B2B Marketing

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fresh experiences on marketing topics for the B2B enterprises and more

Persuading your CFO to invest in marketing

B2B budgets are going down, and still CFOs wonder what is the next process for which they should cut down on their expenses. Now more than ever, they want to see those results that justify the expense. If you are a CMO who wants to keep the CFO happy, what can you do? You must provide the hard fact “evidence” that the marketing pragrams you want to start these days will prove to be profitable for the company in the end.

Some random ideas on how to produce those cold facts that CFOs want to see from the CMOs these days:

  • Define KPIs better. Before you even launch a B2B marketing campaign, make sure to thoroughly define the key performance indicators that will measure the results. Let me give you an example: if your goal is to build additional access points into a prospect company that you target, then first of all you should be able to see how deep results your cappaign produces on the short term. Afterwards, you can design a plan to produce results on the long term.
  • Create a strong tie between marketing processes and business priorities. Study the sales goal your company has, and then demonstrate the CFO how the marketing programmes you design can support these objectives. For example, if you hava managed to create more contacts at prospect companies, show how the sales team is setting more and more meetings and how demo requests increase.
  • Show how the results you achieve link to business goals. If you have a new online marketing campaign, and it generates, let’s say, 75% more clicks than the previous one, this number alone is not sufficient to explain success. You have to explain the financial and the sales team how this increase affects the company, to prove a whole cause-and-effect chain that helps your business achieved the defined objectives.

In the end, what really matters is to discover what’s working for your company and why, and not just think in terms of B2B ROI.

Filed under: b2b marketing, Best Practices, Business-to-Business, General, how to, Internal Marketing, Marketing Planning, objectives, , ,

What is the meaning of life – your company’s point of view

Every year the CEO hands down the revenue goals in the annual business plan. Everyone scrambles to make the figures, but nobody seems to take the time to think about what shaped those decisions.

First of all, you have to bear in mind that the main focus should not be deciding which strategy to adopt, but which criteria you use to select the right strategy. You start to develop those criteria, by figuring out what matters to your company and what success looks like.

Here are a few guidelines that will help you develop a set of criteria for your own business:

1. Establish what success looks like

Define as many elements as possible. What is your financial goal? What marketing strategies or tools will you need to promote your company? Do you have the right people working for you? Are the people you hired assigned to the right roles? Are their skills used properly and to the greatest advantage? Is market share more important, or maybe revenues, or client satisfaction?

If there are any changes to be made, they are welcomed before, rather than after implementing the strategy.

2. Decide what matters (in a general sense)

What is the current situation on your market? What are the new trends? Are there any preconceptions or long-held beliefs that might be holding your company back? What is the general feeling among your team members? Do they support your strategies? Were they effective in implementing the latest one?

It’s most important to keep your strategy aligned with the new status on the market, as well as the status in your own company. You have to develop a strategy that is both up to date and generally supported by your team.

3. Figure out what specifically matters to you

Now keep in mind that the main focus here is your company. And the most important asset you’ve got are the people working for you. Figure out what is important to them, and then what is important to the executive team. Do they have the same objectives? Are the interests of the people working for you aligned with the interests of your executive team?

4. Review the solid criteria

If you’ve gone through the first three steps, you’ll have about all the criteria you need to select the right strategy for your company. Here is a list of criteria you might consider:

  • Company size
  • Timeframe
  • Products portfolio
  • Region
  • Certainty
  • Affinity
  • Opportunity
  • Defense move
  • Sales model
  • Customer
  • Leverage
  • Service
  • Profitability

Elaborating the right success criteria helps you stay focused on the things that really matter for your company. You can only achieve success if you define what success is. How else will you know if you got there? Or how will you know if the place you are at is the right place for your company?

Filed under: Best Practices, General, how to, Internal Marketing, Marketing Planning, objectives, Strategy, , , , ,

Don’t forget to invest in marketing these days…

…even if you’re quite busy dealing with the mighty crisis! J Which is perfectly understandable, since the CRISIS is everywhere on the news and in the papers, as if it were another self for the business people. Seriously now, it seems like the only preoccupation of the media and of the business environment is to offer us tips & tricks on how to fight/escape/overcome this downward spiral of our economic state. „Cut the marketing budget” seems to be one of people’s favourite tunes these days.

Sad to say, but they forgot to tell us something even more important: no matter waht we do, the crisis will not go away only by using reactive methods to fight it. We need to get proactive for a change, and, instead of cutting your marketing budget (which is one of the first mistakes businesses make during times of economic crisis), spend your money in a more intelligent manner to bring results.

Use all your flair, skills and knowledge to find out what people really need and want these days, and go for it! It works both for b2c, and for b2b. The secret is to view your marketing spending as an investment not an expense. Use the customer knowledge that you already have and implement intelligent marketing strategies during these times of financial distress. Some crucial tips are to:

  • Have a rock-solid strategy
  • Research your customer more thoroughly than ever
  • Maintain market spend

This is not the first crisis economy has ever gone through, and it will certainly not be the last. Don’t be surprised to find out that companies have survived difficult times and have come out strong. Procter & Gamble, Intel or Wal-Mart are only a few companies that launched well-positioned companies during difficult times  and were successful with them. Why? Because they took marketing seriously during times of crisis more than ever.

Of course, you’ll have to adapt to all the fast changes the crisis has brought upon us: know who the customers are, what they think, what they dream of and how the crisis affects them. Revise your entire product line if necessary. Look at developing lower cost solutions, if possible. Be flexible, but at the same time be aware and always assessing.

Maybe I should have mentioned this at the very beginning, but the fact is obvious: if you cut your marketing budget, how will your potential consumers find you?!

Filed under: Best Practices, General, Internal Marketing, Marketing Accountability, Marketing Planning, Marketing Results, Marketing ROI, objectives, Strategy, , , , ,

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