So even though you might be posting to social media, sharing a regular newsletter, have a sleek website optimized for search, does this mean you have a marketing plan? Not exactly. You have all the necessary players in position, however a marketing plan will allow you to use each of these tools to their maximum potential. Your B2B marketing plan should be more than just participation, it should lead with intention.
1. You have to know where you are, to know where you are going
Establish a baseline of where you are currently at. If you haven’t done so in a while, clearly define your company, your product and/or services and what aspects set you apart from your competition. Better yet, it never hurts to see what your competition is up to! It is important to learn how marketing typically behaves in your niche market. This does not mean that you should be using “what they are doing” as a framework. Instead, it will encourage you to think critically about your own B2B marketing plan and think about what you can do differently.
2. Who are you talking to?
Yes, this may seem obvious but who is your target audience? Let that sink in for a moment. Oftentimes our clients understand who they want to talk to, but their prospective customer is still too general or vague. The more granular you are with this exercise, the better your b2b marketing plan will be! Here are some questions to help get you started:
- What business is your customer in? What is their job title?
- What is the size of their business typically?
- Where are they located?
- Demographics: age, sex, gender, earnings…even lifestyle.
- What are they like? Traditional or modern? How often do they purchase? Are they aggressive or more conservative in their habits?
For more useful questions, check out this helpful article on LinkedIn!
3. Set your goals
Start with one short-term goal in your new B2B marketing plan. It is very easy to veer off course and build a b2b marketing plan that becomes unfocused and unattainable. For instance, based on steps 1 and 2, what is something you would like to see happen within the next few weeks to a month? Is there a new audience you would like to appeal to? Is there a specific product that you are hoping for an increase in sales?
4. Pick and choose
Not every single marketing tactic will be involved in your new b2b marketing plan. Instead, think of a specialized plan tailored to achieve each separate goal and only use the marketing tactics that are relevant to each goal. This way efforts, budget and time are not wasted!
The hottest marketing platforms, aggressive paid advertising campaigns and stretching your budget, will not guarantee overwhelming results. Although putting a B2B marketing plan in place is essential for the success of your business, budget constraints are very common for most entrepreneurs and startups. Today, there are a plethora of options available when it comes to free trials and versions of marketing automation, email marketing, and CRM software. With a little creativity, you can reach most marketing goals. Need some ideas? Here are some cost effective B2B marketing ideas for small enterprises.