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Tag Archive: B2B marketing

B2B marketing tip #242: Say thanks

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekStrong word-of-mouth breeds business success. Leads generated from existing customers or referral sources are often the most powerful sales tools—and a lead source that costs significantly less than other channels.

Don’t take your referral sources or customer references for granted. Create tools and processes for sales to say “thank you.” A handwritten card, a small gift or gift certificate, or a discount on the customer’s next order can all encourage these important recommendations.

B2B marketing tip #214: Need generation

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekInject more leads into your sales cycle by focusing on what really triggers a buyer: a problem that your product or service can solve. Save feature-benefit discussions until after a prospect clearly states their pain points. Remember, it’s not a lead unless there’s a need.

B2B marketing tip #176: Test and learn

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekSet aside a percentage of the marketing budget each year to try new activities. Be sure to document your objectives, measure performance and demonstrate to leadership what you learn.

B2B marketing tip #169: Hang up that phone

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekFed up with creative that’s over budget, off-message and difficult to approve internally? Before you fire your agency, make sure you’re giving them a fair chance at success.

Before you call to kick off a project, make sure you’ve vetted your idea internally with a written project brief and support of stakeholders. Do you have budget approval? Is sales behind the campaign and willing to follow up leads? Has the product team signed off on key messages?

Early planning in-house ensures a clear direction and a smooth production process when you do seek outside assistance.

B2B marketing tip #168: Customer visits

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekPlan a customer visit. Ask to ride along on a sales call or travel with a product manager. Nothing improves effectiveness more than firsthand experience in the market.

B2B marketing tip #167: Keep it clean

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekThe marketing-sales database is like a teenager’s bedroom: it’s never going to stay clean and organized unless someone enforces the rules.

Write up basic standards for data entry, required fields, and how to remove duplicate, inaccurate, or outdated records. Share the rules with all CRM users. Be clear on each individual’s responsibility—then conduct periodic audits to review compliance. Create a recognition program to promote positive results.

B2B marketing tip #165: Timely followup for tradeshow leads

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekStay current with trade show leads. Plan the followup process and draft the post-event letters, emails, or calling script before the event. Get buy-in from sales and execs on timing and approach.

Six ways to sink your next product launch

Part II: Avoid these common marketing pitfalls

Avoid these marketing pitfallsLaunching a new product or service can bring out the best—or the worst—in an organization. From cost overruns to development delays, the process of innovation is ripe with obstacles.

Make sure your marketing efforts stay on track by watching out for these issues.

Marketing Don’ts:

(1)    Overpromise. A launch means pressure to build a sales pipeline long before the product debuts, but don’t paint yourself into a corner with pre-launch sales tools and marketing messages. Be cautious about including feature names, screen shots, pricing and other details too early in published materials. Instead, sell your vision for the product and leave the specifics for verbal discussions.

(2)    Underestimate your needs. New products and new market entries are two of the most taxing projects for marketing. Do your due diligence and set appropriate expectations; your first year efforts will require substantially more resources than a typical project.

(3)    Skimp on naming. A name is like a tattoo. You’re going to have it for a long time, and it’s complicated, expensive and painful to change. Don’t leave something this important to an employee contest. Hire a professional and find a moniker that has staying power and panache.

(4)    Guess what the market needs. Don’t rely on developers, documentation or third-hand stories to figure out your marketing approach. Get to the source by visiting your audience and hearing firsthand about their needs. Build time into your launch planning for site visits and testing your product positioning.

(5)    Get too technical too early. Yes, features matter. But how your product works only becomes important once your audience knows it can solve their problems. Tell your story so the big picture benefits always get top billing—no matter how much the engineers push to feature the functionality.

(6)    Forget the influencers. From IT to analysts, bloggers to past employees, social media gives everyone a platform. Identify and reach out to those who can champion your solution, with messages that speak to their role and area of expertise.

Ready to move forward? Read the companion post, “Six marketing essentials for a successful product launch.”

B2B marketing tip #163: Hit the road

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekTired of nagging product management for ideas for the next webinar or blog post? Wasting valuable time reminding sales to review and approve campaign materials? Create a better working relationship by proactively attending your stakeholders’ weekly department meeting.

Ask for time on the agenda, then optimize everyone’s time by getting team input during time they’re already set aside for collaboration. Consider a short presentation to educate your counterparts on the marketing process.

B2B marketing tip #162: Adapt your e-design

B2B Marketing Tip of the WeekThere’s more to converting your marketing materials to electronic deliverables than simply posting PDFs online. Multi-page spreads and magazine-like articles may be great in hard copy—and impossible to manage when read on a desktop monitor or mobile device. Do your audience a favor and boost your effectiveness by adapting your design to the medium.

Avoid long columns that make the reader scroll up and down to read, and layouts that require readers to magnify and decrease their view in order to see the whole picture. If possible, ditch PDFs in favor of responsive design templates that automatically size content based on your audience’s device, smart phone or desktop.

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