There is one thing that always bothers me a little when talking about trends in our profession, which is the specialized field of marketing for businesses that sell to other businesses. I find that trends, in many of the considerations and decisions that managers or marketing decision makers take, can have precedence over what really has to be done in marketing and sales, namely, addressing the real challenges the company has to face.
Of course, there are emerging marco trends in B2B marketing. But, we must recognize that there are so many growing segments and niches in the vast ocean of B2B companies that trends can’t possibly apply to all of them.
The real debate and the solutions lie in the methods you use to meet your own business challenges. You may find these within a trend, but then again, you might not!
What is a challenge?
A challenge is an element to be addressed at the corporate level to overcome the weaknesses of the company and counter threats using the company’s strengths and market opportunities.
To deal with our challenges, we must understand our internal and external environment while humbly recognizing our weaknesses, and proudly recognizing our strengths. You must be methodical, rigorous and uncompromising.
I often tell our customers that rising to their challenges means going to battle. Would you go to battle armed only with your impressions? I hope not … You will need to prepare according to what is at stake, which is the starting point of all your strategies.
Each niche has its own specificities and should be attacked based on what you discover during your research and analysis. Depending on your strategy, you can develop your game plan, which includes the choice and development of the appropriate marketing and sales tools. Then, you will be ready for the implementation of your plan, whether through the web or in traditional media. Most importantly make sure that it’s all integrated and includes a vision and a 360-degree plan.
Optimization by measuring
The endgame here is this: How will you measure your marketing and sales return on investment (ROI)? You’ll measure your actions individually and globally, using performance indicators and measuring tools that you’ll have chosen when developing your strategies. That covers the quantitative aspect of the measurement. But we mustn’t underestimate the qualitative impacts that live both internally in your company, and externally. Eventually, they will result in quantitative value.
Perhaps you will use trendy tactics, but they won’t be the ones that will have dictated your choices. Fortunately!