If B2C marketing is like lighting a match, B2B is like starting a campfire. B2C happens pretty quick, you don’t need a lot of people, and it’s fun to play with. B2B is much slower, there’s generally more than two people involved, and it’s more methodical.
Working on a B2B campaign requires different tactics and, more importantly, an entirely different perspective. To be successful in B2B you need to be repetitive, patient, and able to look at the big picture.
Repetitive– To close a B2B deal you’ll probably need to explain your product or service at least three times in three different ways. There’s the initial contact, the follow up, and finally the close. At all three stages, there will probably be different people you’re talking to.
If your product or service is more complicated than a teenage girl’s emotions, as B2B tends to be, you need to be prepared to walk leads through the ins and outs, carefully explaining every part.
To keep things fresh, and to save you some leg work, having quality content catered to each stage will be key. This could be an ebook, blog, flier, or a hundred different things. Just make sure each piece is created for a unique reason.
Patient– This sales cycle is long, so don’t get your hopes up for a quick close. The silver lining here is that it gives you lots of time to analyze and think things through. This kind of luxury is not one to be squandered. Look for trends and try to tweak marketing efforts accordingly.
On the other hand, this long waiting period can lead to rash decision made in a moment of impatience. Just because something isn’t working the first day doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea. Try to give every new marketing tool at least three months before you cut it.
Big Picture– A lot of B2B marketing is done through work that is hard to track and probably won’t lead to direct conversions. For instance, a social media post might get a lead in the sales funnel, but it will rarely cause the client to sign on the dotted line. This doesn’t mean that social media didn’t play a part, but it’s easy to look at the budget and think social media is expendable.
This can be frustrating, but it’s critical to evaluate a campaign holistically. Set up individual key performance indicators for each tool you’re using that properly access value.