Clear positioning and compelling messaging are the foundation of an effective marketing strategy.  Clever campaigns and flashy graphics don’t matter if your audience doesn’t understand what problems you solve, why those problems matter, and what makes you the right choice to solve them.  To do this well, you need a deep understanding of the customer.

 

An effective marketing plan needs clear, measurable goals, aligned to the goals of the business.  Sounds obvious, but many B2B marketing programs are filled with “spray and pray” tactics that don’t guide the buyer – or the company – to their desired destinations.  Good plans are built by focusing on why and how, not what.

 

An effective marketing strategy addresses the full customer lifecycle.  Acquiring customers is hard.  Keeping them is harder.  If you’re not continuously educating, engaging, and promoting your value to customers, someone else is.  Marketing is not separate from customer loyalty and expansion, it’s pivotal to both.

4-Phase Marketing Approach

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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

Executives and board members love metrics.  I’ve learned to love metrics, too, not just out of fiscal responsibility, but to answer the question every dedicated, goal-oriented employee wants to know: “Is it working?”  We owe it to our teams, not just our bosses, to identify and quantify the impact of their hard work and talent.  With the right tools and a clear set of objectives, I guide the marketing department to measure every program, optimize the budget, and maximize results at every stage of the funnel. 

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