What are the Most Effective B2B Marketing Approaches in 2021?
April 1, 2021 •Mason Cosby
As the second quarter of 2021 starts up, you are probably wondering what are the most effective marketing approaches to propel your growth as COVID comes to an end.
As the world starts to open back up, we must realize we are not going back to normal. The world has changed and we can’t go back to how business has always been done.
People like having control of their time. They like the convenience of contactless everything. People have complete access to anything they want from home.
Your customer desire for control, convenience, and access isn’t going to end with their Netflix account. If you can create an experience that provides control, convenience, and access to your prospects, you will have more customers.
So as we approach the new Hybrid normal, here are a few B2B marketing approaches you should consider to start turning your hesitant prospects into happy customers.
Clarifying Your Message
Did you know the average American encounters 3000 marketing messages daily? They are inundated by a sea of noise and they just need to know what your company does to overcome their problem and help them succeed.
Unfortunately, many companies have a website that doesn’t clearly explain what they actually offer. When people don’t know what is being offered, they don’t buy.
We were all sold a lie that marketing had to be cute or clever to work. That’s why many websites meet potential customers with words like “Innovation, Integrity, and Inspiration.” Those words sound nice, but they don’t mean anything.
A project management software website could say “Triple your workforce without adding a single hire.” This statement provides clarity. If you are a company struggling with productivity and project management, you would immediately be interested.
That’s what you want to do for your customers. You want to immediately identify their pain, and frame your product as the solution. Then you want to drive that message so consistently that your brand becomes associated as the go-to company for solving their specific problem.
How does this give the customer control, convenience, and access?
When you have a clear message, people that need your product will engage. Those that don’t, won’t.
By eliminating confusion, customers have the control and convenience to more easily say yes or no and they have enough access to good information to ensure they are confident in their answer.
The best approach we have found for creating a clear and compelling message is the StoryBrand framework. Using a 7-Part framework, you can craft a clear message that is proven to drive results.
We would all love to secure a contract with Amazon. Cool company. Actually helps people. Some serious $$$$ and you’d be on their good side when they eventually launch for world domination.
There are probably a few other companies you would love to work with. Write those companies down, and you are one step closer to running account-based marketing.
“Account-Based Marketing (ABM) is a strategy used by B2B marketers to identify and target the accounts they value most. ABM solutions include account-based data and tech to help companies attract, engage, convert, and then measure progress against customers and prospects at scale.” (*Demandbase)
There are a few reasons Account-Based Marketing will work as COVID comes to an end. First, the customers are empowered with actionable information. Second, the experience is personalized. Lastly, focuses more on building relationships than converting leads.
So many B2B companies have done only outbound marketing. Cold calls, cold emails, and cold LinkedIn messages have left your pipeline cold.
These cold outreaches have a place in marketing, but when used exclusively, you give your buyers no control in the customer journey.
With ABM, you stop blasting out the same message to your entire email list and start sending out 100 personalized messages to those companies you actually want to do business with. These messages are an invitation to engage. You provide relevant and insightful advice pertinent to their business.
You give the customers access to the information they need. You let them control the pace. You give them the convenience to engage when they are ready.
With Account-Based Marketing, what tends to happen are deals become larger, close more quickly, and more prospects become customers. When customers have more control in the process, they begin to get excited, and mentally invested.
Once they are mentally invested, they are willing to go the extra mile to ensure approval from the team, get the additional funding to ensure success, and do what it takes to sell your company internally as the best option.
By creating a more personalized marketing experience, your prospects feel like they are being invited into a relationally-founded partnership instead of buying a product.
If you’re interested in learning how ABM could massively benefit your company, schedule a call today.
As mentioned earlier, many B2B companies are currently using outbound marketing methods like cold email promotions, LinkedIn messages, and cold calling. Another term for outbound marketing would be traditional marketing. The idea is to just send as much out of the door as possible, and see what comes back.
Inbound marketing by its nature has potential customers coming to you and asking to purchase your products. Your sales team starts to more directly engage after the prospect has already raised their hand and said “I’m interested.”
According to HubSpot, “Inbound marketing is a business methodology that attracts customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to them.” The focus is on creating valuable content for your ideal customers so they begin to trust you, and eventually buy from you.
The simplest way to start with inbound marketing would be to look at the questions your customers are asking, then create content that answers those questions.
This marketing approach works because the prospect controls when and how the sales team engages. Your sales team becomes less focused on simply selling and more focused on educating the prospect towards the best option for their business.
By serving the relevant educational content as it’s needed, you provide accessibility to the customer to fully understand what they are buying.
Lastly, by equipping the customer with the ability to indicate to the sales team through online forms they are ready to purchase, they have the convenience to start when they are ready.
When you start to create content that matters to your audience, they will flock to your website, start to trust you, and want to partner with you.
After reading about ABM and Inbound marketing, you might be wondering “What’s the real difference”. They both seem to focus on creating content for your ideal customers.
Here’s the difference.
With Inbound marketing, you are creating content for an ideal persona based on traits you see frequently within your customers. For example, you create content for CEOs of E-Commerce companies.
With ABM, you are creating content for a specific company or even a specific person in a company. For example, you create content for Jeff Bezos of Amazon.
If you have been around marketers for any length of time, you have probably heard someone call themselves a “growth-hacker.” Though that sounds like a bit of a made-up title like “marketing ninja” and “marketing unicorn”, growth hacking is actually a business approach.
Growth marketing takes the growth hacking formula and translates it into an incredibly effective marketing approach.
Growth marketing is a framework for building sustainable growth. The framework focuses on data-driven decisions to acquire, activate, and retain customers and ultimately turn them into referral sources for your brand.
The idea here is that you never really stop marketing to your customers. Marketing starts to take part in every stage of your customer journey.
For growth marketing to work, you need to have every team in your company working on the same goals. It’s no longer about marketing securing leads, sales securing deals, and customer service solving problems. It’s now about creating a holistic and engaging customer experience.
For this to work effectively, you need to have systems in place to track and report actionable data. With the data you receive, you then need to test constantly to see what will yield the best results. Once you know something works, double down and test something else.
One important note about growth marketing is that, unlike the previous three approaches, growth marketing isn’t a methodology. Growth marketing is a mindset.
Growth marketing focuses more on asking “why” instead of “what” or “how”. Once you have determined the why (the goal of the company) you can assess how to best unify your teams and serve your customers.
Growth marketing will work for customers today because the entire approach focuses on creating a unified front to better serve customers.
So Which One is Best for You?
After having read this, you know the four best approaches to marketing in 2021. Now, where do you start?
If you have no idea if you have a clear brand message, that means your customers don’t know either. You should start there. Schedule a call to discuss a StoryBrand messaging workshop.
If you have a clear message, start with Inbound Marketing. The goal here is to create content for a general audience which is often easier than an incredibly targeted audience.
If you have a target list of clients you know you want to reach, ABM is for you. Start creating content dedicated to specific accounts.
If you want to unify your entire team together to focus on the goals of sustainability and growth, then growth marketing is for you. Start by clarifying your “why”, then come back here to assess where to begin.
After reading this, you may realize you need some help getting started. If that’s you, one of our Growth Consultants would love to talk through how Mojo can partner with you. Schedule a call today.
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