A lot of times when organizations engage with us, they ask us what they need to do to grow. And they start by listing off several marketing tactics – email marketing, LinkedIn advertising, retargeting, Google ads, SEO – the list goes on – and a million questions start to run through my head. Spoiler alert: None of them are about which tactic they should use. I start asking myself who are their buyers? Where do they hang out? What problems are their customers facing?
Until you can answer those questions, you can’t determine the proper marketing tactics.
Marketing to B2B buyers is tough. Oftentimes they don’t know they have a problem. You must educate them that what they’ve been doing isn’t working and emphasize they need your offering. So, it starts with pre-awareness before anything else.
How you plan to deliver that pre-awareness messaging is why determining the right marketing tactics are critical. LinkedIn makes a lot of sense for businesses selling to other businesses, but that’s not always the case. After studying and practicing social media marketing for nearly 12 years, I’ve learned it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. One of my B2B clients doesn’t have active customers on LinkedIn, while another B2B client has customers extremely active on LinkedIn but only internationally. We were able to help that client secure 60+ leads and within a few months closed over $500,000 of business by way of LinkedIn advertising. Tactics are important, but they have to make sense.
Last year, we had a large international client in the oil and gas services industry come to us with several challenges. They had launched a product just before the pandemic and were receiving little-to-no traction. Their company had some of the smartest people in the industry working on this project. They had already spent a decent amount of money on tactics, but there were several problems with this scenario.
They were internally focused and only thought about the features and benefits of the product.
Their brand was suffering from many perceptions that weren't helping them sell this product.
They were entering a new market, so they didn’t understand their audience, its struggles or how to effectively communicate to them.
Finally, there was no real marketing strategy in place.
When you are facing several of those issues and spending on random marketing tactics, you are sure to fail. Luckily, this company came to BlueByrd, and we hosted an intense all-day workshop with several key players in the room, which allowed us to solve a lot of problems. After really drilling down on their audiences, a new yet crowded market, a technical and complex offering, and competitors, BlueByrd was able to develop a unique, robust strategy to attack the market. We then used that strategy as the key focal point for the tactics we knew would get the most traction. The client is now receiving the right leads and closing more deals, enabling them to have the best year yet for this product line. The entire company is now taking note of this division and their effective new strategy.
The method behind the madness
Marketing tactics are important, but choosing the right ones are even more important. The right tactics can mean the difference between securing a new customer or having no deals at all. It’s that simple. After we conduct a workshop, we spend the next two to four weeks working on a lengthy playbook. This playbook houses the marketing strategy we believe will generate success for the client. Interestingly, the last section in this playbook is the marketing tactics. Why? Because you can’t find a solution without understanding the problem. And you can’t determine effective marketing tactics without understanding your audience, what keeps them up at night, and how to solve their problems better than anyone else.
The final chirp
Part of being a marketing consultant and Fractional CMO is advising the clients on how much to spend on marketing. Yes, you guessed it. There is a science and strategy to that, too. If you are just throwing caution to the wind and guessing how much money to spend on various marketing tactics, then you are most likely wasting dollars and missing out on the opportunity to communicate the right message in the right places to your customers. Moreover, until you have a marketing strategy in place, you won’t know which marketing tactics will give you the greatest return on your investment. The worst strategy is waiting. Take some kind of action and start by asking questions. If you want to talk strategy, feel free to reach out, we are ready to help you take a deep dive.