Selling high-ticket business products and services typically involves complex buyer journeys and process-driven purchase decisions with many stakeholders involved. In these environments, marketing involves much more than branding and promotions. An effective marketing strategy requires key foundational elements, including:

Clear positioning and compelling messaging to ensure your audience understands what problems you solve, why those problems matter, and what makes you the right choice to solve them. 

 

Measurable goals, aligned to the goals of the business, which helps you avoid wasting money on trendy or “spray-and-pray” tactics, and instead focus on desired business outcomes.

 

A customer lifecycle view, focused on long-term relationship building instead of short-term transactional selling. When marketing is designed to educate, inform, and add value across every funnel stage and throughout the full customer lifecycle, you create advocates who do your best marketing for you.

4-Phase Marketing Lifecycle

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Audience Segmentation

 Buyer Journey Mapping

ABM/Digital/Experiential Tactics

Targeted, Dynamic Content

Integrated Campaigns

Email/LDR Nurture

Thought Leadership

Public/Investor/Analyst Relations

Industry Awards/Events

Web/SEO/SEM

Advertising

Product Launch

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Goals

Plans

Metrics

Value-based Selling

Closed-loop Lead Flow

Competitive Positioning

Industry/Product Training

ROI Models, Case Studies

Win-Loss & Funnel Analysis

Customer Testimonials

Customer Advisory Board

Onboarding & Education

Net Promoter Score, Surveys

Social/Community Building

Partner Co-marketing

ADVOCACY:

Marketing doesn’t end with a sale.  Turning customers into advocates is the most powerful tool in the marketing arsenal.  From successful onboarding to ongoing education, upsell and community-building, establishing regular, two-way engagement with the base is critical for retention and brand-building. 

CONVERSION:

Aligning the marketing program with the sales methodology is critical to optimize conversion rates.  This includes creating clear definitions of lead types, stages and goals, as well as a closed-loop lead flow process.  Effective product marketing ensures the sales team is armed with the knowledge and tools they need to represent the value of the solution to the prospect.

AWARENESS:

Brand-building in B2B Tech is not about logos and taglines.  In emerging markets, it requires a lot of education, and in mature markets, differentiation.  Building a reputation as a Thought Leader is what allows small startups to sell to – and compete with – industry giants.  What makes a Thought Leader?  Credibility, relevance and a unique point of view (POV).

CONSIDERATION:

Engagement is the first goal of demand generation campaigns.  B2B solutions involve long sales cycles with many stakeholders, and the buyer journey has many steps.  Buyers typically want to self-educate before engaging a vendor directly, so a well-thought out content strategy is critical, and an omni-channel approach helps you meet buyers when, where and how they like to engage.

Marketing Program Metrics

Understanding the buyer journey allows us to build marketing programs that address prospect

needs at every stage of the funnel, driving them to the next stage. Thus, marketing metrics are

typically organized by funnel stage.

 

With the right tools, we can measure effectiveness of marketing tactics at each stage,

as well as conversion rates between stages. Low conversion rates indicate a “leaky funnel.”

This means there are opportunities to increase marketing and sales efficiency by

understanding why leads are not progressing and focusing efforts on nurturing/servicing

existing leads, not just acquiring more leads.

 

Even after the sale, metrics such as customer lifetime value (LTV), churn rates, and customer

profitability are important so marketing programs can be tuned to attract and retain

the most profitable customers, not just any customers.

AIR COVER

Media Coverage, Social Followers

Web Traffic, Search Rankings

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FUNNEL

Contacts, Responders

Conversion to Opportunity Rate

Pipeline Contribution

REVENUE

Conversion to Closed-Won Rate

Marketing Influence on Closed-Won

LOYALTY

Renewal/Churn Rates

Customer Lifetime Value (LTV)

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ADVOCACY

Testimonials

Net Promoter Score

EFFICIENCY

Campaign ROI & Payback

Cost Per Lead

Customer Acquisition Cost

Return on Marketing Investment