B2B Marketing: Moving Beyond Campaigns

B2B marketing campaigns may look nice, but like this Model T, they aren't enough anymore.Is your B2B marketing activity still built around a series of campaigns?

Q1: Security
Q2: Cloud and Mobile
Q3: Lower Cost
Q4: Compliance

Like an old Model T, it might look nice, but it just isn’t practical anymore. What if someone is looking for a solution to improve compliance, but its only Q1? Should they wait until you roll our your compliance campaign? Of course not!

Today, B2B marketing must always be on. Your prospects’ needs don’t map to your quarterly communications plan. Consider the following statistics:

  • 57% of the buying process happens before a buyer contacts sales. (source)
  • 78% of B2B buyers start with search. (source)

Although the exact numbers will be different in your market, the fact remains: increasingly, buyers are researching and purchasing on their own terms, not on yours. You must be ready to meet their needs today, not when your communications calendar says you will get there.

What does it mean for your marketing to be always on?

1. You Are Always Accessible

You are always available whenever a prospect is looking for you. When someone looks for you or one of the problems you solve on Google, you are there. When they search on the sites they use, whether it be LinkedIn or IndustryWeek, they find you.

When your potential prospects turn to the marketplace, they should always find you.

2. You Always Focus On What Your Prospect Needs

Did you just launch a new SaaS solution but your banking prospect is looking for a solution they can manage and run internally? The current SaaS focus in your marketing campaign doesn’t matter, you need to bring information on your traditional on-premise solution to the fore.

3. You Are Always Moving Prospects Forward

Every touchpoint in your marketing program, from email to telemarketing to retargeting, needs to build on what you already know about your prospect and continue to educate them and provide the information they need.

Always on marketing will be focused on meeting your prospect’s need, on their own schedule and under their terms. The old campaign construct simply can’t deliver that today.

Campaigns still have a place in your marketing, but your campaign cannot be allowed to trump your always on marketing activity. All too often, campaigns are allowed to dictate messaging and content development, leaving marketers unable to deliver on the three points above.

Your Turn

How do you balance the needs of always on marketing with ongoing campaign efforts? Share your story in the comments below or with me on Twitter (@wittlake).

Photo Credit: Collector Car Ads via Flickr cc

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  • Eric – Great stuff as always!!! Funny we just had a client Tweet a request for the following proving your point! Of course, we will be responding with the info he requested but good to know he didn’t find anything out there yet 🙂 We’ll be sure to fix that. @mjhoffman do you have an article/blog post out there about sales activity best practices? Did some searching but couldn’t fine one

    • That’s great Jen, glad you liked it and thanks for sharing the example!

  • Budgeting for SEO optimization and creating campaigns that come out of inbound marketing versus outbound.

    • Completely separate planning of your inbound campaigns then. Great advice, thanks for sharing!

  • Using a buyer persona we’ve found is the best possible way. Mapping their potential buying cycle based on internal feedback from all different teams, we try to validate it with existing research available online from various sources so all is not assumptions.
    We combine a phased approach where we focus predominantly on Inbound Marketing, and traditional approaches… and we start phasing out traditional methods as we start demonstrating the clear better results of the inbound marketing approach.

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