Let’s face it, to remain competitive in today’s B2B marketplace, your marketing department needs to be a lead-generating engine. This means kicking out many traditional marketing vs. sales dynamics typical in B2B companies.
Current data proves that B2B buyers do not move linearly through the buyer journey. They circle back from touchpoint to touchpoint. Furthermore, ten or more decision-makers could be in the buyer group. Creating an even more complex reality, we learn that B2B buyers conduct research independently, scrubbing the internet for content that addresses their pain points. While the volume of content consumed by C-level executives has increased dramatically, the number of interactions with sales teams has diminished. As a result, the necessity of creating and publishing engaging, authentic content has never been greater.
So, how do you empower your marketing department to be a lead-generating engine?
In this article, we’ll look at some of the most common obstacles standing in the way of your marketing team’s success:
- Lack of a unified marketing vision
- Unrealistic expectations
- Disorganized workflow
- Red tape
- No digital asset management system
- Lack of access to the latest technological innovations
- Top-down directives
No Unified Marketing Vision
The first step to a successful B2B marketing campaign is establishing goals and objectives. However, before marketers can begin the process, everyone needs to understand the overall goals and objectives of the company.
- What is your vision?
- How do you want to be remembered in the marketplace?
- What do you want people to say about you?
The answers to these questions form the foundation of the marketing plan.
Your marketing team will dive in further and begin specifying the goals of a specific marketing campaign, identifying the target audience, developing customer personas, etc., before creating content.
If your marketing department is unclear about your overall company vision and mission, they’ll lack a critical element in their content marketing strategy. Additionally, your marketing team might be launching successful campaigns from a content engagement point of view. But the overall campaign might not be advancing your company’s goals.
Be sure to articulate your vision and mission, especially when there are staff changes in your marketing department.
Expectations Are Unrealistic
Empower your marketing department to be a lead-generating engine by setting realistic expectations. Far too often, decisions and deadlines are set with little to no understanding of what it takes to design and launch a campaign. As a result, your marketing department becomes stressed and frustrated, creativity shuts down, and you don’t get the results you want. In the end, no one is happy, and the power goes out from your lead-generating engine.
While deadlines are important, set them in collaboration with your marketing team.
Workflow Is Disorganized
If your content creation routine is disorganized, your marketing team will fail to actualize the power they have to generate leads. Bottlenecks, tight deadlines, and stress increase errors, slow down output, and hurt your bottom line.
- Clearly define roles and responsibilities.
- Create content calendars.
- Set clear expectations and reasonable deadlines.
- Use project management tools.
- Document your process for content creation.
- Provide your team with high-tech content creation and management tools to get the job done.
- Create space for feedback, suggestions, and collaboration.
Buried Under Red Tape
Several academic studies have found that the number of procedures and vertical layers involved in content approval has increased by more than 350% over the past 20 years. While it’s true that you want to ensure that your company brand voice is consistent across all your marketing channels, too much red tape decreases productivity and creativity. Furthermore, with so many vertical layers to pass through, your marketing department could miss an opportunity to take advantage of a trending topic or event that could increase your organic reach.
Digital Asset Management System NonExistent
Your marketing team works with possibly thousands of pieces of digital assets. If you don’t have a system for storing and retrieving digital files, your team could spend hours trying to locate and access what they need. It’s a waste of time, inefficient, and could result in missed deadlines and stress throughout the marketing department.
Create an asset content library or use SaaS or other cloud-based tools to keep your digital assets in one file, easily accessible even from remote locations.
Micromanagement Slows Down Productivity
One way to disempower your marketing team is to micromanage everything they do.
It’s essential to find a balance between ensuring that the overall goals and objectives of your marketing campaigns are being met vs. tracking every detail. Staff your marketing department with skilled professionals you trust to make the proper decisions. Be sure your marketing department includes professionals with expertise in:
- Digital marketing and SEO
- Content production
- Design and animation
- Internal communications/PR
- Ad campaigns
- Marketing automation
Create a marketing team mix of creative and analytic professionals. Once you have a highly-skilled team in place, you are free to become a partner, focusing solely on outcomes.
No Access To The Latest Technological Innovations
Technological innovations give your company a competitive edge against your competitors. The same is true for your marketing department. Adopting cutting-edge marketing tech tools, such as automation and analytics, planning and management, and integration software will empower your team with more time for creativity, strategy, and innovation.
Additionally, marketing tech tools provide your team with valuable insights that enable the design of data-driven content marketing campaigns. For example, insights like buyer behavior allow your marketing department to launch customized campaigns that personalize the buyer experience, significantly increasing your ROI.
Give Your Marketing Team A Voice In the Executive Suite
One way to empower your marketing department to be a lead-generating engine is to invite them to be a part of your executive team. Traditionally, marketers report through the sales department or function primarily as recipients of instructions from above. However, your marketing team stays on top of the latest industry and B2B buyer trends. As a result, they have access to invaluable data and insights to bring into executive suite discussions on business and customer vision. Furthermore, by giving them a voice, your marketing staff will feel valued and a part of the broader company vision.
- Share your company vision, mission, goals, and objectives.
- Set realistic expectations.
- Define roles and responsibilities.
- Streamline content creation, testing, and approval processes.
- Implement a content creation system.
- Centralize the storage of your digital assets.
- Don’t micromanage; trust your team.
- Utilize cutting-edge marketing technology.
- Give your marketing team a voice in the executive suite.