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Generate Revenue with These Five B2B Marketing Principles


If you can dream it, there's probably a marketing metric for it.

At least, that's how it feels when we talk about emerging marketing channels and whatever the new tool of the day is. While there are many of us in marketing who geek out over these metrics and enjoy the experimentation, the reality is most business leaders ultimately want to hear about one thing: revenues.

No matter how pretty your analytics are, if marketing does not contribute to an organization's bottom line, leadership will never fully recognize the value it provides. At the end of the day, it does not matter if your marketing dashboard is in the green if the business is in the red.

Use these five proven principles to bring happiness to marketers and business leaders alike.

1. Make it unique, but not creepy.

Marketing requires personalization. Prospects and buyers want to know they are more than a potential sale, they are interested in finding a partner who recognizes and understands the challenges they face.

That level of personalization goes beyond adding names and brand styling to an automated email. Ideally, personalization should reflect a comprehensive view of who the prospective buyers are, where they are in the buying cycle, how they got there, their industry, and the specifics behind why they are interested in a product or solution.

Put yourself into the prospect's shoes. Wouldn't it be great to get an email, direct mailer or any other communication piece and say, "Wow...this person really did their research."

It can be a lot. And, for some, a little overwhelming. That's why timing and personality are essential to this process. Give prospects a chance to breathe and process the information before subsequent communications come. Bringing this little touch of humanity and patience to the process elevates your brand, and demonstrates a commitment to the prospect.

2. When it comes to data, it's about quality, not quantity.

Poor-quality data costs organizations millions of dollars a year. This is especially true with marketing databases or CRMs. Consider how many past leads and connections have changed careers, retired or moved in recent years. If your database hasn't been reviewed in a while, it is likely out of date.

Standing up a solid marketing campaign takes considerable time and effort, so why try interacting with buyers no longer on the receiving end? That's a major waste – and can skew campaign results significantly.

Fortunately, today's CRMs and marketing automation tools automatically drop users if they do not engage, which is a great start. But don't be afraid to go a little deeper to also review who is being left off. A good rule of thumb is to review a database quarterly to avoid eating up too much time or resources. If needed, consider running your database through a third-party provider to test the validity of it as you may be sitting on more bad data than you realize.

We've long lived in a numbers game with digital marketing, but most of us would agree that a campaign hitting 500 solid prospects is much better than one hitting 5,000 prospects we're not sure are actual prospects.

3. Be everywhere. 

Perception matters. Regardless of how large an organization is, the more places that a business and brand are seen, the better they (often) look. Marketing helps B2B companies secure the visibility they need to appear larger than they are through advertising, content marketing, social media, sponsorships, emails, and just about everywhere possible.

Think of it as "the wow effect." Create the impression an organization is everywhere by spreading marketing campaigns across a variety of platforms and tactics, so audiences think, "Wow, this company is on top of its game. We need to connect with them."

Don't confuse being everywhere with spamming, however. Be methodical in your approach (channels, messaging, etc.) to ensure you're hitting prospects with relevant messages that relate to their pain points. In many cases, this may mean creating smaller, more focused campaigns for each unique audience.

4. Market marketing.

Savvy marketers don't create stellar marketing campaigns and set them on autopilot. They shout about them from the rooftops, in meetings with executives, during company gatherings, and everywhere in between. They live by the phrase, "always be marketing."

The best marketers take this a step further. They don't just market themselves; they make it easy for others to join in and add their voice, especially sales. Equip non-marketers with easy-to-use, easy-to-access email assets, published articles, PR hits, social posts, visuals, case studies, messaging documents, and sales enablement tools to maximize the impact of a campaign.

Whether it is internal or external, this also ensures all stakeholders are speaking the same language around a particular marketing effort.

5. Customer should be first, and technology second.

Unsuccessful marketing is rife with those who continue to switch from one tech tool for another in search of "the next best." This is great for our friends in martech, but it can lead to incredibly complex technology stacks, unclear data, and inefficient marketing.

If you're spending more time testing and buying the latest, greatest technology software, there's a good chance you'll lack the time and resources needed to maximize a solution's value once deployed. Unfortunately, or not, technology alone is never the answer.

That's why marketers should:

  • Stick with the basics as something is always better than nothing. There's no need to invest an entire budget in technology from day one. Start small and build from there.
  • Ask, what problem is being solved? How will this solution help connect with customers better? Does it integrate with existing tools? Is this a needed solution or just a shiny new toy?
  • Spend more on marketing execution than on marketing technology. No one wants to use 20 different tools. They want four that work well together – and buyers won't care either way as long as their pain points are addressed.

B2B Marketing That Drives Revenue

Marketers activate and enable growth for the businesses they serve. Modern technologies have opened the door to a brave new world of customer engagement and demand generation. And new channels continue to arise – consider last year's excitement and hype around the metaverse.

But we cannot take our proverbial "eyes off the ball." We must focus on the needs and challenges of our prospects and customers, so they are reflected in our marketing campaigns and communications. That's how we move our perception beyond that of a vendor or service provider to that of a trusted partner and advisor.

When we use marketing to build these consultative, partner-based relationships, that's where marketing has the greatest bottom-line impact.

The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.

Dan Earle is VP of Arketi Group, an integrated digital marketing and public relations firm helping B2B technology organizations generate revenue and accelerate growth.