Are You Making These 5 B2B Marketing Mistakes?
In his 1711 poem “An Essay on Criticism,” Alexander Pope declared, “To err is human; to forgive, divine.” While those sentiments serve us well in an assortment of situations, in the business-to-business (B2B) world, gaffes can make forgiveness a tad tough, as enterprises can simply seek out another alliance and move on. Everyone stumbles occasionally, but companies, particularly promotional products businesses, must take considerable care so that those missteps do not become nosedives. Nobody likes a nitpicker (well, other flaw finders must, right?), but it is worth pointing out that certain slip-ups in B2B relationships can prove incredibly costly, figuratively and literally. These five B2B marketing mistakes number among the most egregious ones that entities can make, so strive to avoid even having to seek absolution by doing your best to avoid them.
1. Branding inconsistency
No matter the field, the competition to excel will always possess a pulse-racing intensity, and that rush to win regard and retain prominence will often find businesses touting their brands incessantly. While that can yield immense benefits, what if the outreach inconsistently explains their identity?
A recent article on The Drum critiques many B2B organizations for supposing that they can be minimalists in their approaches and that emphasizing certain elements of their branding will lure the right folks. These are two sizable flaws, since a shortage of information can leave a potential client with a "that’s it?" mentality, and because such a limited explanation of services could keep them from attracting referrals even if they somehow manage to secure an initial partnership. The article points out that in fathoming how adept consumer markets are at prioritizing branding, B2B constituents must mimic said knowledge holders and devote themselves to diversifying their branding. Thanks to a pair of HubSpot statistics—the first saying that 23 percent of average revenue increases are attributable to brand consistency and the second stating that only 50 percent of B2B marketers are treating visual content as a priority—the piece also makes a case for tackling younger individuals’ interests.
2. Limited millennial outreach
It should come as no shock whatsoever that millennials are dominant factors in the B2B world. They, as chainlinkmarketing.com notes, are significant B2B researchers, a title that must influence companies’ decisions regarding which companies they will align with, so as to place their products in the right hands. Too often, businesses feel that tried-and-true measures will work no matter the targeted group, and while that might work for some places, that's only because they have many procedures that have stood the test of time. In other words, companies have realized that different sets of consumers demand unique approaches if they are to secure their business. Having an approach that recognizes the pull that millennials have will help contemporaries realize that a business has staying power, and that they could learn from those millennial-friendly businesses.
3. Social media shortage
How many times have you ventured to a company’s Facebook page, for example, and, expecting to find a surplus of complementary information, found yourself stunned to see its most recent post is older than some of your clothes? We need to add that social media will never wane to the list of self-evident truths, and B2B practitioners cannot shy away from its possibilities. As their world is quite competitive, they must treat social media platforms as a sports team would handle a can’t-miss player, meaning they should give their branding identity every chance to excel through technology’s full assortment of options.
4. Mobile marketing absence
Smartphones and tablets account for 60 percent of end-users’ digital media consumption, according to a 2014 comScore study. If one takes to heart a January 2018 piece on Entrepreneur that states, “The future of marketing will be highly complex, and it will reward only those who can provide meaningful experiences to customers," it should come as no shock that mobile marketing will prove a key resource in achieving B2B success. With so many technological advances occurring seemingly every day, keeping track of all of their amenities can be daunting. But it is quite simple to realize and respect that you stand to push the right buttons if mobile marketing stands as one of your branding allies.
5. Retention marketing oversight
One can easily lump complacency and consistency together, feeling that if that individual chooses to remain content with his or her output, the usual plaudits will keep coming in and the status quo will remain strong. In most cases, that will count as misguided thinking, as it robs individuals of a chance to grow. In the B2B world, though, it can be particularly detrimental, because though it may be rewarding to retain a steady stable of clients, those same partners might one day bail if they believe another company can market their goods better. In other words, being consistent is commendable, but accomplishing that consistency by failing to vary one's offering is simply an example of resting on one’s laurels.
Retention marketing, so says the same Entrepreneur piece, “should be the backbone of your marketing strategy.” And with the probability of selling to an existing consumer at a very impressive 60 percent to 70 percent range, B2B folks stand a great chance of being able to kick back and enjoy extended contracts with clients. But loyalty can be fleeting these days, especially due to many businesses’ desire to receive greater exposure. That widespread manifestation is yours to provide, so don't make the mistake of considering it a guarantee that what has worked will always prevail.