Derek Gerber is the global marketing director at Active PDF, the leading global provider of automated, server-side PDF tools. Derek...
One of the amazing blessings of getting to work at an agency is we get to see over 50 different companies and the challenges that they face. In today’s video, we’re going to talk about the biggest B2B marketing challenges that we see every day as an agency. Let’s dive in.
[ Note: Learn or retain more by reading? We got you. Here is the video above in blog format. You’re welcome. ]
The first challenge we see is development.
You see, we’re an SEO agency and when we come in, we need to make some recommendations and a lot of times, we don’t have access to the code. It just doesn’t work that way. A lot of times — especially with enterprise companies — you have to keep that very secure. But we also need to make changes. So it’s this kind of balance.
— But it’s not just us as the agency who needs to make development changes. It’s also the in-house teams.
B2B marketing teams that are in-house have a lot of different things in their mind. One of the largest constraints and the challenges they face is being able to execute their creativity. For example, if they want to try something new with their website, they can’t because they don’t have the actual software engineering or programming background.
As a B2B company, we need to make sure that we have development hours that are blocked out and set aside for software engineers and developers to work on the company’s own website and marketing.
The second B2B marketing challenge that we see almost universally is content creation.
It is so difficult to create content because not everybody has time to be in a video or to write an article — or maybe that’s not their gift or maybe they could add more value to the company somewhere else. At the end of the day, you still need to create content on a consistent basis for not only your marketing but also your sales.
How do you do that?
One of the best ways to handle this B2B marketing challenge is to find subject matter experts in your industry and to pay them handedly to write exceptional content.
The best way to find these subject matter experts is to look at your trade publications and industry journals. For us, that’s Search Engine Land, Marketing Land, Search Engine Journal, and Moz. Our industry relies on a lot of guest content.
Those same authors that are willing to write for them are usually going to be willing to write for you. You just might have to pay them if your audience isn’t as large as the publications. It’s not rocket science. It’s actually a pretty simple way to do it.
If you’re struggling with creating content and don’t want to build a massive in-house team, you can outsource it. But don’t just assume you can outsource your content creation to any great writer. They need to not only be a great writer but also have subject matter expertise.
The third thing that I see plaguing B2B marketers is to overcome is attribution.
We find that a lot of people have a Marketo, Pardot, or a HubSpot that syncs right into their Salesforce. But they struggle to take that data from their advertising like their cost into their Marketo — with the lead source — then flow that into their Salesforce and then attribute that entire puzzle back so that they can make better decisions on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual basis for where they need to allocate their time and budget.
To overcome this, there’s amazing software out there.
Then beyond that, here at Directive Consulting — as a shameless plug — we’ve built a closed-loop analytic system that allows us to take all your data, put it into a MySQL database, pull it into Data Studio, and tell you the full story about your marketing campaigns.
Whatever you choose to do and use, make sure that you’re able to properly attribute your campaigns. As a B2B marketer, if you can’t show your value to your executive team — your efforts, talent, and ability are always going to be undervalued — and that’s a shame.
The last challenge that I see crippling B2B marketers is creativity.
They operate — and we operate — with this assumption that we have to do things the way they’ve been done before. Change is difficult.
But the reality is most B2B marketing teams really do have a designer. But that designer is stretched too thin and limited to doing things how we’ve always done it.
If you’re in B2B marketing, I would challenge you to think outside the box and do things that no one else is doing. The higher you can stand, the smaller everyone else seems and the farther you can distance yourself from the competition to show, “Here’s exactly why you need to choose our company over everyone else even in a commoditized market because we do things differently here.”
You just saying that in your sales pitch is not nearly enough. Every part of your marketing and brand needs to scream it.
Investing in creative design is an amazing way to immediately increase your average order value, increase your conversions, and grow your business.
If you’re struggling with any of these B2B marketing challenges, don’t hesitate to give us a call, chat with us on Drift, or fill out our form.
We don’t have to do a proposal. You don’t have to become a client, but we’d love to help you in any way we can and have a quality conversation.
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Thanks! Have a great day.