When your B2B marketing does NOT deliver measurable results…

... Accept that some things need to change, right now

The lack of proven, measurable business results is a notorious problem for many marketing managers in B2B selling companies. Why?

  • Because it takes more than marketing to close a deal? Because there are simply too many inseparable factors involved?
  • Because your prospects' and customers’ buying processes are too long and winding to monitor and analyze in a controlled, quantifiable way?
  • Because of the numerous (known and unknown) decision-makers and influencers around the customer organization? 
  • Because your sales reps have other priorities and time perspectives; different ideas of "branding" and "customer relations". Which should ultimately be the same thing.
  • Or because your budgets are not corresponding to your visions and objectives?

If one or several of these answers come anywhere near to yours, here is one strategic approach that should lead you in the right direction:

  1. Accept that you cannot afford to reach and penetrate all potential customers, at least not right now. So focus your marketing budget (or a significant part of it) on the relatively few companies that your sales organizations have defined as most worthwhile to work with. After all, nothing is likely to happen without their active and wholehearted participation.
  2. Accept that their challenge is not the number of leads you shovel in their direction, but qualifying them. And driving the great ones through all sorts of hurdles and delays on the buying journey. Month after month, until the contract is signed. So, imagine if your marketing activities, tailored to the needs of the specific prospect, could evolve in time and in tune with that buying journey?
  3. Accept that your sales reps may not reach the ultimate decision makers. Oftentimes they get through to the purchasing officer and/or the technical specialist, but not to the top management team. Or not to the end users, who often have the final say.
  4. Accept that all the individual stakeholders in your targeted companies have their own priorities and challenges, and that they are often very skeptical to regular advertising or PR messages and content. So, make sure to offer them relevant, honest, inspiring, educational content without the sell. Monitor which companies are triggered by what, and let your sales reps know. They will love you for it.
  5. Accept that this is rather different from everything that you have done before. And that your current marketing budget is partly a function of which proven ROIs you have delivered in the past. That kind of proof would obviously require continuous monitoring of your contribution to each sales process.

These are rather humbling thoughts, aren’t they? The question is what you are going to do about it, and when?

Rolf Andersson
Senior Writer & Strategist at Freya News

Download: Account-Based Marketing, where to begin?

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