12 B2B Marketing Dilemmas All Marketers Face At Some Point (And How to Fix Them)

B2B Marketing, Marketing

By Guest Author, Lexi Lu:

Every year, and with the introduction of new technologies and solutions, there comes a swath of new challenges. As a result, marketers face a growing number of dilemmas, some incredibly common and others not so much. And it doesn’t matter if you have years of experience or you just started out in the industry; you will face complications all the same.

Here are some of the dilemmas you can expect to encounter, as well as what you can do to overcome them.

1. Generating Traffic and Leads

B2C and B2B marketers alike stand to face an incredible challenge when it comes to generating leads and boosting traffic. Drumming up demand for content, marketing experiences and engagement remains difficult. It gets worse as competition increases and more content floods the market.

What to Do About It

The best and only way to combat this problem is to ensure you produce high-quality content yourself or use reputable content writing services, which provide incredible and genuine value to your audience, which provides incredible value to your audience. What is it they want, and how are you helping them?

Understanding the type of content your audience wants to see most is also crucial for generating more attention. Producing videos, for example, as opposed to text-based articles and blogs may get more eyes on your brand.

2. Measuring True ROI

Marketing, in general, is tough to quantify and measure at times. But even if you can measure your return accurately, there’s the matter of demonstrating that value to fellow investors, management and the rest of your business.

What to Do About It

Before building a marketing campaign, consider how you can track and measure returns. Establish clear performance metrics, and then decide upon a target. You can always move the goal post later if you want to achieve more, so start with something manageable.

Stick with one or two metrics that support your goals. Bounce and click-through rates, for example, will show user interest. The total amount of visits or leads generated might reveal the effectiveness of campaigns. Customer lifetime value and acquisition costs will show you if your campaign is worth the monetary investment.

There are many more metrics you can track, of course, just focus on what relates to your objective(s), whatever that is.

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3. Staying in Budget

Every marketing team has a budget, which may be big or small, but the goal is to remain inside those boundaries while staying efficient and capable. That’s no easy feat, and it limits your total resources in many cases.

What to Do About It

To start, find a way to calculate and maintain ROI. Once you understand the value your marketing campaigns bring to the table, you can discern what works and what doesn’t.

Next, learn to apply small business marketing techniques to your active campaigns. An SMB is generally limited in resources and must work within a restrictive budget. Learning to do more with less, even when you have a big budget available, gives you a lot more wiggle room in the long run.

Even something as simple as installing unique or well-placed signage can have a massive effect on traffic. Poor quality or inadequate signage is responsible for 60% of customers’ decisions not to enter a business. Upgrading signage is not a big ticket item, which highlights the need to know and understand some of the smaller, yet just as effective changes you can make.

Finally, for each campaign or action choose a single goal. This can evolve and change over time as your campaign picks up momentum, but focusing on a single achievement will help you organize your efforts.

4. Staying Consistent

With most marketing campaigns — content marketing especially — it’s important to remain consistent and steady. When you have a lot on your plate, this is easier said than done. More importantly, you need to keep the same tone and voice throughout the scope of your campaign. Swapping from whimsical to professional and then to something more profound and philosophical will create a lot of noise, and not the kind you want.

What to Do About It

Align your tone and message with your goals, but also consider your branding. How will your campaign reflect on your company’s reputation? Sometimes it’s great to have a quirky tone, while other times it’s better to stay rigid and professional.

To ensure things remain consistent and on schedule, create an initial plan and then stick to it. It’s okay to make minor changes to the plan based on performance and real-time data — you will need to — just don’t change the important elements like tone, schedule, and activity. For example, if you pledge to publish a blog once a week on Wednesday then never stray from that objective.

With social media and certain marketing campaigns, it’s possible to automate the menial tasks. This helps keep things consistent even when you aren’t. Marketing automation is an incredible tool for the modern age. Take advantage of it!

5. Adopting or Choosing New Tech

Technology continually evolves which means many new tools, solutions, and opportunities will come available even throughout the course of an active campaign. This makes things particularly difficult, because one tool may work better than an existing solution.

What to Do About It

Unless it’s absolutely necessary, do not adopt or deploy new technologies in the middle of an active campaign. For better or worse, stick with what’s available until your current operation has completed. The only exception is a perpetually ongoing campaign that may not have a defined finish line.

In between campaigns, take some time to assess newly available tools and solutions and consider how they might help you reach your objective. That’s the key, measure everything based on your current objective or goals. The tool may seem great — and may receive a lot of praise — but if it doesn’t provide value to you, there’s no point in using it.

6. Keeping Up with Mobile Trends

It’s hard enough targeting consumers on the move, let alone professionals in the highly-competitive B2B world. A telling 68% of marketers believe it’s crucial they have experience in mobile content marketing. Even so, there’s no question about how difficult it is to keep up with mobile trends and opportunities.

What to Do About It

Don’t worry so much about the bleeding edge. Instead, focus on optimizing your primary mobile portal, whether that’s a responsive or mobile-friendly site or a native app. Be sure the design tailors to bite-sized, on-the-go experiences. Try to summarize copy as much as you can, make use of videos and visual media and remain expressive.

A/B testing and customer feedback can really help with optimization. You may learn things about the experience or design that you wouldn’t have otherwise.

7. Building Your Team

Successful marketing requires talent, experience and a certain degree of self-motivation. That also means it’s difficult to find team members or employees who can really make things happen in the field. Other businesses constantly chase talent, making the whole ecosystem ridiculously competitive. If you find good team members, there’s the chance they’ll leave for something better.

What to Do About It

If you’re looking for in-house talent, consider promoting from within or hiring with the means to train. It works best if you pair a relatively new team member with someone who’s worked with the company for a while and has experience, as a sort of mentorship.

If you must hire from outside, try to keep the entire process minimal and fast. Most brands tend to have a prolonged hiring process which leads to them missing out on potential talent. You can also look into outsourcing certain marketing tasks, or hiring an inbound marketing agency altogether.

8. Global Marketing Campaigns

Your marketing has to speak directly to your audience, which means you must provide them with a message, content, and experience that relates to their lifestyle. This is still very much true in the B2B world; only your focus usually speaks to a more corporate or professional audience.

It all becomes incredibly difficult, however, when you have to venture outside your local region or country. Relating to an international audience seems insurmountable at times.

What to Do About It

Obviously, create content and experiences with your international audiences in mind. To do this, make sure you take the time to research and understand who they are, and what they want. Their needs may not align with the needs of your domestic customers, so don’t assume they will. Be sure to consider foreign monetary values, holidays and culture, local events and competing products or services.

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9. Maintaining Existing Relationships

You may be so focused on generating leads and landing customer acquisitions that you forget entirely about your existing install base. It’s challenging keeping a balance between the two channels. Not to mention, it’s often more costly to acquire new customers than it is to work on retaining old ones.

What to Do About It

The best way to strengthen a relationship with existing customers is to open communications with them. It moves beyond conventional marketing techniques and closer to customer support.

Engage with your community on social media, online forums, and wikis, and also open up exclusive surveys to gather insights. Learn as much as you can about your loyal audience and then use that information to make them happier — in return this will keep them around longer.

10. Cloning Your Success

Succeed or fail, it’s always important to learn from past decisions, events, and experiences. That information can be applied to future campaigns, not just to see them improved but also to take your team in new directions.

As useful as it is, it’s certainly difficult to take your past success and improve upon it without replicating it exactly as-is. How do you share in that success and keep moving? It’s a fine balance because sometimes even the smallest adjustments can sink your efforts.

What to Do About It

Advanced data analysis is an incredibly powerful tool to this end, especially predictive analytics. It can help you gather and organize a vast amount of statistics and digital content, allowing you to delve deeper than ever before. More importantly, the related systems can extract valuable insights that you would have never gleaned otherwise. Take advantage of modern data metrics and build every campaign around your intelligence process.

11. Standing Out

At this point, it sure seems like every unique marketing opportunity has been exhausted. The market is so competitive that many things seem cliche and boring. That makes it incredibly difficult to stand out, even more so to garner just a small slice of attention.

What to Do About It

Strengthening your SEO strategies can help generate new leads and traffic naturally. You should do that anyway, however.

Another strategy is to branch out and simply try new markets, new opportunities and honor various promotions. If your marketing takes place online, try getting involved with your local community or live events. Make in-person and physical appearances with the appropriate promotional materials. Adversely, if you spend a lot of time in your local community, explore some new online channels like social media, forums or new mediums like video content on YouTube.

12. Injecting the ‘Human Touch’

Even in the B2B world, it’s important to honor a bit of philanthropy and introduce the human component. This could happen by deploying green, environmentally-friendly operations, or it could be about improving the B2B community as a whole. When you focus on strengthening your business and general marketing efforts, it’s easy to forget about the social element.

What to Do About It

Remember that supporting your community and society at large can win the hearts of your audience, and it will also generate much-needed trust. This leads to new customers and prospective clients offering stronger support and allows existing customers to grow more loyal. In other words, it’s worth the investment.

As for how to go about it, simply review your local community and consider ways in which you can pitch in. For bigger businesses, you could reduce emissions and your energy footprint or become more eco-friendly. For smaller business, you can support your local community, contribute to the economy and support your neighbors.

Stay Vigilant and You Will Overcome

Many of the marketing dilemmas or problems discussed here are fairly easy to overcome with the right amount of planning, persistence, and action. It’s important to remember that even in the B2B community, it’s about the experiences you provide your customers — it’s about people. Keep that in mind, work on optimizing the care and service you provide, and you’ll see overwhelming returns.

Lexi Lu

Guest Contributor Lexie Lu headshot

Lexie Lu is a web designer and UX content strategist. She enjoys covering topics related to UX design, web design, social media and branding. Feel free to subscribe to her design blog, Design Roast, or follow her on Twitter @lexieludesigner.

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