The 3 Most Common B2B Marketing Mistakes

Digital marketing is extremely competitive, and can be confusing for B2B organizations. There are options for email, PPC, social media, content marketing, videos, and webinars, all with the aim of trying to reach potential customers. As the number of opportunities to engage a customer grow, so do the chances to blow the sale.

B2B purchasers are faced with a mountain of unsolicited marketing and sales inquiries every day. In a lot of cases, bad marketing is the first reason a potential client will cut a company from their list of options to partner with. We’ve rounded up three of the most common mistakes B2B marketers make, and how you can avoid them.

Talking to the Wrong Person

There are two major factors to every campaign: the audience, and the pitch. If you get one of those wrong, you probably won’t have much success.

When planning a marketing campaign, some companies take the easy and cheap route. They pull the owner or CEO of a company and point all marketing efforts to them. The problem is the CEO is busy running the company; not making decisions about what copier brand to use. A strong leader knows the value of delegating tasks, so they can use their time to focus on the big picture, not the pixels that make it up. In other words, he or she’s got people for that!

Why send software specs to the CEO of a law firm? You’re completely missing the mark, and that’s no way to set a first impression. Your marketing dollars are likely going directly into the trash.

Taking the extra time to research the correct individuals before sending out a campaign will save you some grief in the long run. If you aren’t sure, a visit to LinkedIn or even a call to the office manager can help to lead you in the right direction.

Getting Your Personalization Wrong

Personalized content or email is a great idea, but problems pop up when that personalization gets your prospect’s name, gender, or role wrong.

Putting the wrong name on an email is a sign that your organization lacks proper attention to detail. If their name is wrong, how can they be confident their order will be correct, or their concerns will be taken seriously? We’ve all probably received at least one campaign email addressed to “Dear <First Name>” and our first instinct was to reach for the ‘delete’ key. Even worse, our first move might have been a screenshot to shame the company on Twitter, followed by ‘delete.’

While this mistake is all too common, the fix is pretty simple. Have a regular system of checks and balances built into your personalization. Whether this means a team member reviewing new leads, a salesperson double-checking your CRM, or even doing a test-run of your personalization once a month, a little extra time goes a long way.

On another note, if phone calls are your thing – before you make that call, be sure you can pronounce your target’s name. If you’re even slightly unsure, dial the front office staff first, their job is to be courteous and organized. Plus, they won’t take a personal slight at your lack of certainty – unlike your potential client.

Missing the Long Tail of Clients

Often referred to in product management or search engine optimization, the concept of the Fat Head and Long Tail is a distribution model. In this case, the Fat Heads are the big companies who everybody knows. They have the market share, and a vast majority of marketing and sales dollars are spent targeting them. The Long Tail, on the other hand, is the plethora of smaller companies who own less of the market, but also get targeted less…do you see where we are going with this?

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If you’re basing your marketing off who made Forbes Top 100 lists, you’re missing out on a lot of good opportunities. Wouldn’t you rather spend your time, effort, and money on companies who are trying to get to that level? These are the companies who are hungry for success; the underdogs who are just waiting to pull off an upset when no one expects it. They haven’t settled for being part of the ‘in’ crowd, they are spending their money trying to take them down.

The entrepreneurial and startup market is exploding. Expand your marketing to growing businesses and expanding markets as well. You never know when you’ll find the next big thing that fits your marketing personas perfectly, just because you took a chance.

Landing new B2B customers can be difficult, but as the saying goes, “a little goes a long way.” As you spend hard-earned dollars and hours of your time designing and implementing marketing plans, make sure to avoid these mistakes. A little extra research and quality assurance will have a big impact on making your campaign more successful.