I was reminded recently how important it is to have an understanding of marketing fundamentals to deliver successful B2B digital marketing. I attended a couple of webinars that covered aspects of content marketing and lead generation. While they talked about specific digital tactics like email, landing pages and SEO, they also spent a good deal of time talking about marketing fundamentals. My guess is many who are tasked with digital marketing today may not have marketing education or experience. So while they know how to use digital tools and channels, the marketing fundamentals covered in these types of webinars are very useful and educational for them.
Below I highlight three examples of fundamental marketing concepts every B2B marketer needs to know for any strategy, whether it’s digital or not.
Know Your Audience
The buzzword today is persona, but knowing who your best prospects are (influencers and decision makers) and how to reach them is the foundation of any B2B marketing strategy. Who do you want to reach? What topics interest them and what problem(s) can you solve for them? When they have a problem where do they look for information and how do they consume it?
If you don’t know who you’re writing for, no matter if it’s a blog post, web landing page, phone script, direct mail postcard, or case study, it won’t be relevant. As a result you won’t be able to attract or move your ideal prospects further along their buying journey.
Your B2B prospects aren’t all the same. Some common differences include:
- Ways they use your product/service
- Industry terms and language
- Topics that interest them (problems they need to solve)
- Value they place on various aspects of your offering
For these reasons it’s important to define and create meaningful segments for your marketing messaging and strategy.
If you know your audience (see above), then creating segments to target will become more obvious. For example, you may want to segment by specific verticals or functional roles. As a result, your marketing campaigns will be more personalized, compelling and engaging for your target audience.
Good Data is Paramount
More isn’t always better, especially when it comes to marketing data. From trade show and webinar attendee lists, CRM systems data, and website form fill data to click through and download data, B2B marketers need effective, best-practice processes for ongoing data maintenance and quality.
The digital era has only accelerated and exacerbated data quality issues, generating large amounts of often inaccurate data. Low quality Contact data (studies show nearly 25% of B2B contact data goes bad annually) decreases marketing’s effectiveness and reputation with the sales team (ex. bad phone numbers). In addition, it makes generating meaningful metrics and analysis difficult.
We may focus much of our B2B marketing efforts and budget on digital tactics. However, it’s still important to have an integrated strategy built on fundamental marketing concepts. I’ve only touched on three concepts in this post. What fundamental marketing concept have you seen missing in B2B digital marketing efforts?