If you run a business-to-business (B2B) company or are responsible for sales in one, chances are you've given more thought to marketing than you did a decade ago. Gone are the days of marketing being 'brochures and golf balls with our logo on them'. Marketing has a major impact on the growth and success of B2B companies now. Here are 5 ways marketing impacts growth.
Is your company the best kept secret in your industry?
That's a problem. (Unless you don't want to be successful as a business.)
There are probably thousands of potential customers who would work with your company - if only they knew you exist.
Raising awareness is one of the primary roles of marketing.
How can you raise awareness?
It's about getting your company's name out in the marketplace, consistently, credibly and constantly. And you want to get your company name out not to everyone, but especially among your target customers.
There are dozens of ways to raise awareness. You can publish a blog to share your expertise, issue press releases to share your company news, speak at conferences to get in front of potential buyers, run LinkedIn campaigns to promote your company name, attend industry events to meet others, or run webinars in partnership with trade associations to promote your solutions.
And those are just a handful of the ways that companies raise awareness, which impacts their ability to attract new customers and grow.
2. Lead generation
Lead generation is consistently ranked the number one priority of B2B marketers.
Do enough qualified leads come to your company through the phone or website? If not, lead generation tactics will help you accelerate your growth.
Brand awareness and lead generation go hand-in-hand in B2B marketing. You can spend lots of money trying to generate leads in B2B, but if you have no credibility (which comes from awareness) in the market, very few prospects will do business with you.
3. Sales support
Does your sales team have effective materials and tools to convert prospects into customers? Since over 46% of B2B purchases involve more than four individuals, your sales people probably needs materials to help them make the sale.
Marketing is playing a larger role in sales enablement - the intersection between sales and marketing, where many B2B companies have a gap that leads to lost opportunities and wasted budgets.
There are other roles that marketing plays in making the sales team efficient and effective. Ensuring the success of sales people at trade shows and helping to nurture prospects who aren't ready to purchase are two of them.
4. Customer retention & growth
Are customers loyal and doing more business with your company each year?
Marketing can ensure they will and can assist sales people with customer communication, freeing up their time to develop new business opportunities by using more personal methods. Use communication channels like newsletters and social media to share updates and company news with your customer champions. Additionally, consult with Sales to develop campaigns to assist with their up-sell and cross sell strategies.
5. Marketing strategy
And last but not least - in fact, probably most important - nothing has a bigger impact on business success than your marketing strategy.
Your marketing strategy is what you offer, who you offer it to, and how you offer it.
When you spend time working on your marketing strategy, you're planning the future success of your business. You're making sure that you understand your customers' needs and what they want, and that you know how to communicate with them so they understand what you offer.
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