Recently, we shared 4 Tips for Auditing a B2B Marketing Strategy to provide guidance for marketers looking to assess the strategic direction of their marketing plan.
In this article, we dig a little deeper to decide what to cut and what to keep in a marketing strategy as part of the evaluation.
When determining what to keep or remove from your B2B marketing strategy, it’s important to take a holistic view. It’s not as simple as “it works” or “it doesn’t work”. What can be considered “working” or “not working” can vary greatly depending on department objectives/goals or even incentives.
Short and long term goals
Instead, it is important to reframe the question as follows: Which channels/activities produce the desired results? For this to be effective, it is crucial to have clearly defined objectives or goals. These should include short and long term goals.
For example, a shorter-term goal might be to increase organic traffic by 24% over last year and convert 3-5 website leads per month. A longer term goal might be to increase annual website traffic by 45% year over year, increase leads to 30 leads per quarter, and increase market share in a market. particular by 10% in 2 years.
Give it enough time
A solid B2B marketing strategy includes a good mix of tactics that produce quick and long-term results. It is essential to give a particular tactic or approach the time it needs to be implemented, monitored, tracked and evaluated. It depends on factors such as budget, number of B2B website visitors each month, tracking capabilities, etc.
For example, we often recommend strategies that include a mix of search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) ads. PPC ads are meant to drive traffic and leads ASAP while we work to build a site’s SEO to drive targeted search queries to the website. Stopping a PPC campaign after 2 weeks of data would be a bad choice, just like stopping SEO after a month would be counterproductive.
Do not consider results in a vacuum
Rarely does one metric tell the whole story. For example, when it comes to driving traffic and leads to your B2B website, you need to look at a variety of metrics in context to determine if a particular channel is producing results.
As an example, we’ll look at paid display ad traffic. Often, display ads drive a significant amount of traffic, often 4,000-5,000 website sessions per month. However, when we look at the quality of traffic directed to a B2B website by display ads, it becomes clear that these website visits have a very high bounce rate, low average time on site, and have produced no form filling or guide download. . Based on this information, display ads are not producing positive results and should be removed from the marketing strategy.
Show me the money… No, really, show me the money
Track your leads and the actual and potential sales revenue associated with them. This is one of the most telling metrics that we believe should be tracked for B2B marketing strategies. Why? Because it’s easy for salespeople to anecdotally say, “Leads are good” or “Leads haven’t been good,” but if you show them every lead and ask them to provide sales data/ proposal amounts for each prospect, you can calculate the opportunities. for your marketing efforts. The most successful sellers keep track of all this data and willingly share it with marketing in an effort to get more of these great deals.
Lead and opportunity tracking should also include the source of the lead, even if it’s just the final touch attribution. This gives marketers the data to determine if certain channels are starting the conversation but closing in on other channels. Plus, they can decide which channels generate the best leads.
For example, we find that organic search leads and PPC leads tend to be the best leads. Why? Because often both types of website visitors are actively searching for the product or service for the business.
Listen to comments
While we’ve said anecdotal evidence isn’t always the best feedback, when it comes to a customer or prospect giving you feedback, you definitely need to listen. It might not be commentary you can extrapolate to an entire audience, but it does provide some insightful gems.
Consider things like:
- Do customers say they subscribed to the newsletter for a year before having a project/need? (hint – your newsletter functions as a development tool!)
- Did they mention a guide or ebook to you that a colleague shared with them?
- Did they reference a specific case study or blog post as the determining factor for getting in touch (even if it wasn’t the source of attribution)?
- Did they list the search terms they used to find your business?
These are just a few questions that can be helpful in determining what to keep and what to ditch in your marketing efforts.