New Year, New Marketing Plan! Your path to B2B (Business-to-Business) success starts with your awareness of your customer’s path to purchase.
Although B2B and B2C (Business-to-Consumer) follow essentially the same equation — a customer is buying something from a company — there are some key differences between these two approaches.
The “customer journey” or “path to purchase” with B2B is that every purchase decision involves multiple decision-makers in another company.
In a B2C market, there’s more of an opportunity to make an emotional connection and the path is simpler and linear, while in B2B, the processes involved lead toward the goals primarily of building trust, authority, and price leadership.
In this post, we cover:
What is a Marketing Plan?
While a Marketing Plan changes over time, depending on how your business and your target market pivot, a business can’t be successful without a well-thought Marketing plan with a clear goal.
Typically, the B2B process involves these steps: identifying a problem or need, and discovering different solutions through market research to identify the problem or need of your target audience that you want and can satisfy.
A Marketing Plan is your tool to help you bring awareness to your target market on what you are selling and why they should buy it from you.
Given the variety of media outlets and marketing tactics available, as a business owner, you may be thinking about which marketing plan and strategy is ideal for your industry and target market.
Create a summary of your business from the company name, address, vision and mission statement, and your business’ organisational team.
Even if employees have been with the company for years, it’s still essential that you, as the business owner, know that everybody is on the same page.
This summary also includes a SWOT analysis, which stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.
Strengths you can write down are samples like these:
Opportunities can be seen as:
Weaknesses you can write down any reflecting on:
Threats you want to avoid or overcome:
The Four Ps are: Product, Price, Place, and Promotion – these are known as the marketing mix or the four Ps of marketing.
In your market research, you should consider your competition and what they are offering. This can include their Positioning, Market Share, Products and Offerings, and Pricing.
If you know their strengths, you can cut costs without fighting a losing battle, and if you know your competitor’s weaknesses, this can show you the gaps in the market that you can potentially fill.
For example, instead of marketing all your products, you may focus on the products with high demand or low competition and use different price points.
Bonus Step: Offer your audience opportunities to buy from you
Once you’ve gathered the contact data for your specified audience, the next step is to decide what media platforms are most effective in reaching them until they buy from you.
This can be a mix of B2B Email Marketing, B2B Digital Marketing, and running paid advertising like PPC (Pay-Per-Click) or Facebook Advertising Campaigns.
B2B Content Marketing is also an inexpensive way to gather additional data which is both beneficial for you and your customers since you are not only offering education for their needs but presenting that you are the most competent to solve them.
Social media is a very effective tool for increasing brand awareness. B2B companies also need to increase brand awareness, personalise their business, and give their brand an online persona.
When it comes to great advertising and a marketing plan, painting a specific and detailed picture of your target market and knowing their needs and personalities is a requirement.
By refining your customer segments, you can prioritise and apply your budget more effectively and when it comes to B2B, it is easier to build your audience than B2C.
There are lead generation techniques and resources for data acquisition services that you can utilise to create a data pool of business contacts who you think would benefit from your product and service.
There are mainly two groups of people you should be focusing on in your B2B target audience: Influencers and Decision Makers. These are the two people who can sign the deal and give you the money to proceed in having a B2B relationship with your business.
There are a few ways to gather the leads you want, you can either buy it from a third-party data provider (which might be less time-consuming for you and more cost-effective in the long run) or go to LinkedIn which has loads of prospects that you can get relevant information about individuals who are already a part of business organisations.
LinkedIn already offers your potential target prospect’s company size, job title, and email information, to name a few!
Send your Email campaigns or talk to somebody about your products and services who can make the decision, otherwise, no one will know what you are offering.
BONUS Step: Make friends with your audience
The simple answer is in giving, giving, giving …but then, asking.
Psychology says that when you provide someone a help and value for free, they are most naturally driven to give something back to you. This is the key to gain trust in your target audience!
And it all begins with great Content Creation! And the good news is, this doesn’t cost much. You can cost-effectively reach your target customer through blog posts, podcasts, videos, and social media posts which address your audience’s problems.
Creating “FREE” content is also your way of letting your target audience know who your company is and what you are capable of solving and offering and that you are the company best for the job to solve their needs!
Know what your audience wants and likes to buy and where they are buying them from.
Knowing your competitors will help you identify their weaknesses so you can use that information to inspire more creative solutions. After you provide something that people are actively seeking, create an urgency by giving the impression of another “lack” or exclusivity.
Set clear objectives and what you want to achieve with your marketing plan. Make sure those goals are attainable and realistic such as those related to your Market Share, total number of customers and retention rate, and average purchase size.
Nowadays, not all goals are financial; some are aimed toward digital engagement and quantifying your company’s value regarding video views, social media followers, post shares or retweets, comments, and likes.
Your company website is also a good tool to track the health of your brand.
And you cannot improve your ROI (Return On Investment) unless you know your SMART Goals, which are:
For example, if you are a law firm, your goal could be to increase your enquiries by 30 leads in three months.
In creating a Marketing Budget, you must identify how much it will cost to run your advertising marketing campaign and how the money will be distributed.
After creating a great Marketing Plan, it is important to be able to measure how your marketing campaigns are performing.
KPIs or Key Performance Indicators are metrics that can either be monetary or non-monetary. It can be the total leads you generate or the number of sales per period, the measure of your company website traffic, and social media follower count.
KPIs should be different for each marketing campaign and are based on the campaign type and your marketing goals. For example, the KPI for your law firm’s new Google Ads campaign could be the number of enquiries you want to have by the end of the month.
Marketing is an ongoing process, therefore, based on the data of your KPIs, measure and adjust the marketing plan, and you must routinely review your campaigns. You may check weekly or monthly reviews to see if your campaigns are working effectively well.
What is KPI?
KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator. It’s a measurable value that tracks how well you’re doing towards achieving a specific goal or objective. Think of it like a scorecard for your progress.
Think of it like a scorecard for your progress.
The Next Step
To unlock more than just these 6 steps in creating a Marketing Plan, contact us for a FREE website growth call to discover a more comprehensive assessment of your company’s specific needs and achievable goals!At Krystal Designs, we not only design your roadmap, but we take your hand and guide you through the wonderful maze of Digital Marketing bespoke to the dreams you have for your company’s future.