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How B2B Brands Can Map Marketing Strategy


How B2B Brands Can Map Marketing Strategy

Back in May, Emmanuel Probst shared that brand growth requires a full-funnel approach. While this is true for all brands, it becomes especially critical in B2B, where purchase cycles are usually much longer and involve multiple people with different responsibilities around the final purchase decision. Yet, in spite of this complexity, many marketers don’t invest the time required to understand what that funnel really looks like and the journey their customer is on.

Our industry is plagued by short-termism. While marketing must always demonstrate ROI, the obsession with it has kept executives focused on the kind of metrics that are the easiest to measure and the easiest to understand. For marketers to be able to prove value (and preserve budget), is it any surprise that a great majority of what’s done happens around those areas of measurement? And even if these activities are documented, they are tactical executions that should descend from a larger integrated strategy.

In order to ensure that the essence of your brand radiates from the core outwards, through the social business layer, the cross-media layer, all the way out where the human interactions take place; marketers need to understand what’s happening across all stages of the funnel so those brand values can be reflected across all marketing executions leading to sales. The best way to do this is by mapping everything out.

Integrated B2B Marketing Strategy Template

At last week’s B2B Marketing Forum in Boston, Jacob Hase shared a template for brands to document their marketing strategy. For many marketers, it’s not a question of whether it’s important to map, but rather a question of ‘how do I do it’ and ‘what do I need to document’. Here’s why this map is particularly effective for B2B brands:

  • It consolidates your marketing into a single view: from demand generation, all the way to nurture; which personas align to different buying stages; business goals and measurement; content and distribution.
  • You can share this with a larger team, or up-level the critical information into an executive deck. Marketing doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Product marketing, sales, vendors, all will have a unified understanding of the broad strategy which will absolutely drive more effective collaboration and optimization.
  • Any gaps between personas, content, sales, measurement will quickly be revealed so they can be addressed.

Marketing is not getting simpler. To believe marketing technology has made our jobs easier is a lie. Yes, technology has made it easier to scale, but in many ways, it only increases the need for even smarter strategies. And we need to keep getting smarter.

A few years ago, brands were dazzled by the engagement metrics of social media. Most no longer rely on their ‘number of likes’ as a measure of any importance. So too, the easy-to-measure metrics that feed so many real-time dashboards are part of the reason the ad-tech ethics debate is going on right now. If we continue to only measure success by clicks and conversions, we’ll be in more trouble.

As Emmanuel Probst argues, “Your measurement program should account for the impact of each and every brand/advertising impression on the outcome. Best-in-class programs rely on brand-infused Multi-Touch-Attribution (MTA), a process that combines attitudinal and behavioral data with statistical models to quantify the contribution of each touch point on the outcome. For example, your MTA model might reveal that retargeting accounts for 10% in the purchase decision, with display contributing 30%, native 15%, Connected TV 5% and social 40%.”

But you can’t do that sort of thing unless you know what all those touchpoints are along the customer journey.

The Blake Project Can Help: The B2B Brand Positioning Workshop

Branding Strategy Insider is a service of The Blake Project: A strategic brand consultancy specializing in Brand Research, Brand Strategy, Brand Licensing and Brand Education

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