A step-by-step guide to developing a powerful B2B marketing plan

Apr 08, 2024 by Charlotte Shingler Category: Knowhow

Creating a strategic B2B digital marketing plan will give your business a roadmap to success, guiding you toward your objectives and helping you use your budget effectively.

When your business gets it right, you can target effectively, enhance the overall customer experience and ensure that branding is consistent across all channels.

Here at Marcom, we understand that it can be tricky if you are not a marketing professional.

That’s why we’ve created this series of articles to guide you through the process from the beginning.

In our previous article in this series, we started with the basics, including how to get started, why goals and communication are essential and how you can start creating a B2B marketing strategy.

Now we move on to the next step. Keep reading to discover the power of planning, how to understand your target customers’ pain points and, perhaps more importantly, how to put it into action.

Part one: planning your B2B marketing strategy

Before you create any social media post or content, you must start by developing an overall B2B marketing plan that hits your target customers’ pain points and shares your brand message effectively.

However, your focus here will be vastly different from creating a B2C (business-to-customer) plan because you are targeting those key decision-makers within organisations and most likely, several individuals at the same time.

Instead, you need to focus on building relationships with these groups of individuals, working hard to understand and address their specific pain points and delivering value.

Here are some of the essential steps you should take.

Step 1. Get clear on your goals and objectives

The first step should always be getting clear on your goals and objectives. After all, you wouldn’t go on a long trip without knowing your destination first. The same is true here – Get clear on what you want and you are more likely to reach your objectives successfully.

So consider now, what do you want to achieve from your B2B marketing plan? What are your goals? Who do you want to reach?

This could include increasing brand awareness, generating leads, boosting conversions, promoting your new product or simply engaging with and building relationships with the key players in your industry.

Step 2. Understand your target audience

Who are you selling to? What do they want and need? What challenges do they face? What are their pain points? How about their preferences?

If you don’t yet know, focus on understanding your target audience and then create detailed buyer personas that can help you guide your B2B marketing efforts. This could include asking for feedback, market research, reviewing your internal data and even asking for case studies.

Step 3. Market research (insight)

Alongside creating those buyer personas, you should next gain some objective insight by conducting market research to understand the current market, opportunities and threats, to identify trends and better define your strengths and weaknesses.

Look at what your competitors are doing and how they position themselves, their target pain points and which USPs they highlight in their digital marketing efforts. What do they do well? What could they improve?

With this key information, you can better highlight your organisation’s strengths, meaningful uniqueness (ie your competitive advantage), identify any gaps in the market and better position yourself to be more competitive.

Step 4. Choose the right marketing channels

Using the data you’ve gathered, you can now start to develop your B2B content marketing plan, selecting which marketing channels to use and how to position yourself.

To do this, start by considering your B2B customer’s unique needs and behaviours before deciding which to use.

Where do they usually get their information regarding new B2B products or services? Do they network and if so, where? Where is the best place to get your unique content in front of those key decision-makers within an organisation?

This could involve digital marketing such as strategic email marketing, content creation, offering data sheets, brochures and flyers, appearances at industry events and webinars, collaboration with partners, and so on.

Step 5: Develop your strategic marketing plan

Once you’ve done your research and gathered key data, you are ready to outline your marketing plan.

  • What objectives did you define?
  • What did you learn about your target audience?
  • Did you create buyer personas?
  • How and where do your target customers research B2B products or services, network and then make their decisions?

(If you need any help with any of the steps above, get in touch. That’s what we’re here for!)

Part two: executing your B2B marketing plan

Congratulations! You’ve defined your objectives, created buyer personas, conducted market research and defined your strategic digital marketing plan. Now it’s time to put it into action.

Here are some tips on how to do this effectively.

Tip 1. Craft compelling content and messaging

Whenever you create content based on your B2B marketing plan make sure it’s engaging, informative and adds value to the B2B buyer’s experience.

Always stick to your brand guidelines and use the same brand ‘voice’ across all channels (including social media) to provide consistency and clarity.

Every piece of content you publish should be considered against your overall B2B marketing plan, addressing those specific pain points and challenges experienced by your target audience.

Tip 2. Execute with precision

Use the B2B marketing plan you’ve created to coordinate your efforts and ensure seamless execution of your marketing strategies across all channels.

Also, make sure you communicate effectively with your internal teams to ensure everyone is on the same page. This part is essential – if you want to boost your marketing ROI, you must ensure that the marketing plan you developed doesn’t get filed away in some drawer and forgotten.

Use it as your guide to success and ensure all team members understand the vision and, wherever possible, take part in its implementation.

Tip 3. Consider using marketing automation

If you’d like to optimise, simplify and enhance your B2B digital marketing efforts, it’s also worth considering marketing automation.

This can help streamline your marketing, save you time and money and allow you to share content, boost project management, create personalised email sequences, conduct A/B tests and enhance the buyer’s journey. Ask us to learn more.

Tip 4. Monitor your metrics

Whether or not you choose marketing automation, you should keep a close eye on your metrics, real-time data and feedback to understand how your B2B marketing plan is performing.

Monitor key metrics like;

  • Website traffic
  • Follows, likes, mentions and engagement on social media
  • Lead generation
  • Conversion rates
  • Bounce rates

By doing so, you can identify areas that should be optimised, tweaked and improved for more effective B2B marketing.

Summary: creating your powerful B2B marketing plan

Follow the steps we outlined above and you can get clear on your B2B marketing strategy, strategically execute your plan and enhance the success of your business.

If you also monitor your metrics, stay agile and adapt to the ever-changing market, you can enhance your B2B marketing approach and continue to reach your objectives.

Need help creating your B2B marketing plan for 2024?

Give us a call today. We’re always happy to help.

Listen to our podcast


Now available – Ask the Experts Episode #08:

A step-by-step guide to developing a powerful B2B marketing plan

In our latest podcast, the team discuss how to develop a strategic marketing communications plan and to align it with your business goals.

Podcast by Marcom: April 2024

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