55 b2b performance marketing

To fully understand why there is such a serious problem in B2B marketing, one must first understand how we got here in the first place before understanding the process required to get out from the stale-mate position most businesses find themselves in today.

Up to the beginning of the 20th Century the departments that existed were advertising/PR and sales.  In the 1950’s, mass communications to the consumer began with television.  By the 1980’s technology advancements for businesses were developing at a rapid pace and marketing departments began to grow in business-to-business organisations.

With the explosion of the Internet and the boom-bust in 2000, digital marketing started to become mainstream.

  • To 1949

    Advertising & PR | Sales

  • 1950 - 1994

    Advertising & PR | Marketing | Sales

  • 1995 - 2005

    Advertising & PR | Marketing | Digital Marketing | Sales

  • 2006 - 2021

    Advertising & PR | Marketing | Digital Marketing | Performance Marketing | Sales

  • 2022 - 

    Advertising & PR | Marketing | Digital Selling

Picture this if you will…in the 1950s the creatives in advertising came up with the adverts.  PR got the messages in to the papers or got a slot on a radio show or TV.   But to connect to B2B organisations, telesales, brochures, and mailshots were required, so marketing departments were set up.  In the 90s the Internet came along and now websites and SEO were required, and so digital marketing became mainstream.  

After the boom-bust in 2000, digital pioneers realised they could not achieve mass marketing and communications via the Internet as they did with television because people were looking at their personal comnputers and later their mobile screens.  They worked out it was a matter of adapting their strategies to post-click marketing and one-to-one selling.

But still, with all this technology at their fingertips, marketing departments were still not increasing income.

After marketing automation software made its debut in 2008 ish B2Bs gradually realised it wasn't working as expected and so the marketing departments had a problem.  CMOs started to moved on every eighteen months or so for failing to increase turnover.  So, the marketing industry came up with a solution; first they introduced Account Based Marketing or ABM and more recently ABX and secondly, they created a new title or category of marketer.  The Performance Marketer. 

The Performance Marketer, originally earmarked for the B2C community would now be responsible for marketings relationship with the sales teams, and it was now their responsibility to use all of the marketing resources available to generate income through exposure, including decks, webinars, social, events and so on.  Wait, what? Can you hear the needle scratching the record here??????  

The responsibility for widespread failure had now been passed to someone else.  “It’s not my fault guv’nor” I can hear all the CMOs saying.  Think about this; ALL the people employed under the banner of marketing, were supposed to help generate income for the business.  However, both the technology and actual strategies have consistently failed because ceretain  individuals have pursued the cheapest, least effort options to generte new business and have been found wanting every time.  This is why B2Bs rarely create comprehensive or varied content.

Marketing Technology, for certain tasks, is not the option.  I've mentioned before, Big-Tech/Mar-Tech convinced everyone they should buy marketing automation SaaS for demand generation strategies and now the buzz-word is ABX, not even ABM.  Account-based marketing or 'experience' strategies are simply an extension of failed demand generation strategies, which B2Bs dutifully do and yet each year B2B failures simply get worse.  It really is the worst case of the ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’.  No one wants to believe they have been misled.  But sadly, it’s a combination of wanting to do something on the cheap with the least effort and then being able to pass-the-buck.

How on earth does a business expect to scale up if their sales treams are sitting around, pouring over firmographic data to identify possible companies to sell to.

When well-known players in ABM circles admit B2B decision makers want to remain anonymous and yet they keep selling their reverse IP lookup platforms to feed into 'intent data', you know that it's pretty much all a con and makes me seeth as I know they're playing on the fact that most people are so fed up with marketing nonsense, in one form or another, that they're become oblivious to what the marketers are writing, even when they're telling their prospects the blatant truth 'it doesn't work', they know, no-one is reading and if they are, they're oblivious to what has been said.  It is sheer arrogance. 

Prospects are not a different spieces to the human race!  We are prospects too, perhaps I should start a new #metoo campaign? 

FYI: If you are obtaining intent data from a provider, so is everyone else!    If you are planning to use 'remarketing' for B2B, so is everyone else.  If you're using marketing automation to capture email addresses, so is everyone else.  If you're using cold callling to carry out a 'soft-follow-up', so is everyone else.

It seems to me the Performance Marketing lead is being made the scapegoat because they’re not being given any additional tools, budget, or software.  They’re also expected to go into the lion’s den and face the music with the sales teams.  And when it fails, this time, it’s the Performance Marketing leads head on the block.  I believe it’s so cowardly and underhand as the rest of the marketing team can on the one hand point the finger of blame and say it's all their fault, and on the other hand think to themselves, “thank goodness I’m not doing that job”.

The expectations of the Performance Marketer is to simply incorporate everything that makes up marketing, digital marketing, field marketing and product marketing and present it as a package to be used for sales and by sales, with an expectation to generate income.  I deliberately missed out mentioning leads because if done properly, the Performance Marketer will implement Digital Selling and therefore negate most of the lead-based process by delivering everything prospects need, online and the salespeople are required for the ‘last-mile’, happy days!   

Of course, we have a complete solution, but I can’t stress enough, the importance to be aware of the background of marketing to help you make an informed decision for your business.  For me, there is an element of too many cooks spoil the broth.  I am sure there are certain unnecessary people within marketing departments, but the reality is, people, i.e., prospects, have been treated like fools for way too long, and it's no different since the 1950s, treating prospects as 'marks', people who can be conned and mislead. And the Big Tech Mar-Tech sales people are the biggest culprits when it comes to B2B.

And if you haven't read any of my previous content, I have copied a list of statistics from an earlier article: -

  • 500,000 business start up and fail every year - FT
  • 30% of businesses fail in the first year - FT
  • 50% of businesses fail by the second year - FT
  • 70% of businesses fail by the third year - FT
  • 91% of businesses fail by the 10th year - FT
  • 40% of Invested Business Fail - Harvard
  • 80% of Invested Business Fail to achieve their own targets - Harvard
  • 95% of Invested business Fail to achieve an ROI for Investors - Harvard
  • 50% of all business’s failure reasons, are marketing related - CB Insights
  • 79% prefer video to phone - Gartner
  • 89% believe in sustainable digital GTM - Gartner
  • 41% want more video conferencing - McKinsey
  • 23% want more online CHAT - McKinsey
  • 83% Research Digitally before engaging with a salesman - Gartner
  • .5% Less than 1% traverse the 'funnel' and create revenue - Forrester
  • 1 in 400 Cold call success rates - University of Life
  • £100k turnover per person per annum is the average - BIS
  • Average tenure of CMOs in UK & USA is 18 months - Recruitment Industry + Press + Seth Godin

If marketing technology actually worked for B2B, the statistics would be dramatically different.

Take a look at what we do by following this link here, and to see how straight-foward marketing is supposed to be.  Of course it takes some time to set up, but it should do.  You have no choice but to approach Digital Selling with a fresh pair of eyes, almost as if you're being given the opportunity to set your business up again.

 Until the next time.  Bye for now.

Go to our Digital Selling pages to see how you can change the way you work and scale up your business.

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