If you’re looking to develop a long-term strategy for your B2B marketing activities, you’re in the right place. We’re going to walk you through step-by-step how to develop an online B2B marketing strategy that will help you generate more leads, close more sales, and grow your business for many years to come. This post will become a reference for your team as you work through the process of creating your plan, so make sure you come back often for fresh material.
Step 1: Assess Your Current Situation
The first step of any strategy is to take a step back and look at your current situation. This is especially important for B2B marketing because a lot can change in five years. The digital landscape will continue to evolve, customer behavior will continue to shift, and new competitors will continue to emerge.
Technology will improve, making the way we do business change for the better. The internet has brought about a level of transparency that creates opportunity, but also a level of uncertainty. The way we find information, communicate, and access products and services is constantly evolving, leaving businesses that don’t keep up struggling to attract customers and retain them.
The changes to the ways we interact with the world around us create challenges for business owners, but also opportunities. If your business is positioned to take advantage of these changes, you’ll be in a good place.
Step 2: Identify Your Goals and Objectives
The next step is to set your goals and objectives. Just because you’ve created a strategy doesn’t mean you’ll immediately start seeing results. It will take time for you to fully implement your plan and see the results you’re looking for. So, it’s important to set short-term and long-term goals.
Even though you might have a clear idea of what you’re looking for in the short term, it’s important to set longer-term goals as well. These will help you determine how well your strategy is going and if you need to make any changes. Remember: strategy is a living thing and will evolve and change as new information comes in.
The first set of goals you’ll want to consider are those related to your product or service. If you’re establishing a retail store, you’ll want to set a goal of having 25 customers come in during the day. If you’re establishing a digital marketing agency, you’ll want to set a goal of driving traffic to your site from social media channels. Whatever it may be, you need to consider the goals and objectives that are most relevant to your business.
Step 3: Research The Market
You’ve determined that your product or service is relevant to your target audience, which is great! The next step is to research the market. This is a critical step because the market determines your pricing, determines to a certain extent the value you place on your product, and helps you create a unique selling proposition (USP).
A product’s market share is the proportion of the total number of a product’s sales that is attributed to the business or organization that produces or sells it. If you’re looking to buy a product, market share is the number one consideration you’ll need to make. If you’re looking to sell a product, market share is the first consideration that needs to be established.
You also need to consider the types of customers you’ll attract with your product or service. If you’re in the retail space and your products are associated with a luxury brand, you’ll want to analyze the type of person that is more likely to buy your product. Are they looking for a premium item or a value-driven deal?
Step 4: Determining The Marketing Mix
After you’ve established your product or service, you’ll need to determine the marketing mix. Your marketing mix is the combination of your product (or service), the marketing tools you’ll use to get the word out there, and the channels through which you’ll disseminate your message.
You might have heard of marketing mix theory, which was first developed by marketing professor Harry Alligood in the 1950s. He argued that there is “more than one way” to market a product, and each method has its own mathematical equation that determines how effective it will be. You need to consider the type of customer you’re trying to attract, what platforms they’re most likely to use, and the value they place on your product. This way, you can determine which method of marketing to use and how much effort to put into each one.
Step 5: Create Key Insights
Your strategy is now complete! You’ve determined the major goals and objectives of your business, set a time horizon, and created a marketing plan. The only thing left to do is to create key insights. Key insights are specific and memorable facts, figures, or details that can be used to describe, in a concise yet comprehensive manner, the main features, benefits, and distinguishing aspects of your product or service.
You’re probably wondering what made this step so critical. The reason is that these key insights will form the backbone of your marketing campaign. If you want to bring back a customer or potential customer who has wandered away, you’ll have the data to do so. If you want to grow your business in a certain market segment, you’ll have the data to back up your claim. If you decide to pivot and enter a new market segment, your data will help you establish your market position.
When creating this part of your marketing strategy, it’s important to consider the platforms your target audience is most likely to be on. If you want to attract millennial customers to your retail store, you’ll want to focus on digital marketing trends and platforms they’re using. If you want to sell your products online, you’ll want to create compelling content that draws in customers.
Once you’ve created these key insights, it’s time to put your marketing plan into action. This is where you’ll roll out your various marketing and digital marketing campaigns. It’s important to note that many businesses fail to follow through on their strategies, so it’s essential you take this stage seriously. If you put in the effort, it will be well worth it.