Three common B2B marketing mistakes you should be avoiding

On October 7, 2016

The Prospect Shop has a lot of experience with direct marketing: As a list broker, we've been involved with over 1,500 marketing campaigns in the last year alone. We've seen what works, and what could work better.  As such, we'd like to share a few common mistakes that companies make in their B2B marketing, along with some suggestions on how to avoid them:

1. Dotting the 'I' in 'Team'

It's good to be focused with your marketing, but not if it excludes potential decision makers.

TechTarget, an international technology buying and marketing network, argues that the number one biggest mistake made in B2B technology marketing is treating a company's buying team as if it's a single person. Instead treat it like what it is – a team. By focusing on a single name or point of contact, you miss the potential to reach everyone involved in the decision-making process. 

For the technology market, at least, TechTarget's statistics show 61 per cent of companies have five or more members on their buying team. And in any industry, for larger companies or larger purchases, inevitably more people are going to have a say in what the company does.

Having a direct and focused marketing strategy can be positive, but not if it comes at the cost of ignoring or excluding potential decision makers. Be aware of who does what at the companies you want to work with, and who you need to convince of your message.

With our help you can focus your direct marketing in the right direction.
With our help you can focus your direct marketing in the right direction.

2. Getting too personal

With that said, the solution isn't necessarily to personalise your marketing directly at every member of the team. According to The Harvard Business Review this is a mistake, and you do yourself no favours by treating each member of the buying team as a unique target.

A buying team is made of individuals with their own roles and agendas, who are ideally working towards the same goals. But as HBR puts it, separately focusing on multiple decision-makers can "amplify the disconnects": Rather than getting the team to decide together that they want your product, you risk appealing to different individuals with differing priorities. A broader, collective approach will avoid crossed-purposes or conflicts of interest that might hurt your chances of a sale.

Treat a buying team like a united entity and you stand a better chance of them behaving like one. This can help your chances for a 'quality sale', where a customer goes for a larger deal, with the accompanying bigger payoff for you, explained HBR.

3. Missing the mark

It's fundamental to direct marketing that it's, well, direct. You aren't casting your advertising out to the wider world on television or a billboard, you're pointing it specifically at people you think will be receptive to it, and who could become your customers.

But this is only effective if they are the right people.

Direct marketing can't be effective when it's misdirected.

Misjudging your direct marketing by not using a mailing list that is specific to a target demographic, or using a list based on a demographic that doesn't align with your potential customers means you will miss out on a receptive audience. Direct marketing can't be effective when it's misdirected. 

This is where a list broker like The Prospect Shop comes in. Our job is to make sure your marketing campaigns are targeting the right audience. With The Prospect Shop you can get access to over 100 B2B marketing lists that are tailored to particular industries or occupations here in Australia. With our advice and impartial recommendations you can focus your direct marketing in the right direction, and avoid mistakes.

If you'd like to discuss your upcoming B2B marketing campaigns or how our list brokering services could help, please get in contact with us today.

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