Posted on April 24, 2017 at 12:17 PM
The Myth: A Quick-Fix Marketing Campaign Is Necessary When Sales Numbers Are Down.
The Truth: A Slow-Burn B2B Marketing Strategy Will Foster ROI in the Long-Term.
Imagine: it’s Q2, and you look at the numbers. And the numbers aren’t looking good. If you end the year like this, it is bad news. Panicked, you call your marketing department, and give them this message: Do whatever you can, right now, to get my sales numbers up.
And Marketing executes a last-ditch, quick approach to try to get your company back on track. It may even yield good results. In the short term.
But the truth is, if you implemented long-term marketing strategy in Q1, you should expect a slow burn instead of an immediate increase in ROI. Especially with marketing plans that rely heavily on content marketing. If you put your time into a quick execution to boost immediate numbers, you’re wasting it. Instead, you should spend that time working toward larger, long-term successes.
There are several elements that take time to develop – many that require testing – in order to be done well. So you have to ask: what are the steps for implementing a successful long-term B2B marketing strategy?
Step 1: Know Your Goals and Objectives
The purpose of your campaign is to increase ROI over the long haul, not just in the immediate future. Converting leads right now will increase your sales in the short term, but long-term thinking will set the wheels in motion for greater successes year after year. Outside of sales, what are you looking for? Know exactly what you want to achieve from your campaign. You cannot expect to implement this strategy in a day and have leads knocking the door down. Brainstorm how you can sustain this campaign in the over one year, two years, three. And remember, a lot of your strategy will hinge on building relationships over time. Continuous engagement with your brand puts you on a steadier path to conversion.
If you are a bigger company, it might benefit you to take a step back and look at the bigger picture for your marketing strategy. Reworking your brand may be the key to sustaining leads for longer.
Step 2: Do Your Research
Your strategy will be useless if you haven’t taken the time to do proper research on your target audience and how your message will be best conveyed. Utilize market research initiatives to find out more abut who you plan to target, what they want, where they are in terms of the sales funnel, what messages resonate with them, and their preferred media and marketing channels. By doing the research, you will be putting the right message in front of the right people at the right time.
Step 3: Implement, Evaluate, and Fine-Tune
Your slow-burn campaign will be a long-term commitment, meaning the creation of a pipeline with organized divisions of labor and clear deadlines is vital to staying on track. When implementing a long-term strategy, you want to make sure it is as effective as possible. That’s why it’s important not to underestimate the value of keyword evaluation, website analytics, and A/B testing. Note that sales are far from the only KPI (key performance indicator). It’s important to align your KPIs with the goals you set in Step 1. If you’re measuring the wrong thing, it may become an obstacle rather than a boon. You may also need to accept that not all measures of success can be supported by hard data.
Taking the time to create a strategy, research your target audience, and detailed evaluation may seem like a lot of work. But it’s worth it in the long run. While you may not see an immediate increase in sales, these steps will ultimately foster long-term success that all company stakeholders will benefit from in the end.Continue Reading
by Emily Swet
Posted on April 21, 2017 at 17:38 PM
Is your B2B company suffering a failure to thrive? Don’t underestimate the power of your name. And when it comes to rebranding, don’t underestimate how detrimental a bad name can be, either. B2B companies are quick to list reasons why their businesses are stalling – limited marketing budgets, saturated markets, changing demands – but rarely do they associate a bad name with a stalled out company. It’s just a name, right? The thing is, even though you are selling to another business, you’re still marketing to another human being. And words have meaning. (You know, the whole pen mightier than the sword thing? Yeah, that.) So how do you know if it’s time to rename your manufacturing company? Here’s a cheat sheet.
4 Signs That It’s Time to Rename Your Manufacturing Company
- Your name is too plain. Basic names only work when you 1) are the first company in the field, and 2) have years to establish yourself, like General Electric. But imagine if a company like Amazon had been named GeneralOnlineRetailer.com. They would have been hard-pressed to stand out in the online boom of the 1990’s. (Amazon has an interesting naming story, by the by.) Take note of your competition and your standing before you choose a name like “Universal Plumbing Standards Corp.”
- Your name is meaningless to anyone but you. Initech, anyone? We understand that there are some names that have inside meaning or a rich personal history for your B2B company. But what does that mean to an outsider? It’s this logic that lead Quantum Computer Services to change their name to America Online, which directly translates their product and elicits an emotional response. Unless your name resonates your brand positively on an emotional or literal level, it’s just white noise.
- Your name is hilarious… and not in a good way. We’ll just glance at Analtech, who despite a near 50 year legacy, is rebranding to iChromatography – which not only explains what they do, but keeps those pesky web filters from blocking them in search.
- Your name is scandalous. It’s no surprise when a company like ValuJet has to rename and rebrand to AirTran after their crash in 1996. But if your business, innocently (and coincidentally) enough, happens to be called Lewinsky Auto Supply, it might suffer simply from association.
The right name for your brand will both value your heritage and leverage your position. Think it might be time for you to rename your manufacturing company? Drop us a line.Continue Reading