The B2B marketing mix will vary slightly from company to company and industry to industry, but the basics should include a mix of offline (traditional) and online (digital) components.
At Bop Design, we’ve worked with hundreds of B2B firms in a variety of industries. Here is what we have determined is the foundation of a strong B2B marketing strategy:
A Professional Website
Your firm’s website is the often the central hub of a strong multi-channel marketing strategy. Keep in mind that both prospective clients and existing clients go to your B2B website to find out information about your products and services. If your firm’s website hasn’t been updated in a few years, it’s time to update and refresh the website.
An effective, professional website will, at a minimum, have:
- Strong brand messaging
- Lead generation capabilities
- Educational resources
- Contact information
- Trust elements
- Links to social media pages
Depending on your client base, you may want to add additional functionality to your website, but these are the basics.
Takeaway Print Pieces
Traditional, or offline, marketing materials are still very much an important part of the B2B marketing mix. It’s critical that all offline materials, from tradeshow booths to business cards, are consistent with your online brand materials. If you’ve recently updated your website, make sure to take a look at all your existing print pieces to ensure they form are consistent with your brand and part of a cohesive brand message.
A few things to ensure are included in your marketing budget are:
- Business cards
- Brochures or datasheets
- Tradeshow booths
Consistency and reliability are values that hold true for most B2B industries. Consistent online and offline marketing materials convey these two values.
A Current Blog
We are smack dab in the Age of Information and your potential and current clients expect their partners and vendors to provide them with valuable resources and helpful information. A blog is the perfect place to share valuable information about your products or services, changes in your industry, breaking news, and other relevant information that impacts your clients and prospects.
Regardless of what industry you are in, prospective clients are interested in seeing real results. They want to know that your products or services are effective. The easiest way to show how your products or services work and the value your firm offers is by creating case studies.
As part of the B2B marketing mix, case studies are great for nurturing leads down the sales funnel, showcasing your past work, and highlighting your successes. A well-crafted case study includes an introduction of the issue or problem, the proposed solution, the implementation of that solution, and the results.
Online Guides and Resources
You are an expert at the products or services you offer. It’s time to give away some of your expert advice for free. Wait, what?
That’s right, it’s time to share your expert knowledge with prospects and clients free of charge via online guides and resources. You can create gated content (that requires completion of a form) before downloading, but it should still be free information. As part of a B2B marketing strategy, online guides and resources help to establish your firm as a thought leader in your industry. They also build trust in your B2B brand and set you up as a source of educational information for your prospects and clients. When they need information about your products or services or the industry in general, they will come to you first.
Paid advertising continues to be instrumental to B2B brand management and marketing. When it comes to digital advertising, there is a range of different channels and methods to choose from. We typically recommend starting with Google AdWords or Bing Ads since these can be fine-tuned on a granular level and target users who are showing intent to buy (or at least interest in your products or services). Other options for paid ads include retargeting ads, account-based ads, social media ads and sponsored updates, and email advertisements.
The B2B marketing mix can get complex very quickly with all the of the channels, options, and various campaigns you might be running. However, this post is a good place to start when launching or revamping a marketing strategy for your firm. These are the main essentials to consider in your marketing budget and planning.
What do you think makes up the essential B2B marketing mix? Let us know in the comments below.