage of your marketing strategy
Back to our orchestral analogy, what would it sound like if the conductor raised her baton and invited every musician to play at once? Pure chaos. Instead, conductors control the pace and composition of the music by introducing new instruments at precisely the right time.
A good marketing strategy does the same.
Rather than look at the different modes of marketing, e.g. digital, interactive, events, websites, etc., as equals in terms of the value they provide in attracting prospects, we recommend that you set them in context with each stage of the relationship-building process.
When and how you transition to the next marketing tool should be informed by the level of your relationship with a target prospect.
The three stages of B2B marketing
The ultimate goal of B2B marketing is to yield preset meetings with high-quality prospects, which in turn triggers the marketing handoff to your sales team. As such, it is critical that you consider the unique assets of each marketing mode in the context of your relationship stage for the purpose of achieving that goal.
Using a trade show strategy as an example, your first marketing mode should aim to build awareness among target prospects. Think of this as a gateway opportunity for them to see alignment between their urgent need and the resources you provide.
Drawing prospects to your website to build initial awareness is a low-cost, low-threshold marketing tool to build a positive first impression. Converting prospects from awareness to intimacy comes from introducing them to additional marketing modes that more directly address their urgent needs.
Webinars, white papers and e-news are great tools to help newly aware prospects become more intimate with your industry competence.
Finally, because trust is where relationships convert to meetings (i.e. our ultimate goal in B2B marketing) this is where one-on-one contact, needs assessment, and a warm handover to the sales team takes place.
For a visual display of a marketing funnel broken down into three stages, check out this post.
In a crowded market, it’s easy to simply add to the racket. But while making music may take a bit more planning, your audience will appreciate the effort. So will your sales team.
For more on how to develop an integrated marketing strategy, check out our entire webinar here. To check out all of MEET’s webinar content on how to successfully scale your company in the U.S. market, subscribe to our YouTube Channel.
MEET (meetroi.com) helps international B2B growth companies soft-land and scale in the U.S. through trade shows and in-person events. MEET’s processes help its clients ramp-up sales quickly and maintain a steady stream of high-quality prospects going forward. Contact Bill Kenney for a no-obligation conversation: email@example.com or +1 (860) 573-4821.