04.11.2018

3 Common Challenges for B2B Marketers and How to Combat Them


By Brandee Johnson


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If you’re a B2B marketer, you likely experience some of the common challenges that I often talk with business leaders about. What’s your plan to address and overcome them? There are three challenges that seem to be the most common. Let's dive into each one and learn how to combat them. 

Challenge 1: 90% of B2B purchasing process occurs before sales reps get involved

According to Forrester Research, your B2B prospects are doing their own work through the first 90% of the purchasing process without any contact with your sales team. They are doing research online, talking to their network for referrals, and educating themselves way before raising their hand to engage with you. To make it even harder, over 50% of vendors are eliminated by this time, meaning your brand has a significantly low risk of making that cut.

 

How to combat this challenge?

Invest in top of funnel marketing programs that reach the target audience wherever they are online before they’ve been driven to the company website. A strong SEO and content marketing strategy is key. 

Implement lead generation programs that convert anonymous site visitors into know leads so that you can further engage with them to be involved in the top 90% of their purchasing process. In today’s world, approximately 93 percent of online experiences begin with a search engine. It's important to understand how using SEO can generate online leads

 

Challenge 2: The buying process for B2B is typically long and entails multiple layers of decision making

Because the sales cycle can take many weeks or months, many B2B marketers lose track of leads in the pipeline who once showed interest.  Despite best efforts of the sales and marketing teams, nurturing leads at all points in the customer journey is difficult, and for Sales Reps specifically, you want their focus on marketing qualified leads, not the cold leads at the top of the funnel.

 

How to combat this challenge?

Use lead nurture campaigns to foster ongoing conversation throughout this long buying process keeping your brand and product top of mind and tracking prospect online behavior to identify where they are at in the customer journey so that you can deliver relevant content each step of the way. Keep in mind that your website must have a defined and measurable purpose to successfully run lead nurture campaigns. If one of these five attributes applies to your current site, then it is outdated

 

Download the Guide to Understanding the Customer Journey and learn to  personalize your marketing to your target audience.

 

How do you deliver relevant content to so many leads over a long duration? Marketing automation paired with a defined customer journey help marketers deliver personalized and relevant content at scale to nurture leads through the process. We’d love to help you assess if marketing automation is right for your business - contact us to learn more.

 

Challenge 3: Tracking and measuring value attribution across marketing programs

Effective B2B marketers understand the importance of using a multi-channel marketing strategy that reaches the target audience across channels and devices. The challenge is measuring and understanding what programs make a difference and influence conversion.

Because of this, many marketers over-invest in bottom of the funnel programs that bare easier to track and measure because they are closest to the sale conversion.

 

How to combat this challenge?

The key to measuring a multi-channel program starts with building a defined foundation around:

The role that each program channel is intended to play in the marketing mix. For example, for your brand the goal of social media could be to gain brand awareness and the goal of a lead nurture email campaign could be to nurture prospects to sales ready leads.

Once the role of each channel is defined, define metrics to each program that align to its purpose. For example, brand awareness via social media could be measured by the number of Facebook interactions and an email campaign could be measured by the number of qualified leads passed to sales.

 

If any of these challenges resonate with you and you’d like to talk about ways to improve, we’d love to talk with you. Contact us for a free consultation.

 

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Topics: Digital Marketing, Web Strategy

Brandee Johnson

Written by Brandee Johnson

Brandee Johnson is an avid marketing expert with a passion for helping businesses achieve growth through data-driven marketing programs. She believes in building marketing systems and starting with strategy before tactics.