B2B Marketing

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fresh experiences on marketing topics for the B2B enterprises and more

How do you design marketing systems that generate guaranteed sales results? (I)

I remember why I choose this profession: some day, early in my career I realized that no matter what you do (be it business or personal), you’ll still have to market it J; sales people will argue that no matter what you do, you still have to sell it but I’m sticking to my revelation. Ever since I got into it, there’s one thing that made me stop from running with the “crowd” and looking harder into a companies’ marketing strategy: what is the ultimate goal, where are all these people running to?

In the business world, everyone is running to get sales… and more sales. Which is fare and just, ’cause this is why companies are founded after all. So marketing needs to be aligned as a strategy to produce and encourage sales. Even in investing in branding or any other long-term marketing programs, it’s still sales that will get the final result after all, so why not just have sales as your main goal in a marketing program, when, especially for b2b, this is guaranteed to be the only real and objective measure of success for your marketing programs. You’ll  ask but what about the rest of the marketing results, aren’t they objective and realistic… well, hate to disappoint you, but the rest will be just justifications of why you need to have a marketing team J… you actually need sales results to survive and grow into a market. All marketing results should fall into producing more sales then.

So how do you design marketing systems that generate guaranteed sales results? This is actually very simple: first of all, if you haven’t done that already setup an objective for your company, usually a financial objective; or derive a financial objective from your main company goals. If you haven’t set-up objectives so far stay put for one of the future posts. After this, make sure that this number (the financial objective) translates into a realistic sales target.  How do you insure this? Well, ask your people, especially your sales people. Don’t ask them if they can achieve it, but rather what do they need to achieve this sales target. Their replies will give you your main marketing goals, since most of them will fall into:

  1. “We’ll need better client retention” which translates into marketing goal: put a loyalty program/system in place
  2. “We’ll need new client acquisitions” of [x] which translates into marketing goal: lead generation of [y]
  3. “We’ll need o tackle [this] market” which translates into marketing goal: build awareness into [this] market
  4. “We’ll need to launch a new product or service feature” which translates into marketing goal: new product launch
  5. “We’ve got no clue on how to get to this sales target at this point” (this is rare, but you might get this answer from your sales team) which translates into marketing goal: analize the market, develop a positioning on the market and research for new prospects base, lead generation etc.
  6. And many more… (you can leave any other sales dilemma in the comments field if it’s not above and I’ll try to translate it into a marketing goal)

When you’ve done this with your sales team you take their answers to your marketing team and translate them into goals and then into your main marketing objectives (check out the future post on setting marketing objectives). This is a very simple and easily achievable exercise that you can go through with your team.

Next step is insuring that the scope of the marketing projects does not exceed your sales needs. Many marketers are mesmerized by the “art of marketing” and forget it serves the business, as any other function, so they will expand the scope of the marketing project to include cool and often expansive tools when they could achieve more with less. This happens especially with branding and marketing research projects in b2b.

We’ll step into setting marketing objectives into the next post.

 ***

Some other good posts on related topics:  7 Strategies To Building Sales-Marketing Alignment

Filed under: Marketing Accountability, Marketing Planning, Marketing Results, Marketing vs Sales, , , , , ,

To tradeshow or not to in B2B. If not, then what?

In classical marketing strategies, trade showing and attending industry events is a must. Many marketers put tradeshow in the top 3 strategies for most of their programs. I dare challenge this point of view, since I did not find yet in b2b a tradeshow or event, to justify the costs through consequential results. If you have a marketing budget to spend I do advice paying attention to these arguments and counterarguments. 

1. Pro: you have to be there if your competition is there

Con: if you’re focused on beating the competition on their grounds you don’t have a great strategy to start with

2. Pro: I got a good discount on the booth/slot/track

Con: these costs are rarely major in the overall costs of attending the tradeshow

 3. Pro:helps our branding

Con: if you do not have a brand to begin with, any tradeshow rarely will add anything to it

4. Pro: helps sales.

Con:cost per lead in a tradeshow is very high, even if you targeted the right audience.

5. Pro: everyone is there

Con: except the business decision makers that really buy from you… Unless you invited some of your clients to show off

6. Pro: Networking

Con: yes, sometimes you need to network with the competition. They need to find out about you and what you’re doing for sure… 

So what can you do?

  1. Stop attending spend your marketing money on something worth while
  2. Count for the real costs of attending the tradeshow (like a working day of your top salesperson or the day of your CEO to spend there)
  3. Find some other ways to market that give you better results (marketing accountability can be a pain…that’s if you postpone it too much)
  4. If you have to be in a tradeshow go for booth hunting in your client’s tradeshow s to find out more about them. That will give you better leads as well
  5. If your boss forces you into attending a tradeshow ask him to review the above arguments.

If you still have to go there than you should address other sources of information J (we’ll have one in here as well but later on and probably for b2c ). 

This being said please stay put for the more positive approach for attending conferences in one of the next posts. 

What’s your thought on it?

***

Some more good posts on related topics:

Jacquelyn Lynn, Business Writer – What role does tradition play in your marketing plan?

Andy Hayler – Tradeshows and lemmings

Scott Thompson – Small Business B2B Marketing

Filed under: Events, Marketing Tactics, , , , , ,

welcome to a fresh blog on b2b

This blog is for:

  • those who got tired of reading books on b2b, strategy, planning and management… that seldom really work
  • those who need a fresh point of view in all these areas
  • entrepreneurs who start-up on their business adventure
  • whomever wants to know how marketing life is on the line of fire

Although I am not advertising for anything on this particular blog, I do own interests in a management consulting business, which you are welcome to find out more about from my personal profile. I am more willing to learn from this blog, by reading and replying methodically to your comments and your points, as this is ultimately my goal for this blog.

 This being said, let’s proceed to some fresh points of view on old or even new topics.

Filed under: General

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