Better B2B Marketing Strategies: 2013 Marketing Plan Ideas

A dozen practical ideas and B2B marketing strategies for your 2013 B2B marketing plan including planning by objectives, generating awareness, acquiring prospects, nurturing prospects, and qualifying sales leads in order to get better results.

Planning Your Marketing By Objectives

Get better results by prioritizing measureable marketing objectives and B2B marketing strategies and using them to identify gaps and opportunities in your plan.  Planning by objectives focuses on the strategies, programs, and tactics needed to deliver.  And measureable objectives make it possible to measure and track your progress, test and compare tactics, and more effectively report your results.  This chart lists 4 B2B marketing objectives and what to measure to evaluate performance:

Generating Awareness
&
Acquiring Prospects
B2B Marketing Strategies: VisitorsB2B Marketing Strategies: Prospects
  • How many find you & your expertise
  • How many become identified prospects & give permission for contact
Nurturing
Prospects
  • How many are engaging with your credentials
Qualifying
Sales Readiness
B2B Marketing Strategies: MQL
  • How many meet qualified lead criteria
  • How many meet are signaling readiness to buy

Using Playbook Planning To Plan & Execute Programs

With fewer targets, who are difficult to reach, and even more challenging to influence, your B2B marketing strategies have to be hard working.  Get more out of your effort by planning integrated marketing activities that work together as a program instead of a collection of tactics.  Start with the objective for the program, focus on a specific target so you can develop more effective call to action offers, and then ask what channels and activities you should include in the program.  Ask what inbound, outbound, social, and paid channels could support the program.    And evaluate what you could do before, during, and after the key activity.  Finally identify the metrics you need to asses performance against the objective.

Here is a quick B2B marketing strategies program template to help you plan:

Objective •Acquisition
•Nurturing
•Conversion

Target •Firma-graphics
•Role
•Need/Pain

CTA&
Offer/Content
•Call to action
•Best performing offers/content

Activity:
Channel &
Tactical Mix
•Past Results
•Reach
•Ability to execute
•Measurability
•Inbound
•Event
•Outbound
•Social
•Paid
•Pre
•During
•Post

Creative •Copy
•Design
•Concept

Timing •Start
•End date/ongoing

Measuring
Results
•Qualified Inbound Traffic
•New Prospect Acquisition
•Prospect Activity Scoring
•MQL

 

B2B Marketing Strategies: Generating Awareness & Acquiring Prospects

Most marketing plans include events (tradeshows, conferences, roadshows, webinars, etc) and paid media (PPC advertising, sponsorships, e-blasts) because they have been in past plans and they can generate predictable results.  Two newer program types worth testing include inbound marketing and social publishing.

Inbound marketing & social publishing

Inbound marketing leverages what prospect want to know about what you know.  Prospects want information to understand their landscape and make better business decisions.  And they know they can often get that information through you.  Inbound marketing works to connect you with prospects actively looking for that information.  But to reach these prospects you need to make your subject matter expertise easier to find.

Here are seven inbound marketing and social publishing ideas worth testing:

  • Develop and publish better content by targeting what your customer is looking for at each stage of their decision process
  • Optimize your prospect resource center to make your subject matter expertise easier to find
  • Publish your marketing content on a custom Slideshare Channel
  • Use LinkedIn to share relevant content with your target audience
  • Use sidebars with tiered calls to action: raise your hand offers, get more information, and subscribe.
  • Feature more content links on your home page
  • Optimize form completions by offering more relevant content (ie access to what customers want to know)

B2B Marketing Strategies: Nurturing Prospects

Advances in marketing technology have enabled increased prospect nurturing.  But the key to successful nurturing is matching nurturing tactics to audience behaviour.  No prospects want to be continually spammed with conversion offers or new product announcements; instead they want information relevant to what they want to know.   Try thinking like a magazine publisher who has the objective of engaging their readership.  For example:

  • When prospects are actively researching they want information directly related to what they are looking for.  So test relevant “For More Information” links in your thank you content, autoresponders, sidebars and at the end of every content asset.
  • When they are not actively researching, you need to spark their interest.  Try sharing popular or new content that answers the question “What’s my problem?”, “What are my peers doing”, “What are my peers reading?”.  And give them lots of potential links in a digest format so they can easily find and choose their own adventure.

B2B Marketing Strategies: Qualifying Sales Readiness

The final objective in this list is qualifying prospect sales readiness with lead scoring.  This is challenging because out of the box scoring rules and a lack of sales readiness offers and activities reduce scoring accuracy.  Here at two ideas to test for 2013:

  • Focus on Marketing Qualification (MQL): ie is a lead worth sending to sales for a follow-up to see if they are ready to buy.
  • Test Sales Readiness Offers such as “Request a hands-on demonstration”, “Project & Pricing”, “Get a Free Consultation”, or “Get a ROI Analysis”