Five actions to improve your B2B marketing in 2021

Five actions to improve your B2B marketing in 2021

Meet some customers

A previous boss once included this in my annual plan. What a great idea! It forced me out of the office to have conversations with real customers. I learned loads. such as why some customers wouldn't adopt eLearning. The answer - because their perception of elearning was watching someone staring at a camera, talking for an hour. In a business selling training services, that kind of feedback was invaluable. Telling real-life customer stories always gives marketers better credibility with client-facing colleagues and can lead to more meaningful internal conversations. So hop on Zoom and start some conversations with customers.

Make a plan 

You may be thinking ‘We don’t do annual plans anymore, we don’t know what we’re doing in 12 days, let alone 12 months.' Long term planning in the middle of a pandemic might seem especially challenging, even irrelevant right now. But targets don't disappear, and you'll still need to explain your forecast for next year’s budget. So use the opportunity of a long term plan to take a step back from your business. As Rory Sutherland says in his book 'Alchemy': ask yourself some ‘apparently fatuous’ questions. Like ‘why are we in this business?’ Check if your value proposition still stacks up. Scrutinise your right to win in your market. Find out if you have the right skills. I’m a big fan of working in an agile way as well, but you don't have to choose between the two. 

Ask this question

A great question to ask yourself and colleagues is ‘so what?’ You’ve got 50,000 Twitter followers, so what? You had 700 people attend your webinar, so what? Say it nicely so it doesn’t sound rude. But after a while, your colleagues will get the hint. So what? It means, how is this helping the business, how is it getting us to forecast, how is it building customer loyalty? So for example, next time you hold a webinar make sure there’s a plan for before, during, and after it. What’s the hook in the webinar that will make a conversion? Maybe it’s a workshop that leads to a sales call. Think CTA and keep asking so what? until you really understand how tactics will lead to the company achieving its goals.

Use SOUP for content

Content marketing is an essential tactic in B2B marketing, but it needs to be well-planned. I've devised 'SOUP' to remember four key rules for content marketing. Soup stands for

  • Shareable - make your content so useful that prospects will want to share it on social media.
  • Optimised -  make sure users can find it in Google (but without the keyword stuffing)
  • Useful - create content that will really help your prospect. 
  • Purposeful - what’s the next step for the user, is there a CTA?

Be aligned with your sales team

Win yourself fans in your sales team by doing some research on social selling and share what you've learned. Some salespeople may feel unprepared for the world of LinkedIn engagements and Twitter lists. So if they need some help, show them their SSI score. Then, suggest a chat to identify prospects, develop rapport, and build a pipeline on social media in a way that colleagues feel comfortable and get value. Want to know more about social selling? Drop us a line on our Contacts Page and we'll describe how to build a social selling programme in your business. 

Doug Marshall portrait 1Doug Marshall
Achieve B2B Marketing


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