How to develop a B2B marketing strategy in 3 steps

The three C’s allow you to put together an effective marketing strategy quickly and clearly. It leverages the expertise that is resident in your organization and includes external research to validate and augment what is already known. There are three steps in the process:

Step 1 is an internal process to gather information available within the company. It includes a company workshop and interviews with staff and management. It also collects available reports on sales, profitability, and marketing.

Step 2 is external it includes research and interviews with customers, industry experts, and competitors to augment internal information and validate, or disprove, the hypotheses you’ve made in Step One.

Step 3 brings together the data and insight you’ve gained on the three C’s to confirm the marketing strategy target market, value proposition, and messaging.

The first step in developing a solid marketing strategy is to confirm information about your company. What are your goals? Where are you relative to those goals? What do you offer? How do you make money? This chapter walks you through a practical, step-by-step process for obtaining this information.

This is an important step regardless of your company size. Sometimes the leaders of small and mid-size companies believe they know all the answers, because they’re involved in the day-to-day operations of the business.

What’s important about this process is that it forces executives to take a step back to ask and answer broader questions in a systematic way and to get those answers down on paper where they can be shared with others and updated periodically.

There are five questions to answer in the company assessment. Most of them are straightforward and can be accomplished through a team workshop or individual meetings with the managers and staff. Some answers will come from reports that already exist within the company

Clearly defining the features and benefits that you deliver to customers is essential in developing powerful marketing. Hopefully you have a strong sense of what you provide to the market, but this process crystallizes what is different and special about each of your offerings. It will help you identify the most powerful value you provide, to whom you provide it, and the potential messages that will resonate with them.

Work with your team to identify all the features and benefits you provide to the different types of customers you can and do serve. Be specific, objective, and quantified. For example, stating that you provide great customer service doesn’t say anything meaningful to prospects, because everyone says that. Instead, specify what it is about your customer service that makes it so great.

Do you guarantee that you’ll have a technician available within a business day? Do you return all calls within an hour? Does your product allow customers to reduce their energy consumption by 20%? The more specific, objective, and quantified you can be, the more powerful your marketing.

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