The 3 main signs that your B2B marketing strategy is outdated

justin nelson

For marketers, it can seem like there are an endless number of channels and opportunities to reach prospects, and the moment you’ve invested in one channel, new opportunities arise. Therefore, you now need to re-evaluate your strategy. This can be daunting for brands, especially businesses that don’t have the time, bandwidth, or budget to pivot quickly.

Technology integrations and automation can be helpful, but team buy-in and collaboration can transform your marketing strategy.

With countless resources available to help you create your marketing campaigns, you may be overcomplicating your efforts. Sometimes it’s easier to go back to basics.

If you find that your roadmap to creating an effective campaign seems to be taking longer than necessary and generating low ROI, you’re not alone! This article will highlight the top three signs that your strategy may need a refresh and how you can proactively lay the groundwork to effectively engage your customers and increase your ROI.

1-Your data recovery process is slow and disjointed

As a marketer, if you find that you rely heavily on the data science or business intelligence team to measure campaign success, it might be time to re-evaluate your marketing strategy. The process of retrieving the data you need about your leads should be simple. If you find the process cumbersome and dependent on legacy systems, this will eventually impact your bottom line.

It’s ironic how we live in the information age, but gathering the information we need in the blink of an eye can take an awful lot of time! Additionally, with the potential for a looming recession, many companies are beginning to carefully manage their workforces, which can mean marketers may not have the support they need to gather urgent information.

So what does all of this mean for the rambling marketer who must do their job and deliver results despite potential obstacles? It all starts with communication.

Some marketing teams rely on IT to query their data warehouse and then extract those data points. From there, a member of the marketing analytics team will analyze this data and run additional queries to create a report.

This process can take days or even weeks, and the data is outdated by the time you receive the report. As a workaround, first communicate with all relevant parties to align on roles, responsibilities, and expectations. Rally around a common cause and make sure everyone understands why they’re mining this data and what it means for the business.

Discuss possibilities for standardizing data and you can make the process repeatable. In most cases, data recovery can be people-heavy, and the goal is collaboration and automation. In turn, this effort will reduce overhead and reduce the time it takes to gather the information needed for your campaign.

Additionally, partner with other key stakeholders in your business to ensure the marketing team can easily access insights into data that may be housed in other service systems. Remember, technology integrations and automation can be helpful, but team buy-in and collaboration can transform your marketing strategy.

2-You rely on only one source of data as the source of truth

Many companies rely on first-party strategies and datasets that have worked in the past, and brands can often be hesitant to recreate the wheel because if it ain’t broke, why fix it? But this mentality can be limiting and detrimental to the achievement of the company’s KPIs. The reality is this: the way a consumer will interact with your brand today may not be the same next month. If you rely on a single source of data, you may not be able to meet your customer throughout their buying journey. Instead, marketers should rely on first-, second-, and third-party data to ensure they fully understand who they’re targeting and when to engage.

Look for data points such as attitude or spend data and consider intent triggers. For example, a change in life event or someone’s online search activity can represent potential engagement opportunities for your brand. You risk missing out on that prime marketing moment if you only focus on one data source. You want to make sure that you enrich your data with as much information as possible to ensure that you deliver a timely and relevant message to the consumer.

3-You only quantify success with turnover

Your marketing team can use sales and customer acquisition numbers to determine the success of your marketing campaign. But if you’re just focusing on those numbers, your strategy may need a refresh. Of course, increased revenue is always exciting, especially when you can attribute the success to the hard work of the marketing team. However, it is important to align business goals with marketing goals and ensure that these goals are communicated throughout the organization.

If key stakeholders in your organization are trying to solve a problem with customer churn, it can be hard to say your campaign was successful just because it brought in more customers. First, work with the appropriate parties to discuss the business forecast and develop a strategy that supports the big picture of the organization. We can say that all sales are good sales, but that’s not always the case. If a campaign brings in ten new customers and they all churn, this will ultimately impact your profit margins.

It’s all about incrementality and lift – it’s not just about what’s on the surface. For example, if churn is an issue, instead of focusing on net new customer acquisition, aim to create a campaign that will make your current customers see your brand as valuable and necessary to generate more great loyalty and repeated commitment. You want to make sure your strategy aligns with what’s important to your business. If you have organizational buy-in to marketing goals and smart data, it will be easier to quantify success and iterate on strategies that work.

Overall, marketers need to feel empowered to make smart business decisions based on all the data at their disposal. There should be no guesswork in marketing when you have data at your fingertips and processes in place to measure performance and, if necessary, improve your strategy quickly and effectively.

Don’t complicate it either! With all the tools, services, and distractions available to marketers, we’ve over-complicated a relatively simple concept. The fundamental tenet of marketing is to provide an engaging and valuable customer experience that fosters brand loyalty.

To succeed, don’t be afraid to reevaluate your strategy with data-driven insights, create efficient processes, and collaborate with your colleagues to take your business to the next level.

About the Author

Justin Nelson is director of knowledge and CRM strategy at Speedeon Data, a Cleveland-based technology and services provider for data management in B2B commerce and retail. Prior to Speedeon Data, he spent over a decade marketing for retailers in the areas of vision, gift and craft, spanning promotional planning, project management, campaign analysis and affinity marketing.


William L. Hart