Helen Cox Marketing Consultant Kent and London

10 Signs Your B2B Digital Marketing Strategy Needs a Tune-Up

One thing that B2B businesses need to ensure that they get right is digital marketing. Digital marketing, when done right, can be just what is needed to push forward growth and help your business succeed.   

The best way to try and ensure that your marketing has the best chance of working is to take the time to create a digital marketing strategy. These are plans (even loose ones) that can help you focus your efforts and get where you want to be in the future.   

Even when you take the time to think about where you want to be and how you might get there, you may find that there are challenges along the way, as well as some aspects that don’t work quite how you want them to. 

There are a variety of things that can go wrong when you are putting together, implementing or assessing your marketing strategy and there can always be a risk that you may need to think about tuning up and changing what you do and how you do it.   

You don’t have a strategy  

Now, I know this may seem like an obvious one, but the biggest sign that your digital marketing strategy isn’t working for your B2B business is that you don’t have one.  

A business attempting to market itself without any established plan is engaging in what I can only describe as a blind approach. You can try things out and see if they work, but, this, without some sort of strategy backbone, is never going to work out for the best.   

The best place to start a strategy is to define the SMART goals that relate to your business and where you envisage it going over the next few years. These can then be used to create KPIs, which you can measure against to see if you have reached the aims that you had or whether you have some work still to do.   

You are not focusing on your clients first in your marketing strategy  

As a business, there is no shame in prioritising your needs and desires for the future, but when it comes to marketing, you must always ensure that you prioritise your clients and their needs above all else.  

If you are constantly just telling them all the great things about you as a business, then they are going to soon find it very repetitive and tiresome. They are going to be much less likely to choose you and will not see that you have any interest or place any value on what their issues are.   

A much better idea is to do what you can to demonstrate to your clients that you focus on them and their needs. You should prepare to not only identify their challenges but also provide a solution that suits them best.

A strategy is a way to ensure that you are always thinking about how your business is going to meet those all-important needs of your clients.   

You are invested in the what not the how   

It is great to know the things that you want to do, but you also need to think about how you are going to approach them (as well as why you are doing that thing in the first place). If you don’t feel that your B2B business has a sound idea of these two aspects of marketing, then perhaps your strategy isn’t quite up to standard.   

A strategy aims to give you the thought process that will help you to achieve those goals, whilst causing you the least amount of issues and challenges along the way. If you can do this, then you are going to be well on your way to success for your B2B business.   

Your marketing strategy doesn’t match your business objectives  

If you want to give yourself the best chance of success, then you are going to need to make sure that your marketing plans match your business objectives. They should be a collaborative effort, one that is going to ensure that in the future, your business is exactly where you want it to be.   

You make assumptions about social media  

Many B2B businesses seem to make the mistake of thinking that social media is always the same, no matter what platform it is on. However, this is not the case. Social media comes in a variety of different guises and you will find that different platforms are going to attract a different type of audience and a different type of client.  

Whilst you can often use similar wording when it comes to social media posts, you do need to be aware that there are going to be times when you need to ensure that what you write, is the perfect fit for the platform that you are posting to.   

This might indicate a change in the tone of voice, the content, or perhaps the way you present it to your audience.  

You are walking the same path as your competitors  

Whilst there are some things that you can gain insight and inspiration from your competitors for, it is important to remember that you need to find your route and path when it comes to marketing.  

If every B2B business used the same marketing model, then they are going to soon feel that they are a carbon copy of one another. It will be hard to differentiate between them and you will not be able to showcase your own USP.   

Always search for the gaps you can fill, the niches seeking a business like yours to provide the necessary service and solution.  

You don’t use a call to action  

Digital marketing is all about bringing in clients (even potential ones) to sign up for your service or product. However, to give yourself the best chance of doing this, you are going to need to be able to create a persuasive call to action.  

These are key points at the end of social media or blog posts that tell your audience what they need to do next. It will often be a like or follow on social media, or, it may be signing up to an email marketing list, or perhaps even getting in touch to find out more about what they can do to help.  

If you are not using a call to action in your marketing, then you are missing out on a lot of potentially interested clients who simply are not seeing that persuasive ending that will help them decide that you are the right choice for them.  

You are not making changes when needed with your marketing strategy 

When you have already taken the time to create a marketing strategy you are going to want to make it work for you, but there are times when things need to change. You’ll find that plans that you had are not quite working as you hoped, or that you have a change within your business that will impact the service or product that you provide your clients.  

You must actively embrace change to not only identify when you need a change but also understand how this change will impact your marketing and how you appeal to your clients.  

You are not targeting the right clients  

Ensuring that your brand marketing reaches the wide world is one thing, but ensuring that the right people see it is another. These should be the ones that you are going to find are most receptive to what you put out there. The ones who are going to need the solutions that you can offer to their issues.   

Whilst it makes sense that you are going to want to stretch out your net as wide as possible to maximise your reach, it should never be a case of quantity over quality. If you can achieve a broader reach in your marketing plans, that’s great, but it should always align with the uptake and interest in what you are presenting.   

Having a marketing strategy means that you are going to need to think about your clients, think about what they are like, what will appeal to them and how you can ensure that you can get them on board.   

You are not being realistic with your results timescale  

I know that when you are looking to achieve results for your business, you are going to want them to happen as soon as possible. However, good things come to those who wait. This means that you need to have a realistic timescale for seeing how well you are performing.   

A key part of a marketing strategy is knowing when to take a look at your results and when might be too soon. You may be surprised to learn that it can take as long as 12 months for a marketing approach to start to bring in results, which means that if you want a true representation of whether or not your plans are a success, you are going to need to wait at least 6 months before interpreting any data.   

As you can see, there are lots of signs that your marketing strategy is not up to standard and my need changing. Take the time to not only think about what should be in a marketing strategy but also how you can best put one together so that it is going to work the best for your brand and for the clients that you are going to secure too.   

Take a look at some of my other blogs you may be interested in:

B2B Basics – what’s the difference between branding and marketing

Mission, Vision and Values – what’s the difference for a B2B Business?

Need help?

If you would like help with your marketing then bringing on a marketing consultant with a fresh pair of eyes can make all the difference. I work with B2B businesses and professional service firms in London, Kent, UK and Europe as well as specialising as a Legal Marketing Consultant. Please get in touch or book a free 30-minute consultation.