8 Expert Tips for B2B Marketing
We hosted an Everything About session in partnership with Atomico where Terese Hougaard talked about different strategies and tactics for B2B marketing. In case you missed it, here is a summary of the main takeaways!
Everything About is our online event series where we partner with an expert from a leading VC fund or agency in Europe to talk about different topics that are important and relevant for startup founders.
In this B2B marketing session, Terese Hougaard, from Atomico, shared a lot of useful insights with the female founders from our community who attended. If you are a founder or anyone interested in learning about B2B marketing strategies this whole post is written for you!
1. Don’t Underrate Marketing
Many B2B startups make the mistake of thinking they don’t need to focus on marketing, branding isn’t super important, product demos are enough, or that marketing will be automatically driven by sales. This simply is not true. A well thought out marketing strategy will make a huge difference in your sales.
2. Nail your branding
A fundamental part of B2B marketing that a shocking amount of companies get wrong is their own branding. It is crucial to be able to tell the market exactly who you are, what you are offering and why your product is needed. This is not a simple task but when you get it right the benefits are huge.
One way Terese suggested coming up with clear branding is by sitting down with your team and asking the questions about who you are as a company, who your users are, what your product attributes are and what needs your product fulfills. Listening to and discussing everyone’s answers will be a good way to work through any confusing messaging and come up with one clear storyline. (If you need more tips on branding read this)
3. Develop clear messaging and positioning
The messaging that you put out into the market about your product should be inline with your branding. It is important to create very direct one to two sentences that say exactly what your product is and why it’s superior to competitors. In these sentences you want to use the voice of the buyer and the most simple terms possible.
4. Pinpoint your target personas
It is important to remember that even though you are selling to a business, you are still selling to a person within that business. You can identify one or two key target personas by thinking about the personal details of your buyers.
Ask yourself questions to really clarify who your buyer is, such as: what are their behaviours? What do they care about? What do they read? Where do they spend their free time? The answers to all of these questions help you really get to know your target person within the buying firms purchasing center, which will then help you choose the channels you need to be focusing on using.
5. Determine your specific go to market motion
When figuring out your GTM motion you need to start with one simple question: what kind of product are you selling? Do you have an easy to understand, self service product or is it a more complex product with a lot of specific customisation that requires a demo for customers to understand?
If you have a self service product your target audience is most likely SMB and you should be developing a growth market strategy. Sales for this type of product rely on generating product flow and feature discovery.
If you have a product that requires hand holding throughout the sales process your target audience is likely to be an enterprise. In this situation your marketing strategy needs to be centered around generating new leads and enabling the sales process.
What is important to remember for either type of GTM motion when you are thinking about marketing is that everything goes back to your branding, that’s why tip number 2 is such a major point. Your GTM needs to be aligned with your positioning or else customers will get confused as to what you represent and stand for as a company.
6. Choose your channels wisely and test out what works
So once you have applied all 5 tips above you should have a pretty good idea of who you are targeting, why, and what messaging you want to put out there. You should also have some thoughts about the channels you should be using.
When starting out remember that it’s never a one size fits all decision and that you can be creative with what you choose based on who you are targeting. The key is once you know the one or two channels you want to use, start testing out what works and really pay attention to how this activity is affecting KPIs, like sign ups or traffic.
7. When you are on a tight budget focus on retention and organic acquisition
Everytime you lose a lead that you have, you need to spend time and money to replace it. It is much easier and more efficient to retain the leads you already have, don’t lose sight of this because of marketing.
Of course, even when you are retaining all of your leads, you still need to generate more. Instead of spending money on expensive branding or PR campaigns right away, there are things you can do to drive organic traffic up. Two ways to do this are by (1) creating content that is immediately valuable for your audience and (2) taking advantage of SEO and making sure the back end of your website is set up well so you are showing up on the first page of search results.
8. The time to start spending on branding is different for everyone
Waiting too long to hire someone for marketing can be a huge downfall but the right time depends on your skills as a founder and the talent you already have on your team. If you can come up with specific branding with your current team that’s great, but often when founders don’t have experience with this hiring someone can be a huge help. When you do feel like you are at a stage where you want external help think about if you are more sales led or product led in order to find someone who can meet your specific needs.
You already have a startup with a female- or diverse-led team and want to get ready for investment? Check out Grow F!
You are a female employee aiming to shape the world of tomorrow and want to embrace your entrepreneurial mindset? Have a look at Lead F!
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