This article discusses the digital marketing challenges B2B organisations face in succeeding with digital marketing and outlines an effective strategy to improve business profitability. By exploring the reasons behind the failure of traditional marketing methods and embracing new technologies such as podcast, video, and live streaming, businesses can redefine their approach to marketing and sales. The article presents the salesXchange new business development strategy based on the flywheel analogy, providing a comprehensive and sustainable plan for B2B growth.
Table of Contents
- Why Digital Marketing Challenges Stop Success
- Your Business Fails Because
- Top Consultancies Agree
- No Sign of Change
- Investment Is not a Solution
- Going from Good to Great
- The Solution: Build a Flywheel
Most B2B organisations around the world have never succeeded at digital marketing. In my thirty-five years I have never heard a B2B say they attribute year-on-year growth to digital marketing, pay-per-click or any other digital new business effort.
It has taken me a long time to erase the repetitive marketing messages I’ve heard over the years and to push back and dismiss the pressure from the whole business community that infers they’re ‘crushing it’, they’re not!
Every B2B has a desire to succeed, however, the static average profitability per person remains unchanged. This article states the problems as they are and recommends one of the simplest and most effective strategies you can implement to flip your business profitability.
There is no one factor. B2B's are plagued with digital marketing challenges that has sadly led to the demise of many a successful business. Failed digital B2B marketing and indeed traditional marketing methods are the result of compounded and unchanged strategies, because of marketers keep failing to step-up and think outside the box. Whilst they’re not expected to be entrepreneurially creative, they have, in the main, failed to embrace new technologies, such as podcast, video and live streaming.
A significant number of B2B marketers are convincing. They seem to know what they're talking about, they even go on record telling businesses that it's the marketing teams who are driving new business. Even the named players of MarTech's state they are defining the new business narrative. I watched one rant on LinkedIn where a marketing director was scathing about a $10m turnover technology business only providing a £60,000 budget for marketing and whining how rediculously small it was.
There is another point of view for these people; telling businesses that marketers are calling the shots is ok as long as they can prove it. They can't and never have. They have never called the shots, the sales people did! Sales were the ones who did all the work in the past from identifying the prospects, cold calling to make the appointment, carrying out the appointment, demonstration and presentation through to getting the signature, and then along came digital marketing who convinced B2B's to invest in the new shiney technology which never delivered, except for the suppliers annual recurring revenue.
Over the years, businesses continued to add to the SaaS with more and more integration in the hope that the automation would deliver. It didn't.
If you've beed going for some time, in simple terms you've been going about new business generation the wrong way. You may have had a few wins, but certainly nothing that would warrant a wholesale strategy of dumping as much budget in one area because of its success!
Being blunt, your Chief Marketing Officer or whoever you've got in marketing has been applying Business to Consumer (B2C) tactics and strategies such as Demand Gen, Lead Gen, blogging, poor SEO and pay per click banners to landing pages and do not, and have not researched the B2B buying process and planned their strategies accordingly.
These B2C strategies continue to be endorsed and promoted by the BigTech, MarTech organisations simply because the B2C markets are significantly larger than B2B and of course they work for B2C because the psychology of personal purchasing is massively different to buying for your business or anyone else buying on your behalf.
In addition, due to the continued digital marketing challenges, Account Based Marketing (ABM) strategies have become a standard practice. Sadly, the sales-patter from MarTech companies went along the lines of “well, the reason you’re failing with marketing automation is because you’ve not adopted ABM. You do know there are up to nineteen people involved in the buying process!” And it is for these reasons ABM does not work because buyers do not want to be spammed, nor do their boards of directors.
According to Gartner, Forrester and Bain & Co, buyers want to self-serve, self-educate and buy when they're ready and have found a company who can demonstrate their all-round competence.
As CEO or Managing Director, you may not have personally researched or studied marketing, nor were you expected to, or should you. However, what you know has most likely come from various CMO's and marketers over the past ten years or so.
The above facts are compounded by your turnover per person, per annum being static, at approximately £120,000. Success is measured in single digit increase percentages in your net profit, as shown on your annual accounts.
Sales are performed by teams that consists of telesales, pre-sales, account executives, and Customer Success teams, so at best, your sales ratio is one to one, when you need it to be one-to-many.
The strategies and ratios have not changed in 50 years, and despite all the MarTech automation and sales tech that has become available over the past 20 years.
HR and recruitment companies support to maintain the above in that they recycle the same job descriptions for marketing, yet they are not expected, nor are they qualified to ascertain if one marketer is better than another, thereby maintaining the status quo.
An additional marker for this ongoing failure is the average tenure of a chief marketing officer, which currently stands at between nine to eighteen months. All recruitment companies are abundantly aware that marketing is one of the most consistent and profitable sectors they operate in.
If your business has obtained investment, your business plan for new business generation was provided by your existing or previous Chief Marketing Officer (see above.).
According to a Harvard Business School paper, 40% of businesses that receive investment will fail completely, 75% will fail to achieve their own targets and 95% will fail to make a return on investment for the investor. These figures are in addition to the 500,000 business that start and fail every year in the UK. According to the Financial Times, 20% fail in the first year, 30% in the second, 50% in the third and by the tenth year, 91% of business will have failed.
If you do what you've always done, you will get what you've always got.
In a book written in 2001: Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap … And Others Don’t by James C. Collins, Collins and his team of researchers delve into the workings of some of the most successful companies in the USA and identify what makes them great. At the same time, Jeff Bezos was navigating the Dot.com bust and was yet to turn a profit.
Bezos invited Collins to meet him and his board to discuss his book and strategy. Later that year and for the foreseeable future, Amazon went from strength to strength to become what they are now.
Whilst the flywheel is not literal, it serves as an illustration of one process preceding another to ensure the business keeps pushing forward based upon a set of strategies, processes, and values to make a business sustainable and if the wind is blowing in the right direction, make that company great.
Some of the other points in the book are as follows:
- No star players or hero culture
- Strong work ethic and dogged determination
- Life-time learners
- Humility from the top down
- Leadership that ensured all the right people were trained to the extent that the business would keep functioning no matter what
- Leadership that understood: -
- What the company was best at
- What drove positive cashflow
- Knowing your passion and the difference between knowing what you’re passionate about
- Employing similar people
- Using technology to get where you want to go and not buying in to technology fads
- Keeping quiet about activities, not everyone needs to know about your successes
- Building a flywheel to ensure constant clarity and corralling everyone to get the flywheel to start moving
Whilst the book was published some twenty years ago, the principle remains. Build an infrastructure based upon the passions of the business and its people. Give employees what they need to thrive and be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound).
Over the years I have constantly edited the methods by which I communicate my ideas. What I say to one person my not resonate with another. That’s life and we will all keep doing it. It is for this reason I have aligned the salesXchange new business development strategy with the flywheel analogy: -
1. Questions as Articles
Use prospects' questions to create article content. Create 50-100-150 articles to achieve 'Topical Authority' for the most effective B2B SEO strategy ever (according to most experts). Apply Google’s E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authority and Trust) on every page.
2. Open Access Content
Make website open access. Redefine content types using Primary, Secondary, General, Product, Services, How to Buy. Create Written, Video, Live Streams, and Podcasts. Remove all marketing automation access forms. Define conversion optimisation and your calls to action.
3. Automate social media
Using salesXchange’s Social 444 auto-post strategy using adverts to promote your content not products. Create a second online presence using LinkedIn Company Pages. Create a minimum 120 graphic and video adverts to auto-post on social media platforms: 4x adverts, 4x per day, 4x weeks = 444.
4. Total Addressable Market
To get exposure to your Total Addressable Market (TAM), acquire TAM database, email TAM to promote content and live shows. Upload TAM database to LinkedIn and use PPC banners adverts to appear on TAM's newsfeeds.
5. Broadcast Live
Live Stream Shows are to replace BDRs & Telesales. Broadcast weekly programmes to your TAM. Create multiple show segments, adverts & promotions. Invite local and international guests. Convert live shows to podcasts.
Take your live show on the road and broadcast from hotel event rooms. This gives you enhanced direct customer engagement, networking opportunities, promotional, demonstration, cross-sell and upsell possibilities. All-in-all, this approach offers an exceptional events and public relations exercise.
This article is an introduction to the possibilities of implementing a digital selling strategy incorporating live streaming as part of the most effective method to reach your total market anywhere geographically. Bear in mind, 1% of your total addressable market begin their buying journey each week. A 10,000-name email list will find 100 to 1500 possible prospects.
Current statistics show it takes one BDR to make 300 calls per week to find one prospect. Nothing compares financially to our strategy.
To implement the above, whilst more budget friendly than anything you have ever done in the past, it does require discussion and planning. The upside financially is breath taking. Take a look at our One Page Go Live Content Stack that lays out all we think you need to know - for the time being. Contact me today and let’s arrange a time to discover what could be your most influential change within your business.