ThinkSpring Marketing & Communications

B2B marketing tip #273: If in doubt, alphabetize

Business-to-business content is chock full of lists: services offered, product features, customer benefits and more. Make your content more digestible—and memorable—for customers by grouping long lists of items into sub-categories, with clear category names.

When there’s no logical way to present your lists, always alphabetize your content to make it quickly searchable for your audience.

B2B marketing tip #272: Campaign 101

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekCreating a campaign takes time—but few outside the marketing team really understand what the process entails. Take time to educate key stakeholders—especially sales—about the steps involved, the time required, and why they exist.

Go a step further and meet proactively on a quarterly or monthly basis. Identifying upcoming needs and goals can reduce the number of “urgent” project requests and keep marketing plans on track.

B2B marketing tip #271: Keep your brand in tune

Maintain the health of your visual brand with an annual design tune-up. Examine your last 12-18 months’ of communications side-by-side. Look for consistency, compliance with your design guidelines and opportunities to keep the brand contemporary and fresh moving forward. Consider asking your lead agency or an outside partner to provide an objective perspective.

B2B marketing tip #270: Social influence

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekInstead of Tweeting and posting for the masses, target the most influential online personalities in your market space.

Follow these bloggers, analysts, media and customers to learn their voices and key issues, then start a dialogue by commenting on, liking and respostingtheir content. Slowly introduce your solution into the conversation—but avoid a sales-focused approach.

B2B marketing tip #269: Elevate your status

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekThe lowly status report can be a great tool to boost your credibility with internal stakeholders. Give yours a fresh look with your target audience in mind, using the same critical eye you would with an external campaign.

Try to deliver the key message in the subject line or first sentence, and use a graphical format (such as green, yellow and red color-coding) to make critical items apparent immediately.

Lastly, demonstrate your commitment by communicating progress updates before stakeholders need to ask for them. A proactive telephone call or email, even if the news is bad, can save a lot of heartache down the road.

B2B marketing tip #268: Get professional about strategy

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekEven the most experienced marketers can benefit from outside perspective. Consider hiring a professional facilitator to run your next strategy session. An outside consultant can provide an objective viewpoint, keep discussions focused, and give internal leadership a chance to fully participate.

B2B marketing tip #267: Selling vs. helping

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekMarketing supports your sales efforts—but marketing itself is a decidedly different tactic. Leave the selling to sales, and focus your marketing content on help and education.

Help your customer solve a problem or learn a best practice. You’ll start building a positive relationship, and sales can take it from there.

B2B marketing tip #266: Let it rest

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekFor most of us, great copy doesn’t happen in a flash. Allow enough time in your schedule to write your draft, then step away from it for at least 48 hours. You’ll find it easier to edit and improve your work when you can review it with a fresh and critical eye.

B2B marketing tip #265: Forge a marketing-IT partnership

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekTechnology and digital transformation underpin nearly every marketing activity, whether it’s monitoring your social media presence, setting up a lead nurturing strategy or analyzing campaign results. The 21st century marketer’s job is just as much science and data as it is art and communication.

Be proactive and schedule a recurring meeting with your IT leadership. Work together to forge a constructive relationship and clear understanding of what each team needs to do, in order to power your marketing infrastructure. Consider everything from the website and social media, to CRM and email marketing, to opportunities for deeper data analysis, omnichannel marketing and automation.

B2B marketing tip #264: Find a youthful eye

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekWorried you’ve lost the passion for your profession? Sharing your expertise with younger colleagues, volunteering as a mentor or giving back through a trade association is a great way to remember what you love about your career. Teaching, training and helping someone else find their way yields great personal rewards.

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