There is no silver bullet in B2B marketing. While individual tactics are effective methods of increasing exposure and driving leads, no tactic alone is as effective as multiple tactics used together. All B2B marketing tactics are more effective when used as part of an integrated marketing plan. B2C companies create television, radio, digital, and print marketing efforts to make sure consumers hear their message frequently and repeatedly; similarly, B2B companies need to integrate their tactics to build awareness of their solutions.
For example, a telemarketing campaign might work for your business, but it will be much more effective if combined with an email that informs the recipient that you’ll be calling, an invitation to an upcoming webinar, and then a follow-up invitation to an event at a local, industry trade show. The golden rule is that it takes five to seven touches before your name will register on the typical, busy person’s radar. So integrating tactics is essential to get B2B buyers to hear and understand your message.
The other reason to integrate tactics is that it enables your company to nurture relationships. The B2B purchase cycle is long, so it’s unlikely to land on a potential buyer’s radar and have them buy the next week. B2B relationships must be nurtured over time, providing the right type and amount of information and expertise to move prospects one step further in the sales process.
Integrating tactics enables you to do this you can provide a white paper, a webinar, an email newsletter with recent case studies, and an invitation to a local lunch and learn over the course of weeks or months.
This 66 Lisa Shepherd allows you to build relationships with prospects. The growing number of lead-nurturing systems makes it much more cost effective than in the past see Chapter 37 for more on lead nurturing.
Putting together a marketing calendar requires realistic thinking about what tactics you can undertake with your resources. If you’re using an outside firm or firms to support your marketing, you have an advantage in that they will carry the bulk of the workload.
But don’t assume that your time won’t be needed it will. No outside firm can undertake B2B marketing in a vacuum. If they try, they won’t be able to create as valuable of a product they simply won’t have enough of your technical knowledge to develop and distribute the content that is needed to establish you as a leader.
This approach helps companies be realistic about marketing resources and what can be accomplished. The drawback is that it’s possible to allocate time and resources to the wrong tactics for example, what if the fixed events shouldn’t, in fact, be the highest priority tactics?