5 Marketing Strategies That Will Set Your Company Up for Success in 2023
The market is competitive. The economic outlook is unknown. That is why it is more important than ever for B2B companies to have the organization, tools and information they need to compete for leads and sales. The most successful middle market companies in 2023 will be the ones that are able to build the plane while flying it. That takes a disciplined pilot and a cohesive crew.
It also takes the right strategies. Here are five things to think about as you evaluate your marketing plans for the year, or need to tweak things along the way.
1. SALES AND MARKETING NEED TO WORK IN LOCKSTEP
The greater the divide between the marketing and sales departments the more difficult it is to have an effective strategy to drive revenue. According to a study in the Harvard Business Review, the separation costs companies more than $1 trillion each year.
To be effective, sales and marketing need to have a true partnership. This means sharing data expediently and keeping the lines of communication open.
“Every department needs the same data to drive their goals,” said Craig Group Founder and President Summer Craig. “Sometimes in B to B, instead of seeing a CMO, we’re seeing a CRO (Chief Revenue Officer), which puts sales and marketing together under the same person. We love that.”
It’s not just the sales and marketing departments who need to be closely aligned. Finance and IT should also be in the loop to keep growth going.
Consider that in the not so distant past, the primary task of Chief Information Officer was to staff a team of developers to build out what a company needed, but now, the rapidly changing landscape requires a more nimble and cost-effective approach.
“It’s too slow and it’s too expensive to build new systems, and there are already tools out there,” Craig said. “It’s critical the CIO is on the same page with everyone on the management team to make sure marketing dollars are spent effectively.”
If team members don’t share office space, create the time and the place for regular dialogue, even if it’s virtual. Make sure the company’s goals are clearly communicated as well as the steps each department will take to meet them.
2. GET A CRM TOOL AND USE IT CORRECTLY
A CRM tool tracks customer interactions, like phone calls and emails. You can also use it to analyze information about your customers’ habits and preferences. Some companies also run their website and social media outreach through CRM.
Middle market companies are becoming more sophisticated in modeling their sales pipeline more deeply. A good management tool enables a team to get the bird’s eye view of what is moving, and what’s not. There are a variety of economical options on the market, including Hubspot, SharpSpring, and others.
Once you purchase a CRM tool, it’s important to invest the time and resources necessary to properly set it up. A CRM that doesn’t track the right data makes it hard to gain a full understanding of your customers and sales opportunities. Working with a vendor or consultant to configure the system correctly and train employees how to use it would be a big benefit.
3. USE DATA TO MAKE YOUR PAIN POINT YOUR PIVOT POINT
When a company experiences sustained growth, the management team likely won’t see a need to try anything new. If that growth slows, however, there will be more openness to take things in a new direction.
“This pain point can become a pivot point to try things like digital demand generation and lead generation,” said Craig Group Vice President Tricia Eaton. “Analyzing the data that you have will help you know which way to go.”
Your pain point might be low conversion rates or it might be poor customer engagement. By studying existing data on customer demographics, behavior, and preferences, you can get a better understanding of your target audience and adjust marketing efforts accordingly.
Leaning into the data you have can also help identify patterns and trends to guide future campaigns and tactics. For example, by analyzing data on the time of day, day of the week, or type of content that generated the most engagement, you can adjust their strategy to improve results.
A CRM system provides valuable data for insight. In the past, marketers have also relied heavily on the third-party cookie, which allows them to target leads based on search history. While this option will be gone by 2024, the privacy-focused replacement, Unified ID 2.0, will also be useful to businesses.
4. LET SALES VOLUME DRIVE MARKETING STRATEGY
Some companies need five deals to meet their revenue goals. Others need 50,000.
Broad-based digital marketing, like SEO and digital ads, works for big volume players. These strategies allow companies to reach a wide audience and drive a large volume of traffic to their website.
For companies that only need to land a handful of deals, a content marketing strategy that focuses on comparison and positioning is a better way to go. This could be an e-mail marketing newsletter, a content plan for the company website with frequent blogs, or a weekly post on LinkedIn.
“What sets you apart from your competitors? Where do you play that’s different from your competitors?” asks Craig Group Partner Libby Covington. “Are you better or cheaper or faster or easier to work with?”
These are the kinds of questions to ask when creating content strategy to showcase your product or service.
5. UTILIZE ALL AVENUES FOR CONTENT DELIVERY
Twenty years ago if someone wanted to buy a car, they’d have to visit five different lots and talk to five different people. Today, they can do it online in a day.
The B2B sales process does not move quite as fast but the principle is the same. Potential customers do a great deal of online research. They want to know all about a product or service before they pick up the phone. No opportunity should be missed to educate them.
While a company should spend time on website content and blogs, it is also worth examining what content is generated from messaging routine queries, like social media platforms.
“It is amazing what customers reach out about on Facebook,” Eaton said. “We’re used to chat bots on B to C but these B to B queries are another way for businesses to deliver a thoughtful message about what differentiates them.”
Social media has exploded in the past decade and it is no longer optional for companies to engage with customers on their chosen platform. Short form videos are one of the freshest ways content savvy companies are building relationships online.
What’s even better about this trend is that a video you want to share doesn’t have to be ultra produced.
“You can take short clips about your work experience, interaction with customers, a day in the life and create content that your customers will want to engage in,” Eaton said.
Whatever avenue a business chooses for content delivery, the important thing is to do it with regularity — to stay front of mind for discriminating buyers.
While the above blueprint provides a path forward, it is important not to be complacent. Staying aware of changes in the market and consumer behavior, and making the necessary adjustments to keep a plan on track are critical. For more information about how strategy based digital marketing can accelerate your company’s growth, visit https//craigmarketinggroup.com/.
Tricia Eaton email@example.com