The new year is quickly approaching, and there’s no better time to reevaluate and rebuild your marketing strategy for a fresh start. Last week, our friends at Brainrider (the experts on B2B marketing strategy) joined us for a webinar to discuss this very topic. Let’s take a closer look at the five steps to Planning B2B Lead Generation Marketing Programs — as well as a few additional resources that can help you as you rebuild your strategy.
Step 1: Start with specific objectives.
Don’t just make vague, overarching goals (“drive lead gen” or “pass better leads to sales”) — really define what you want to focus on. Ask yourself:
- Is your top priority to attract more net new leads?
- To drive the leads you already have through the funnel more efficiently?
- To be able to better identify the leads within your system that are sales-ready?
Whatever your goal is, make sure your objectives are trackable and measurable, and identify what your KPIs will be (better yet, figure out how you can generate a report on these KPIs within your marketing automation system).
More helpful resources on this topic:
Step 2: Make sure your strategy is buyer-focused.
Remember: your buyer is ultimately in control. If any part of your marketing strategy is not focused around efficiently meeting their needs, they will leave and turn to alternatives. A few questions to consider:
- Is your website layout easily navigable, and centered around answering your buyer’s questions quickly and effectively?
- Are you gathering the information you need about your buyer and their needs in the most unobtrusive way possible?
A few helpful resources to help you build a more customer-friendly buyer’s journey:
Recorded Webinar: B2B Marketing Clinic – Developing Customer-Centric Content
Step 3: Identify the stages of your buyer’s journey.
Our 2013 State of Demand Gen Report study found that your customers not only appreciate different content at each stage of the buyer’s journey — they’ve come to expect it. Don’t just create content for the sake of content; make sure you’re providing the information that will help your buyer progress through the research process. Start by asking yourself:
- What are the stages my buyer’s journey?
- What questions do they have at each stage?
- What content can I create to answer these questions?
Use the example that Brainrider provided below for guidance, and check out this recorded webinar for more help with mapping content to buyer stages.
Step 4: Identify program gaps.
Look at your current marketing initiatives and make sure you can identify which objectives they were created to target. For each initiative, ask yourself the following questions:
- Is this initiative intended to attract and acquire new prospects or further educate current prospects about your product?
- What does interaction with this initiative indicate about the sales-readiness of a prospect?
- Am I able to effectively measure the success of this initiative?
Mapping out the purpose of each of your current initiatives (as Brainrider has done below) is the fastest way to identify areas where you’re lacking content, as well as areas where you’re lacking insight into the success of your efforts.
Step 5: Focus on performance measurement & improvement.
You’re not just generating reports to show off to your boss (although that’s a plus). You’re building a more data-driven marketing strategy so that you can continuously reevaluate and improve your approach. So make sure, right from the start, that you’re not only reporting on metrics that will prove marketing worth (leads generated, opportunities influenced, etc.), but also on metrics that will provide insight into the success of individual campaigns (click-through rates, page views, etc.). And finally, be prepared to adjust your plan regularly to ensure you’re always evolving with the needs of of your customers. For more on an agile, data-driven approach to marketing, check out:
Still looking for more information? Check out the full recording of Planning B2B Lead Generation Marketing Programs in our webinar library, and be sure to visit Brainrider’s website for more resources and cheat sheets!