Developing an effective marketing strategy for your business is an uphill battle. Marketers have to juggle budget limitations, creative demands, and channel decisions while designing and developing an effective marketing strategy.
A business’ target audience can be other businesses (B2B) or individual consumers or customers (B2C). Marketing to businesses varies greatly from marketing to individual customers. This is the reason that completely different approaches to marketing are needed for B2C and B2B businesses. What works for B2C might not give the best results for B2B.
In this article, we will discuss in detail B2B marketing, strategy planning, and creating the most effective marketing framework for B2B businesses.
Table of contents:
- What is B2B Marketing Framework?
- The Importance of B2B Marketing Framework
- The Main B2B Marketing Channels
- How to Create a B2B Marketing Framework?
- Get Started Today with Your B2B Marketing Framework
What is B2B Marketing Framework?
Simply put, the B2B marketing framework is your marketing game plan. It is the strategy marketers use for creating brand awareness about businesses and for driving quality leads towards sales. It includes a detailed map of your business goals and how you plan to reach there.
A proper framework will also involve identifying the various tools and channels that you can use to accomplish the end results and defining the resources needed for reaching there.
With a full proof B2B marketing strategy framework, you will be able to identify and target the most productive market segments, proper marketing channels for lead generation, and reach your ideal customers.
The Importance of B2B Marketing Framework
Having a proper B2B marketing framework is crucial for all kinds of businesses. Listed below are some important pointers, which will help you to understand the value of having a marketing framework for your business:
- With the proper framework, it is possible to obtain a complete understanding of ideal customers and your target market so that relevant traffic is driven to your company/organization’s website.
- Having a marketing framework will enable you to use research for making data-driven decisions for targeting various marketing campaigns. You can also use the information for backing up tactics to the leadership team and help them in implementing the strategies successfully.
- The marketing framework plays a crucial role in creating and optimizing your web presence, not only for increasing visibility but for boosting conversions as well.
- With a proper B2B marketing framework, you can create targeted strategies that will help in qualifying, generating, and converting quality leads, eventually boosting sales.
- The framework will help in developing content that resonates with and impacts ideal buyers of the products/services of your business.
- With a proper marketing framework, it is possible to build a brand and related assets, which are impactful and credible to your potential prospects.
Read more here: The 4 Building Blocks of Effective B2B Marketing
The Main B2B Marketing Channels
Here are some of the most prominent B2B marketing channels, which you can leverage for your business:
- B2B content marketing – We all know the importance of high-quality content for any kind of digital marketing initiative. It is a way of displaying expertise, educate target customers, as well as drive leads.Content marketing is THE most important digital marketing strategy. High-quality content not only establishes your brand as an expert in the minds of your customers, but it is also a crucial part of search engine optimization (SEO). With search engines emphasizing the quality of content, and content being important collateral for the other digital marketing strategies, it is vital that you make content marketing a priority for your business.To know how to utilize content marketing to generate more leads for your business, read Content Marketing Hacks: 10 Content Marketing Hacks That Will Help You Attract Better Leads
- Website – If you want to see fruitful results from marketing initiatives, you have to make sure that your company website is user-friendly, easy to navigate, and informative. After all, your website is the online face of your business.You have to understand that majority of your customers will visit your website first and judge your company based on what they see and find there. Along with being appealing visually, the website has to be fast and secured too. You have to also ensure that the website is accessible from laptops as well as mobiles since many people use their phones to browse the internet. The website should also be able to capture user data for driving leads.
- Search Engine Optimization – You cannot ignore the importance and value of organic search. Believe it or not, when it comes to digital marketing, it is SEO that draws maximum traffic to your website, although the quality of this traffic is not guaranteed. Having said that, SEO still remains one of the most important lead generation tools and you will lose a lot of business if you do not take it into account.To know all about search engine optimizing your business, read B2B SEO Strategies: How to Rank and Generate Organic Sales in 2021
- Video Marketing – Video content is gaining immense popularity globally with the general audience and hence with marketers as well. The audiovisual medium has become a crucial factor in B2B marketing because its reach has increased exponentially over the last few years.
- Social media marketing – Social media is the most happening place now. With millions of active users on various social media platforms, reaching out to customers has become convenient and simple. Things become viral on these platforms within seconds. Also, it is a great place where you can get validation and recommendation for your business products and services, thereby enhancing your brand value.When it comes to B2B marketing, LinkedIn is a great platform. Other platforms such as YouTube are also useful too. If you are not utilizing social media for your B2B business know that you are making a big mistake, huge!If you are still not convinced about the power of social media, read Why B2B Businesses Should Use Social Media Marketing
- B2B email marketing – Many marketers had thought that email marketing will become obsolete in the face of newer and modern online marketing techniques and strategies. But nothing of the sort happened. Email marketing still remains one of the most used tactics for achieving a number of marketing goals such as driving leads, nurturing customers, and so on. A robust email list is an asset for any marketer and will remain so in the near future.To learn how email marketing can help you grow your business read, What are the Benefits of Email Marketing?
- Pay per Click (PPC) B2B advertising and marketing – PPC is a great marketing channel for the sheer reason that it works. It is a kind of advertising where you pay only when someone clicks on your advertisement, making it economical. Having a framework that contains both organic and paid marketing tactics is the best way to generate quality leads, so make sure you don’t ignore PPC.To understand all about PPC, read B2B PPC: How to Use Paid Search to Drive Business Leads and Revenue
How to Create a B2B Marketing Framework?
Now that you have a fair idea of the various B2B marketing channels, it is now time to learn about the ways in which a B2B marketing framework can be created. There are some stages and processes that are used for creating a successful B2B marketing framework. We will discuss these points here in detail:
- Segmenting the market and concentrating on the target segment Suppose you are looking for a specific kind of product that will help in increasing lead generation in your business.There are innumerable products available that cater to your requirements and you shortlist a few from the list based on your specific requirements. It is obvious that you will choose the product which matches all your specifications and also offers something more which the other products don’t.This is the power and importance of marketing segmentation. When you focus on a specific market segment, you can create personalized and customized offers as per the exact requirements of the organizations that belong to that specific segment, thus helping to increase lead generation and sales.For figuring out the segments, ask these two very simple questions –
- Who are the target audiences of your business’s products/services?
- What are the things that your target customers are wanting to solve with your products/services? Meaning why do they invest in such products/services?Do understand that market segments are different from one another. While some segments have the capacity of generating more revenues but need more resources for it, there are segments where the potential is much less, but a good return on investment (ROI) can be expected.The needs of market segments are unique and different from one another too. This means that you need to create different proposals to cater to the specific requirements of the different market segments.
- Creating an ideal customer profile (ICP) for all targeted market segments There is a big difference between an ICP and a general customer profile. The target of ICP is to attract high-quality leads. An ICP represents your key customers, hence making it possible to personalize and customize all kinds of marketing materials including emails, proposals, sales pages, advertisements, etc. towards attracting high-quality leads.Another benefit of having an ICP is that you can work out the marketing channels that will work best instead of depending on guesswork and trying different means. In simple words, once you know exactly who you are targeting, it would become much easier to work out the ‘how’.The best way to go about creating your ICP is to survey your customers as well as gather data from additional sources such as social media and analytics tools. Then combine these data and create your ICP.
- Running an analysis on your competitors and their businesses Why is competitor analysis a part of this list? Because you can gain valuable insights about your own framework from what your competitors are doing right or wrong with their own strategies. After all, it is not humanly possible to try out every available tool and marketing channel to see what works and what doesn’t. Utilize tools like BuzzSumo and Ahrefs to spy on your competitors and find out which channels bring them the most traffic, the marketing tactics that work best for them, who they are targeting and how, and so on.
- Developing a solid Unique Selling Point (USP) for every targeted market Your USP is the reason your target customers will buy from you and not your competitors. It is the factor that differentiates you from the other businesses operating within the same industry and serving the same segment of customers.While it is easy for B2C businesses to come up with a USP, it’s easier said than done for B2B businesses. However, you can start by surveying your existing customers. Ask them what they like most about your products, why they chose your business, and if they have any recommendations for you. Gather the data and from there you can create your USP.For example, say, you are a SaaS company offering a lead generation tool. You can have your USP such as guaranteed leads within three months, or year-long free service, etc.
- Attracting prospects at every stage of the sales funnel The B2B sales process is a long-drawn-out one. It is not like B2C where customers make emotional purchases. There are never impulse purchases in B2B.Customers enquire about a company/business from innumerable sources before finally deciding to go ahead with a purchase. Hence, at any given point in time active purchasing is limited to a very small percentage as the majority of your prospects are still not ready or in double minds regarding making a purchase.This is the reason, targeting every stage of the sales funnel is important instead of just concentrating on the bottom of the funnel (BOFU). Your marketing framework should include strategies that target prospects at every stage, from the top of the funnel (TOFU) and the middle of the funnel (MOFU) to BOFU.
- Identifying channels, goals, and resources for supporting the B2B marketing strategy Now that you have gone through the whole research process, it is time to actually implement the strategies and start with your marketing efforts. Begin by finding the right segments for marketing your products/services and learn to win over your competitors in the market.For implementing your marketing strategies, the first step you need to take is to set clear goals. What are you planning to achieve with your marketing framework? How do you quantify the goals? How do you analyze how much you have achieved of your goals? These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself.Your next step is proper identification of the resources you would need to achieve your marketing goals. There are many ups and downs in this process as marketing budget and ROI are closely integrated into it. You might expect to achieve a specific ROI with a campaign and end up achieving much less and vice versa. The point is you have to experiment, do a little jugglery, and commit according to the resources that help you achieve the greatest ROI.Last but not the least, identification of proper marketing channels is another very important point, which we have already discussed above. All channels are not suitable for all businesses. It is crucial to identify which one will work for your business and implement it likewise.
Related content: 5 Common Mistakes in B2B Marketing Campaigns
Get Started Today with Your B2B Marketing Framework
Now that you have a fair idea of the B2B marketing framework, you can go ahead and get started with it. For making a marketing plan effective and successful, create ‘marketing focus zones’ and then keep on adding activities in each zone so that you can achieve your goals successfully. Some of the marketing focus zones are discussed here so that you can start including them in your marketing framework right away:
- Nurturing leads – These will include activities that help in enhancing the deal close ratio. Some of the best examples include educational videos and case studies.
- Product analysis – These are activities including analysis of current products.
- Lead generation – Activities are planned for various marketing segments as per the stages of the buyer’s journey.
- Trade marketing – Sales are stimulated with existing customers with different kinds of activities.
- Partnerships – Various kinds of activities are carried out for developing partnership relations.
Read more here: The Scalable Five-Step Client Acquisition Framework For Agencies
This article covers all the basic fundamentals of creating the ultimate B2B marketing framework. By following the pointers carefully and with the effective working of the sales and marketing team, you can implement the marketing strategies successfully for bringing in the desired traffic to your website and thus increasing ROI for your business.
For more information on how to create an effective B2B framework for your business, you can contact our team at OneIMS.