Developing a B2B Marketing Strategy: Best Practices for Success

How to Create a B2B Marketing Strategy for Your Business

Marketing strategies play a pivotal role in a successful marketing effort. A robust strategy enables you to maximize your marketing budget, ensuring a tangible ROI. Establishing a sound B2B marketing strategy ensures that your marketing initiatives are not only focused and impactful but also closely aligned with your business’s overarching goals.

What Is a B2B Marketing Strategy?

A B2B marketing strategy is a roadmap for a business to attract and convert customers, communicate the advantages of a brand versus the competition, and encourage prospective employees to apply for open positions. It outlines the steps you’ll take to reach your target audience, generate interest in your products, and ultimately close deals.

Whether you’re a CEO looking to take your business to the next level, a VP of sales and marketing responsible for growing the top line, a marketing manager working overtime to meet a trade show deadline or an HR director who has to hire a second shift to make the month, a sound marketing strategy can make the difference between reaching your goals and coming up short. 

Medical device manufacturers, defense contractors, and independent healthcare companies all face the same challenge when creating a marketing strategy—where to start. Never fear. We’ve got you covered. 

Some B2B Marketing Strategy Examples

Depending on your goals, there are many types of marketing strategies. As a B2B marketer, you know marketing B2B products is different from B2C. So, it’s important to understand when each strategy is appropriate. Here’s a guide:

Branding Strategy

A branding strategy is a big-picture plan that helps a company create a unique identity in the marketplace and differentiate itself from competitors. It includes the visual side of a brand—logo, color palette, and graphics—as well as the non-visual side—brand story, unique value proposition, and tagline. The branding strategy must create an emotional connection with customers by delivering a consistent message across all mediums that reflects the company’s values, mission, and culture.

Brand Awareness Strategy

A brand awareness strategy is a collection of tactics assembled to improve and stay top of mind with customers. This consists of blogs, social media, email marketing, webinars, digital advertising campaigns, and PR. The goal of brand awareness strategies is to remain relevant in the minds of consumers, thereby increasing their likelihood of engaging with the brand with the ultimate goal of buying its products.

Marketing Communications Strategy

A marketing communications (marcom) strategy is created to help an organization accomplish its marketing goals and objectives. It involves using research to select the right combination of media, messages, and tools to reach target audiences. It includes tactics such as traditional advertising, direct mail, email, search engine optimization (SEO), and social media campaigns. The strategy must meet business objectives and budgets and should be monitored and evaluated for effectiveness. It’s important to have a written plan that lays out the marketing for 2-3 years. 

Lead Generation Strategy

A lead generation strategy is a plan focused on attracting the attention of potential customers with the goal of converting a call-to-action (CTA), such as “request more information” or “schedule a demo.” Lead gen strategies involve crafting relevant content in the way of blogs, product videos, and whitepapers for a target audience and providing an easy way to contact the company to identify and target potential customers, build relationships, and increase sales.

Talent Acquisition Marketing Strategy

A talent acquisition strategy is a comprehensive plan to identify and attract top talent to an organization. These strategies utilize job posting websites, career fairs, and employer branding campaigns to appeal to candidates. A well-thought-out plan targets prospective employees with interests that align with the company’s values and culture. Want to learn more? This helpful talent acquisition marketing guide has more information.

Website Strategy

A website strategy includes planning, creating, managing, and optimizing a website to achieve business objectives. It involves several aspects, such as website design and development, content creation, SEO, user experience (UX), and analytics. A website strategy is an essential part of any online business and should be carefully thought out and executed to ensure success. It is the first step in building a new website

How to Create a B2B Marketing Strategy

Having a well-defined marketing strategy helps companies differentiate themselves from competitors. It allows them to showcase their unique value propositions and strengths effectively, attracting customers and standing out in the market.

1. Collect a Lot of Data

Revel’s tried and true GROW process starts by gathering facts. This involves conducting market research. There are two types of research: 

Qualitative research relies on data obtained by the researcher from first-hand observation. It includes:

  • Focus Groups
  • Interviews

Qualitative is about exploration. It is used to discover and gain an in-depth understanding of individual experiences, thoughts, opinions, and trends. Questions are asked to start a discussion. It provides an ability to explore behaviors, perceptions, and experiences in depth. Results provide direction only—it is not conclusive, predictive, or replicable. 

Quantitative research focuses on the collection and analysis of data. It involves: 

  • Surveys
  • Secondary Research 

Quantitative is about the numbers. It is to quantify something by generating numerical data or data that can be transformed into usable statistics. All questions are asked exactly the same way, with answers provided. Quantitative research uncovers patterns in behavior, motivation, emotion, and cognition. Generally, the rule of thumb is that the larger the sample size, the more statistically significant it is—meaning there’s less of a chance that your results happened by coincidence.

These market research techniques are used in combination to provide an objective view of the target market’s motivations, which are key elements of converting prospects into customers. 

2. Create an Ideal Customer Profile

One of the main differences between B2B and B2C marketing is that multiple decision-makers are involved in buying decisions. For example, a product engineer might spec a product. Then, the director of engineering will confirm the product meets the project requirements. Finally, a procurement specialist will make the purchase. How do you market to such diverse audiences with different goals and challenges? Buyer personas are the key. 

Buyer personas are fictionalized representations of your ideal customers. A good rule of thumb is to identify the three most common job titles your business sells to. This should cover at least 80% of your sales. These are your personas. Next, fill in the following information for each:

  • Background Summary
  • Demographics
  • Identifiers
  • Goals
  • Challenges
  • Key Message

Each marketing effort should speak to one or more of the personas and clearly communicate how your product overcomes their challenges and will help them accomplish their goals.  

Check out our recommendations for creating personas for multiple decision-makers

3. Learn their Buying Journey

The buyer’s journey is the process a potential customer goes through when making a purchase decision. It usually consists of three phases:

Awareness

This is the initial phase of a purchasing decision when the buyer realizes they have a problem or need that requires a solution. During this phase, they start researching and gathering information to understand their problem better and explore potential solutions. B2B marketers aim to create awareness about their products or services through content marketing, social media, advertising, and other channels to attract these potential customers.

Consideration

In this phase, the buyer has defined their problem and is actively evaluating different solutions or options available in the market. They compare features, benefits, pricing, and reviews of various products or services to determine which one best meets their needs. B2B marketers focus on providing educational content, case studies, product demonstrations, and comparisons to help buyers make informed decisions and consider their offerings favorably.

Decision

The final phase of the buyer’s journey involves the buyer making a purchase decision. At this point, they have narrowed down their options and are ready to choose a specific product or service provider. B2B marketers use tactics such as special offers, discounts, testimonials, guarantees, and personalized communication to encourage buyers to choose their offering over competitors and complete the purchase.

Understanding the buyer’s journey allows businesses to tailor their marketing and sales efforts to each phase. Learn more about the buyer’s journey and my quest for a genuine New York City bagel. 

4. Set Your Goals and Metrics

One of the most common frustrations of business leaders is not knowing if their marketing is working. Quantifying marketing ROI involves setting clear goals and looking at the right KPIs (key performance indicators). This starts with setting SMART goals. 

SMART goals are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

Once your goals are set, track your marketing performance by measuring these KPIs:

Engagement

Marketing engagement tells us how consumers directly interact with a brand. A few examples include website page views, email open rate, social media likes/clicks/shares and blog readership. Another great tool for measuring if your product or service is generating a buzz is Google Alerts. By using marketing analytics tools, you’ll gain clarity on which marketing tactics are delivering the most bang for the buck.

Analytics

Marketing analytics come in many different forms—Google Analytics, MailChimp/Constant Contact email reports, Facebook/LinkedIn/X social media analytics, and SEMrush/Moz search engine reports, just to name a few. A good starter list of KPIs that deals with engagement is listed above. After you’ve chosen your KPIs, determine when you’ll review your results—weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually. 

Sales

Tying the dollars generated as a direct result of marketing efforts is the definitive measure of return on marketing investment. Popular tools for monitoring your sales pipeline include Salesforce, NetSuite, and HubSpot. Used right, these CRMs will align your sales and marketing activities to tell you if your marketing is moving the needle.

Surveys and Focus Groups

Once a marketing campaign is over, learning from what went well and what didn’t is key to running better campaigns in the future. Start by reviewing the goals of your campaign. Common ways to conduct a post-campaign survey include online surveys and focus groups.

5. Pick Your Pathways to Success

A successful B2B marketing strategy requires a multi-channel approach to reach decision-makers within your target businesses. Here’s how to leverage some key channels:

Content Marketing and SEO

Establish your brand as an industry thought leader by creating informative content like blog posts, white papers, and webinars. Optimize this content with relevant keywords to ensure it shows up in search engine results when prospects research solutions to their problems.

Social Media, Particularly LinkedIn

Since B2B buyers are often active on LinkedIn, this platform allows you to connect directly with them and showcase your expertise. Share your content, participate in industry discussions, and engage with potential customers.

Email Marketing and Lead Nurturing

Targeted email campaigns allow you to deliver informative content directly to interested leads.  By nurturing leads with a series of informative emails, you can build trust and relationships, ultimately converting them into paying customers.

In addition to these core channels, consider incorporating direct mail for high-value targets and branding efforts to build overall company recognition. Remember, the most effective B2B strategy combines these channels to create a cohesive and targeted approach.

6. Create Great Content

Creating relevant content is an important element of a B2B marketing strategy. Great content demonstrates thought leadership, nurtures relationships with prospects and customers, and serves as a powerful lead-generation tool. Content comes in many forms, including:

  • Blog posts
  • Social media posts
  • Email and e-newsletter
  • Case studies
  • Whitepapers
  • eBooks
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Websites

Refer back to your buyer personas to see what type of content will resonate with your audience.

7. Track, Optimize, and Improve

What gets measured gets done. The days of “setting it and forgetting it” are long gone when it comes to B2B marketing. Tracking and continuously improving marketing strategies is essential to maximizing marketing ROI. Leading B2B brands stay competitive by constantly measuring marketing KPIs to enhance customer experiences. Making data-driven decisions that contribute to long-term business success.

At the end of the day, data-driven insights are a must-have in today’s competitive B2B marketplace. 

Working with a B2B Marketing Strategy Agency

A sound B2B marketing plan is a must-have for businesses today. The days of throwing marketing tactics at the wall and seeing what sticks are over. 

Here are a few of the services Revel offers to help you create a winning marketing strategy:

Start Building Your Strategy with Revel

Looking to elevate your B2B marketing efforts and achieve tangible results? Our team of experts is here to collaborate with you in crafting a customized marketing strategy that aligns perfectly with your business objectives.

Contact Revel today to develop a B2B marketing strategy that delivers quantifiable results.

Jason is a Partner and the CEO at Revel, a B2B marketing agency. He is a diehard baseball fan who loves his Detroit Tigers. Family vacations often revolve around seeing games in different MLB ballparks around the country – they’ve been to 21 so far and counting. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.

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