Why Isn’t Your Marketing Strategy Working?
Many B2B marketing efforts fail. Often, this is because marketers get too caught up in marketing tactics, and don’t spend enough time and effort on developing an integrated marketing strategy. Here is a list of things companies do when they don’t have a customer-centric strategy:
- Using branding that is company-centric instead of customer-centric
- Focusing on the features of technology rather than on the problems it solves
- Targeting too broad a market with limited understanding of customer needs
- Relying on expensive advertising and event spends with unclear messaging and poor results
- Using marketing as the “make it pretty department” with no messaging strategy
Without a clear marketing strategy, you’ll probably end up spending lots of money without delivering the desired results. This drives up the cost of sales, creates unnecessary market confusion, and causes you to miss out on opportunities you could have won, simply because the customer didn’t understand how they could benefit from your products or services. Not having a solid marketing strategy is a waste of money, time and credibility. But there is a better way.
What Is A Strategic Marketing Plan?
The better way is to base your marketing tactics on a well-thought-out, research-driven, customer-centric strategic marketing plan that:
- Defines your target market based on business drivers (not just demographics)
- Provides a clear understanding of your niche strategy
- Identifies the business and technical needs of your target customers
- Describes real-world buyer personas with clear insights about their motivations and needs
- Forms the foundation for messaging that will resonate with prospective customers
- Becomes the foundation for a tactical marketing plan, providing direction and clarity
How Does A Niche Marketing Strategy Fit In?
When selling to the financial services industry, having a niche strategy is particularly important. The industry is made up of numerous niches with widely varied needs. For example, institutional trading has dramatically different needs than commercial banking. Even within the institutional trading niche, there are different needs for the front or back office; buy side vs. sell side; hedge funds vs. market-makers and even different needs for different asset classes. In this vertical, one-size-fits-all marketing definitely does not work. For more information on niche strategies, check out this webinar on content marketing for niche markets.
Developing A Marketing Strategy
Assuming you’re not launching a startup, your strategic marketing plan does not need to be a complete business plan. It should not try to serve too many purposes. We find that when customers try to make the marketing strategy too comprehensive, they never finish the plan. So we recommend limiting the marketing strategy to a focused and customer-centric go-to-market plan that you can pull together and start executing on within a reasonable timeframe. PropelGrowth can help you develop an effective marketing strategy for your organization. Our strategic marketing plans include the following:
- Sales Objectives (and Marketing’s expected contribution)
- Market Analysis
- Competitive Analysis with a Strategy Canvas
- Value-based Pricing Strategy
- Buyer Personas
- Buying Process
- Customer-Centric Positioning and Messaging
- Go To Market Strategy
- Outbound and Inbound Marketing Strategy
- Integrated Marketing Campaign Strategy
- Content Marketing Strategy
- Public Relations Plan
- Event Marketing Plan
- Social Media Plan
- Promotional and Advertising Plan
- Email Marketing Plan
- SEO and Findability Plan