We all make mistakes; it’s a part of life and it’s certainly a part of being a business owner. Sometimes we can see our mistakes coming from a mile away and other times we only see them when they kick us from behind because the decision seemed like a good idea at the time.
But, as a business owner, don’t just accept that you will make mistakes — avoid making them altogether. To help, we’ve compiled the top five marketing mistakes B2B businesses tend to make.
Trying to be everything to everyone. This is one of the biggest marketing mistakes we see B2B businesses make. In an effort to grow, a business tries to service everyone by offering to do anything and everything rather than focusing on their sweet spot. Figure out what you’re really good at and focus your marketing on it. Being successful is about knowing what you can’t or shouldn’t do as much as it is about knowing what you can and should do.
Failing to understand your target market. Similar to trying to be everything to everyone, you need to intimately know your target market and your ideal customer. Sector specialization is a big deal in the B2B world so while expanding into a new sector is tempting, it’s a waste of time if you don’t fully understand that market or fit into it.
Forgetting who you’re talking to. You may have more than one ideal customer, and that’s okay. But each ideal customer likely has different needs. How you speak to the CEO is different than how you speak to the IT director — one needs to see that your business is a problem solver and the other needs to understand how your products or services will save the company money.
Neglecting to differentiate your business from others. As a small business, you need to stand out or risk sinking fast. If you’re not promoting your business’s expertise and your differentiating qualities then what you’re actually saying to a potential customer is “you need this but you don’t necessarily need it from me.”
Overlooking your value. We work hard for our money, which means we are looking for the best value for our money. If you’re not marketing your value along with your expertise then you’re not giving your customers a reason to choose your product or service. Instead, you’re giving those customers a reason to go with a cheaper competitor.
B2B marketing mistakes can be costly
Making one of these B2B marketing mistakes can be costly but it’s usually easy enough to recover. But, it’s possible to make all of these mistakes in a single communication! One mistake may be overlooked, but five at one time most definitely won’t land you a new customer.
And here’s a bonus tip. If your business is well established and is the only kid on the block, so to speak, it may seem unnecessary to develop a structured marketing plan. Wrong. Lacklustre efforts are not good enough; unstructured marketing is not only ineffective, it also comes across as unprofessional. A structured marketing strategy outlines your plan and keeps you focused on always putting your best foot forward.
Just like we want to make sure our clients avoid making big marketing mistakes, we also want to make sure they avoid big bookkeeping and accounting mistakes as well. Don’t miss our next blog post!