Covid changed a lot of things around you. In 2021, it might be worth re-visiting your marketing plan and marketing spend.
To be clear, this isn’t a post that exists to say “…with a new year, you need a new marketing strategy.”
2020 was a difficult year for many businesses. Marketing budgets were stretched, reduced, or strangled. Conferences were cancelled or became virtual. Lead generation likely suffered as a consequence.
Many marketers were blindsided by the disruption. A lot of companies pivoted and innovated. Marketing played a big role in whether these pivots succeeded. Did you, like many others, jump on the Zoom bandwagon (did you invest in Zoom while you did that?)
Covid could well be the trigger that puts you on a path to better marketing outcomes. In any case, the Liquid Marketer suggests you evaluate your marketing spend for 2021, if you haven’t done so already. Here are some broad ideas that have worked for B2B marketing.
Do note that there is no one-size-fits-all in B2B marketing. This blog and its ideas are written for business with ACV > $5000 and sales cycles longer than 3 months. However, other businesses can use these ideas too.
Focus on expansion and retention
Of course, B2B marketers want to reach a wider audience and increase your brand’s awareness. Of course, you want your marketing spend to unearth new customers. Signing new logos is everything and that’s what Sales wants from you.
2021 is a good year to question this as many companies are ramping down new spend or taking longer to decide. Rather than allocating all your marketing spend and resources to pushing new clients through the funnel, channel your time on ‘landing and expanding’ with the customers you already have.
2020 has shown that when times get tough, customers like to stick with the brands they know and trust.
Bring some of your B2B marketing nous to your existing customers. Begin by playing an active role in drafting CSAT surveys and being a part of periodic reviews with your clients to understand their needs and spy out opportunities.
Develop helpful email campaigns and embed soft marketing Call-to-actions (CTAs) in the campaigns. Work with your accounts, relationship, Sales teams to develop unique value propositions and offers that can help you expand within the account.
And, don’t forget the value of word-of-mouth. Ask for a testimonial. Perhaps, you can convince them to leave you a review on Gartner Peer Insights, Capterra, or G2. Turn out a case study. Get a reference story.
If your clients are pleased, they are more likely to chat with their connections about you. This year, it’s all about keeping the people you have happy and getting them to stick with you for another year.
Build and execute an ABM plan
If you’re like some of our clients, marketing budgets are at a premium. There is no better time to develop a LASER-like focus on your must-have-accounts (MHAs) through an account-based marketing (ABM) approach.
It helps that, often, for ABMs, the primary channel is free (or almost) – email. It also helps B2B marketers to allocate conference and event budgets wisely. Why attend an event if your MHAs aren’t present?
In addition, considering that we are in 2021, you’re probably better aware of how your business needs to pivot than you were 6 months ago.
We will explore ABM in depth in the future. For the moment, we will leave you with the four things you need to get right for a successful ABM:
- Develop narrow segments (geography, industry, vertical)
- Be clear about the audience and target (function/role, seniority, language)
- Develop precise marketing messages (focus on the customer’s needs, talk about value over features)
- Pick the right channels (email + conference/paid campaigns/partners/…?)
What does your marketing plan look like? Let us know in the comments. If you have a question or have suggestions, leave it as a comment or get in touch with me.