With more B2B businesses ramping up to invest more in marketing campaigns, B2B companies risk losing a large portion of their investment if their campaigns fall through. It’s crucial now more than ever to understand your campaigns may not be meeting your goals. A study found that while 74% of B2B marketers have clear goals for their campaigns, only 3% managed to achieve all of them. Meanwhile, around 41% are only able to reach them sometimes. This failure to achieve expectations can lead to an immeasurable loss for any business.Fortunately, most failed campaigns start from clear mistakes that marketers can avoid early on. Be mindful of the following missteps before launching your next B2B campaign!
Not understanding your target audience
Like many other marketing tactics, B2B campaigns rely heavily on buyers' profiles to decide their next steps. Starting a campaign without a deep understanding of your buyer's persona already puts you at a disadvantage because you have little to no connection to the buyer. A fascinating study by Gartner discovered that over 77% of B2B buyers described their recent purchases as "complex or difficult" due to the number of options and lack of proper communication they receive. Considering the personalized nature of B2B relationships, B2B marketing campaigns must meet their target's specific needs and truly understand their pain points and what they are looking to achieve through a solution or service.A buyer's pain points consist of problems they may face in their business journey, such as inadequate technology or resources. Instead of giving a general pitch of your services or products, try bringing awareness to current issues your customer is facing and show how your business can solve them. For example, if your customer is struggling with brand recognition, an influencer marketing agency may provide case studies and data points on how their services have helped other businesses with a similar pain point.
Lack of sales and marketing cohesion
Sales and marketing teams may be in separate departments, but they both need to be on the same page to achieve the campaign's goals. Forrester research studies found that companies with aligned marketing and sales teams see 19% faster growth and 15% more profits. When the two teams don't collaborate efficiently, campaigns miss out on countless opportunities to grow. They can also suffer from conflict and misunderstanding between the two divisions, further harming the brand's values. Your marketing team may build elaborate content campaigns to generate new leads, but if those leads don't match the brands' values or long-term goals, the sales department may have a harder time turning them into paying customers. Be sure to establish clear communication between your sales and marketing teams, with regularly scheduled meetings to keep campaigns on track and everyone in the loop. Remember, everyone is working to the same goal and has similar performance indicators they need to make the business successful.
It comes at no surprise that unclear strategies are often the primary source of conflict in B2B marketing campaigns. Not only do they cause misunderstandings between different departments, but they also lead to misdirection and confusion in the long term. Some clear signs of an unclear strategy can come from ambiguous goals, lack of market research, or flip-flop planning.Every marketing campaign requires extensive planning. The first (and most vital step) is to inform your employees about your goals and give them clear indications of what success looks like. Once everyone has a general understanding of the purpose of the B2B campaign, outline what tasks each department has. Some departments will need different expectations or tactics than others. Once the marketing campaign's general strategies are set, keep an eye on the team's progress. There should be constant communication of any roadblocks, progress or small wins in the campaign.
Lack of value to customers
B2B marketing campaigns that don't generate value for their buyers rarely do well. B2B buyers require a great amount of information and education about every service or product they may purchase, considering it impacts an entire organization, so campaigns that don't provide clear value are sure to fail.Unlike B2C consumers, B2B buyers take much longer to consider purchasing a service or product. There are multiple people involved in the decision making process, and each purchase will have long-term effects on their companies. Marketing campaigns can't rely on emotional pitches or vague promises – they need to be as informative and comprehensive as possible to be convincing to every decision-maker involved. You're more likely to earn buyers' trust once they're confident you can be of value to them.
Lack of creativity
While B2B buyers need information, they aren't likely to read your white papers if their interests aren't piqued in the first place. Creative, engaging campaigns are still relevant to B2B buyers as they would be to B2C consumers. You can still be both creative and informative. Consider Slack's catchy and enticing ad, casually called "So Yeah, We Tried Slack…". The ad is as humorous as it is enlightening, portraying the software's uses in relatable company skits and engaging voiceover. In addition, Shopify released several useful how-to business guides to show the intuitive and simple use of their e-commerce platform. The current B2B landscape is marked by competition and uncertainty, and being unable to balance these acts lead to buyers flocking to other, more stable propositions. While there is no formula for success, avoiding the mistakes outlined above is a great start to ensuring the success of your next B2B campaign.
_About the author
Viral Nation is a new media innovation group that powers the social ecosystem through integrated solutions that align strategy, talent, media, and technology. As pioneers in the influencer space, Viral Nation is comprised of a full-service creative agency, a creator and athlete-influencer representation agency, and a technology division creating modern marketing solutions for the social media age.