Sinefa Chief Product Officer Sukesh Garg examined key challenges that B2B marketers face – and how to overcome these challenges – during his keynote presentation at the 2019 CMO Forum: B2B Marketing in the Digital Era in San Francisco on January 31. In his presentation, “Tackling the Biggest Challenges in B2B Marketing,” Garg offered tips to help B2B marketers identify and address challenges.
B2B marketers are constantly challenged. Meanwhile, new challenges arise every day, and B2B marketers must be ready to adapt to these challenges. Because if B2B marketers cannot resolve challenges, these marketers are unlikely to help a business accomplish its desired results.
For B2B marketers, the customer journey consists of three components: awareness, consideration and purchase. Yet awareness should be present throughout the customer journey, and B2B marketers must do everything possible to foster brand awareness during this journey.
“Awareness is at every single stage of the customer’s journey,” Garg said. “At every point in the customer’s journey, marketing plays a role.”
There is no one-size-fits-all solution to engage customers throughout the customer journey. Instead, B2B marketers may consider a variety of tools to connect with customers.
Oftentimes, B2B marketers deploy state-of-the-art technologies in the hopes of driving customer engagement. These technologies, however, can quickly become outdated.
“Marketing is moving faster than any other piece of technology,” Garg pointed out. “What was new and innovative six months ago has become the norm. And what is new and innovative six months from now will become the norm.”
Merely deploying marketing technologies is insufficient. Without marketing technologies that help B2B marketers achieve meaningful results, a business risks missing out on opportunities to engage customers and drive sales.
B2B marketers must integrate technologies into their day-to-day operations so they can automate various everyday processes and achieve meaningful results. If B2B marketers evaluate the wide range of available technologies, they can discover and deploy technologies to collect and analyze data, stay in touch with customers throughout the customer journey and more.
Additionally, talent management and retention plays important roles in B2B marketing success.
Finding top talent is often difficult due to the significant demand for qualified professionals at businesses worldwide. To attract and retain top talent, B2B marketers should search for professionals who can support a company’s mission and goals. Then, B2B marketers can connect with these professionals and lay the foundation for successful partnerships.
“We need awesome talent – people who are fearless, creative and not afraid to ask the right questions,” Garg noted. “We need to ask if we have the right people who can ask the right questions in our organization.”
Furthermore, B2B marketers should employ professionals who prioritize communication and collaboration.
B2B marketers today must engage with multiple departments across a business. With the right staff in place, a B2B marketing team can partner with sales and other departments to help a company achieve its immediate and long-term goals.
“Having the right talent helps tremendously in creating a collaborative environment between sales and marketing,” Garg indicated.
Data analytics can help a B2B marketing team identify both opportunities and challenges, too.
If a B2B marketing team integrates data analytics into its everyday operations, it can retrieve customer insights. This team then can use customer insights to make faster, more informed decisions than ever before.
“You can connect multiple systems with a lot of data,” Garg said. “You can connect these systems and gain multiple insights.”
Developing metrics to track failures and successes is crucial for B2B marketers as well. Key performance indicators (KPIs) should be established and monitored regularly; that way, B2B marketers can keep pace with customers and explore innovative ways to meet customers’ expectations.
“If you have metrics handy, you can justify the value of a campaign,” Garg stated. “You can also provide a lot of visibility to sales about prospects and customers.”
B2B marketers also must constantly learn about a business’ target audience. If B2B marketers understand why customers may choose one brand over another, they can tailor their marketing campaigns accordingly.
“Trying to understand the customer and the customer persona requires us to understand the journey,” Garg indicated. “We need to identify the pain point when the customer’s expectations are not met.”
B2B marketers must tailor content to a company’s target audience. By producing informative, engaging content that falls in line with customer expectations, B2B marketers can drive brand awareness.
“Understanding what content is relevant at what stage of [the customer journey] is very important,” Garg pointed out.
Lastly, B2B marketers must define success in terms of a business’ clientele. If B2B marketers can fulfill customer requests, they can differentiate a brand from its rivals and foster loyalty.
“You have to figure out what success really means to the customer,” Garg noted. “If you know exactly how to make a customer successful … the customer will be loyal to you.”
Visit Argyle Executive Forum's 2019 CMO Think Tank: Driving Greater Business Impact in the Digital Age in Boston, MA on May 15, 2019