Since the arrival of COVID-19, we have seen a wave of marketing layoffs, reductions in marketing budgets, and the onset of “panic marketing”. Azadeh Wiliams looks at five annoying B2B marketing tactics and how to avoid them.
Marketers have been in constant “panic mode” trying to do more with less since the pandemic. But it risks creating the perfect storm in which marketers, desperate to fill the lead generation funnel, will go to dark, scary, and often disturbing places in their marketing strategies. Here are five things to avoid when marketing B2B.
Email Marketing Overload
So you have set up an automated GED flow, congratulations. But overuse of email marketing can end up looking like spam in your prospects’ inbox. According to hubspotone of the common reasons customers unsubscribe from emails is because they “don’t offer content, promotions, or coupons” that the brand described when marketing the subscription.
Now is the time to be more empathetic, to provide more practical, educational and useful information to your prospects so that they benefit from your communication, and not just difficult “sales” messages.
Thinking that “ads” equals “marketing”
Another annoying B2B marketing tactic is bombarding prospects with social ads, sponsored content, and Google Ads. The idea is that “ad serving equals marketing”. Yes, advertising has its place in the marketing mix. But just paying for “ad space” without considering organic inbound marketing as part of a long-term strategy is very expensive and unsustainable. Organic content and earned media placement activities can be easily scaled, create a variety of engaging content for your prospects, build trust, and help build an authentic community around your brand.
Trying to be someone’s “show”
In the age of digital and data-driven marketing, trying to do everything all the time will not only annoy your co-workers, but it could also mean you’re so tense that you’re making fatal marketing decisions or mistakes, which can annoy, offend or disturb your prospects and customers. Gone are the days when you could jump in with a plan and then try to execute it all solo.
B2B marketers simply don’t have the resources anymore. They don’t have the money or the time. So it’s about being much more focused. If there’s a priority in your marketing that you don’t have the skills to execute, consider reaching out to a specialist agency, who can fill that gap in your marketing mix.
Complacency and repetition
Another tactic that will undoubtedly end up boring your customers is to do the same thing over and over again. You have to keep testing and learning. We are going through a bumpy recovery that could last another 18 months to two years. So don’t wait for things to settle, keep going to market and keep testing to find out what works for you now.
When time and resources are scarce, one of the things that often fails is marketers forgetting to make their expectations clear to their media or marketing partners. They will forget to give clear and honest feedback, or they will complicate briefs, interfere with the process and cause delays. So if you want to get the most out of your partners, take the time to have collaborative conversations naturally, and in a very open and honest way. Otherwise, you are just destined to waste money, waste time and annoy your partners.
turn the corner
As we look to 2022, the pandemic has caused us all to rethink what it really means to be in business – and growth can only come from investing in strategic partnerships and scalable, innovative marketing activities. The future of B2B marketing is about having a clear focus on driving real growth through innovative, creative, and engaging tactics — and that’s exciting.