Common B2B Marketing Mistakes

Horizontal color image of businesswoman - unrecognizable person - working with digital tablet in large futuristic factory. Woman standing on top of a balcony, holding touchpad and checking inventory of a manufacturing company on touchscreen tablet. Focus on businesswoman's hands holding black tablet, futuristic machines in background.Today’s responsive Web and social media furnish B2B enterprises with unparalleled opportunities to find targeted leads. With these assets, however, come common B2B marketing mistakes many enterprises commit.

In a world where sales cycles are lengthening, yet decision-makers have less time for research, how can you make a connection? Avoid these B2B marketing mistakes and you’ll be that much closer to success.

MISTAKE #1: Too Much “Thought Leadership”

So much B2B-focused content is called thought leadership, the term may start to lose meaning. To be true thought leadership, it’s not enough to be “smart” – the content needs to teach prospects something new and make a genuine argument for changing the way they do business. Case studies are often the best way to do this while keeping the content punchy and engaging.

MISTAKE #2: Failure to Address the Unique Dynamics of Consensus Sales

Consensus sales are those where many stakeholders with different perspectives influence the buying outcome. Recent research has shown certain methods that wow B2C consumers, like hyper-personalization, may actually turn off the members of these teams. Some B2B firms have had success with “collaboration leaders” who engage these stakeholders directly.

MISTAKE #3: Failure to Align Content with the Buyer Journey

business-marketing-online-concept-502157614_5263x3239Content needs to entice decision-makers and move them through the buyer journey – but it also must communicate with your marketers, sales team, and strategists. Each piece of content should be crafted with a clear step of the journey in mind – so you can understand where prospects stand on the potential purchase based on their behavior patterns on your site.

MISTAKE #4: Too Much Focus on Brand Story Over Customers

This issue has been plaguing B2B firms since the advent of the Web; today’s fast-moving technologies compound the problem. In the old days, “About Us” was a snoozer of a page that virtually every brand had. Today, B2B industry leaders should be looking for ways to flip the script and highlight customer-focused stories through testimonials or whitepapers.

MISTAKE #5: Your Content Ecosystem is Too Difficult to Navigate

As a general rule, visitors to your site want to find whatever they’re interested in with the fewest clicks. The recent turn toward mobile-friendly content may have reinforced this message, but some B2B sites are still too complex. One antidote: Make sure the marketing team is in close contact with any Web designers your company uses – form has to follow function!

What one rule can you follow as the north star for your B2B efforts? Help prospects figure out what’s in it for them as quickly as possible – then reinforce that message with quality content designed to address different objections and concerns at every step of the buying process.