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6 Mistakes holding back your B2B marketing plan


The B2B industry is exploding right now, in fact its revenue jumped up 25% in the last year, and it has been estimated that it will hit $1.2 trillion by the year 2021.

If you’re looking to improve your B2B marketing skills right now, take a look at these six common mistakes in B2B marketing that could hold you back. 

What Is Business To Business Marketing?

First, a quick lesson in the differences between B2B (business to business) and B2C (business to consumer) marketing. When marketing to a business, rather than to a consumer, you’ll be talking to a very focused group of higher-level professionals within a specific business niche.

These clients make purchasing decisions based on logic, efficiency and financial gains (ROI), according to Digital Authority Partners. When marketing to consumers you’ll want to rely more heavily on emotional responses but in B2B marketing you want to focus on facts and figures.

Image: Campaign Creators on Unsplash

The sales cycle is typically a lot longer in B2B marketing as well, companies don’t buy on impulse and usually require multiple people to sign off on a purchase.  

Mistake #1. You’re Trying To Market To Everyone At Once

Many companies sell to both the B2B and B2C markets but it is a mistake to attempt to rely on one marketing campaign for both groups because there are too many differences between these groups to make one message effective for all.

The same can be said for a B2B company trying to market their product or service to too many types of industries at once. LinkedIn, the top networking site for business professionals, says that the more narrowly you can define your B2B audience, the better you’ll be able to create relevant messaging for them.

Create a marketing plan that is uniquely B2B, narrow it down to one specific industry, then narrow it some more based on who you’re trying to connect with at the company. 

Mistake #2. Your B2B Marketing Campaign Is Living In The Past 

The truth is, we are living in the digital age, a lot of marketing takes place online and when you’re dealing with technology and the internet, things change rapidly. The same things that worked 10, 5 or even 2 years ago might not work today.

Companies that want to separate themselves from the pack will need to be ready to jump onto new platforms and use new technology right away.

Don’t be afraid to be an early adopter at a new social platform if it looks like your target audience is going to gravitate towards it. 

Cold calling used to be the staple lead generating activity for B2B companies and while many companies are still using that tactic heavily, data suggests that people prefer to connect electronically via email, text, and direct messages.

Is your marketing strategy relying on old trends and technology? 

Mistake #3. You’re Hyper Focused On B2B Lead Generation 

If you ask any B2B marketer, they will probably say that generating leads is their number one priority. The problem is, that if your target audience is very narrow, then it becomes easier to find them but harder to convert them.

Lead generation, in this case, might turn into low hanging fruit, the real power lies in converting them into sales and repeat business. B2B marketers need to also be running marketing campaigns to existing leads and have strong follow-up campaigns as well.

You can also focus on getting higher quality leads, those that are more qualified to make a purchase. 

Mistake #4. You Don’t Know Where To Find Your B2B Audience

In order to get our message in front of key decision-makers within the companies or institutions you want to sell to, you have to know where they spend their time.

It might be tempting to try to have a strong and far-reaching social media presence but if you sell privacy software to healthcare companies then you’re going to be wasting your time trying to figure out how to use Snapchat or Tik Tok in your marketing campaigns.

The procurement director of a local university is not on Snapchat looking for business opportunities, they’re on LinkedIn. Part of knowing your audience is knowing how and where to market to them.

As of right now, the top social media platforms for B2B marketing are places like LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, and Podcasting sites. 

Corporate decision-makers crave information and educational content. That’s why they are eating up videos and podcasts right now.

Social Media mega-influencer Gary Vaynerchuk says that hosing even a small podcast of 1500 people can lead to millions of dollars of revenue.

Podcasts are trending right now because people our society thrives on being busy and multi-tasking, podcasts allow people to learn while they drive, workout or do other tasks. 

Mistake #5. Exhausting Your B2B Audience

A smaller audience means you’ll be sending out your message again and again to the same group of people. This can lead to audience fatigue where potential clients grow tired of your content and start to ignore it.

In order to combat this situation, you need to pace your messages out, create enormous value in everything you do, and learn to reach your audience in new and creative ways. 

Mistake #6. Failure To Follow Up On B2B Marketing Analytics 

By now everyone knows how important it is to track the analytics of their marketing efforts, but what do you do with that data?

The data and insight you gain from each marketing campaign is like gold, but too many marketers use it only to look at key metrics involving traffic and sales and ignore everything else.

Good analytics are going to tell you just as much about who you’re reaching and what they like.

You can use analytics to tell you what time of day or day of the week is better to post to social media, what colors people prefer in your ads, how they respond can teach you how they like to communicate, and much more. Learn to use every piece of analytic data to your advantage.