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Market 8, a web-design and inbound marketing agency, has created an Inbound Marketing Roadmap to provide a framework for companies that seek putting together a B2B marketing plan. Inbound marketing is based on the premise that instead of pushing a sale, marketers must provide solutions-based information that encourages customers to engage with a company’s content. The Inbound Marketing Roadmap was developed to show marketers not only how to gain that permission, but also the method to then move an inbound customer along the sales funnel to an eventual purchase. The Roadmap is split into organized blocks of activities, each building upon the previous step in a logical format.
The Roadmap details the specific activities that take place within each phase, providing a straight-forward project management template.
Reach out to the author: contact and available social following information is listed in the top-right of all news releases. The following practical approach to B2B content marketing strategy provides a framework to plan content development and marketing prioritized against your objectives and audiences.
For many B2B leaders, content marketing is a key initiative when marketing a complex product or solution.
The first step in building a B2B content marketing strategy is committing to measurable marketing objectives and prioritizing their importance against your business objectives.  B2B marketing plans often include both qualitative and quantitative objectives.
Because content marketing is resource-intensive, you must prioritize your resource allocation to achieve better results. If you have the opposite priority of attracting more leads, then your investment priorities will be reversed.
The next step should focus on using a customer-focused articulation of the business you are in. The classic example is Theodore Levitt’s question: “What business are you in?” He illustrates this point with drill bits.
The third step in building your content marketing strategy is profiling your target customer segments. First, model your pipeline by understanding the different stages a customer goes through when deciding to do business with you.
The information-seeking has a broad focus, using more generic and high-level search terms and keywords. They are seeking assistance with definition, scope, and internal buy-in to solving a problem. Keywords and search terms will be more specific and will start to reflect solution alternatives or categories. They have a solid understanding of how each alternative measures up and the decision maker is trying to get comfortable with committing to one of the decision alternatives. Keywords and search terms will be much more specific and will be focused on specific solutions.
They have a solid understanding of how each alternative measures up and the decision maker is trying to get comfortable with committing to one of the alternatives.
The chart below is the tool we recommend to map decision stages and content opportunities for your content plan. Part of the answer to achieving better content marketing results is faster content planning and better execution. Slideshare uses cookies to improve functionality and performance, and to provide you with relevant advertising.
Marketing Campaign Model Canvas (MC2) is an aid for marketers to articulate and consolidate their campaign planning, quickly and easily. Before you start talking, find out who you’re talking to. Is your offering aimed at the everyman end-user whose concerns are unlikely to extend beyond issues of personal relevance such as convenience and usability?
Getting a good handle on the target audience will let you make your moves with confidence later in the game, so you want to be as accurate as possible.


More often than not, dig enough and you’ll find some that are shared by all levels – all personas. Everybody has problems they need solving, and aligning your offering to those is key to generating appeal. If your offering can save their users time spent on routine tasks, freeing up that time to use on more crucial things (or even to get the job done and knock off earlier – thumbs up for staff morale!), call it out.
As marketing strategist David Meerman Scott put it, are you going to earn your way in, or buy, beg, and bug your way in? This is inbound versus outbound marketing – getting found through strong branding and content marketing, versus finding folks and showing them what you’ve got. Useful, compelling content is the meat and potatoes of your campaign. This is the thing that makes people even want to take a look at your offering, much less put it on the shortlist to their shortlist. The only sure way to success in any campaign is working on what you can quantify. But first you need to define what those are. Additionally, consider: what can you afford to do in-house? What can and should you outsource? And do you have reserves? You’ll be joining the 130,000 Smart Insights members from 80 countries who trust our advice to Plan, Manage and Optimize their marketing. As we enter 2015, the latest stats on use of digital media and technology all point to the growing importance of creating a digital strategy. The need for businesses to compete to reach and engage their audiences as they use digital devices is clear and well-established.
Yet we know from our Managing Digital Marketing research for 2014 and 2015 that many businesses don't have a digital strategy - only around half of all businesses are using digital media and technology strategically. To help businesses create or refine their digital strategy, Dan Bosomworth and I created the RACE planning framework to summarise key activities that need to be measured. This infographic gives a brief explanation of each part of the customer lifecycle and highlights the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to help review strategy effectiveness.
For 2015 we have updated our RACE digital strategy infographic to give a stronger focus on strategy development rather than inbound and content marketing which was more the focus of the original from 2012. We developed our RACE Digital Strategy framework to help businesses scope out their investment in digital technology and media. It's one of 10 infographics which are designed to be useful - to help businesses map, plan and manage their digital strategy. If you're not familiar with RACE, these are the four main stages of the customer lifecycle and how a digital strategy and different forms of technology can support businesses to improve the efficiency of the funnel. The marketing funnel remains as the most common way to manage customer engagement and to set targets and review performance. A digital strategy defines a focus for investment in digital technology and media for an organisation to engage audiences as they use digital devices. The growth in use of digital devices by consumers as they select and buy  products has changed consumer buying behaviour to such a degree that a digital strategy is now seen as essential by many. A digital strategy and digital marketing strategy are very similar, so it's not worth getting too hung up on the terminology or differences, however they can mean different things to different people within an organisation, so it's best to standardise. So, alternatively, a digital strategy focuses on making the right investments in digital technology rather than digital media.
Hi Dave, would you please explain that satisfaction and loyalt is a KPI for effectiveness or efficiency?
Planning against these measurable strategic objectives allow you to report on marketing results instead of just tactical activities. This will help to identify which content categories, topics, and approaches are most relevant to your customer. Drill bit manufacturers care about everything involved in the production of their drill bits, but drill bit customers don’t really want drill bits.
Sales profiles, personas, and best customer models are tools you should use to profile your customer segments in order to improve the relevance and effectiveness of your content marketing. Make sure to focus on your customer’s needs and pains, rather than simply providing expert knowledge.


Brainrider recommends using these 4 strategic elements as a practical framework to plan content development and marketing prioritized against client objectives and audiences.
Or does it target, say, 5-10 man companies, who would typically be more concerned about flexibility and cost savings? Now would be a good time to call in support from your comrades on the ground, and look deep into the profiling. These universal pain points bear as much attention as the big hurts that afflict only, say, IT staff or large enterprises. If it will give cash-strapped companies a means of getting the functionality of expensive solutions on their own terms, underscore it. Nail down what works for yours, and align them with the overall objective. Think about brand awareness. The metrics you collect along the course of the campaign will tell you how you can tweak and adjust your performance to achieve those numbers.
RACE is structured around the classic stages of customer lifecycle marketing from generating initial awareness in a brand as part of customer acquisition through nurturing relationships with prospects to sale and ongoing customer engagement. Although most would agree that prospects don't pass through the funnel in a linear way and it's more of iterative process as shown in this infographic summarising the customer buying decision, it's essential that a funnel-based conversion model is use to set targets and review the effectiveness and efficiency of online marketing.
Otentimes, I find they are simply different labels with digital strategy a short-hand contraction for the longer digital marketing strategy. Otherwise, your campaign will be trying to accomplish too many things at once without focusing on your objectives.
The key in building the right segments is to identify customer needs and pains, filter them through the business you are in, group their needs and pains by roles or audiences, and then use that data to profile your top customer segments.
Click here to download a working copy of the B2B Content Marketing Strategy Template or contact us for more information about how we help clients get better content marketing.
No matter how great your offering, if it doesn’t resonate with them, they’re not likely to spend on it. Product demo videos, case studies, blog posts filled with helpful tips – you have a lot of choices to present your offerings. You want each activity you run to have a direct and positive impact on how people perceive you and your offerings. From an internal point-of-view, digital strategy considers the range of digital technology deployed inside a company to manage digital marketing and digital business such as marketing automation, content and commerce management and CRM systems as catalogued so well by Scott Brinkler in his Marketing Technology Landscape  From an external perspective, a digital strategy focuses more on digital technology used by audiences and considers how to engage audiences when using different types of digital devices from the obvious smartphone, tablets and desktop devices to the less obvious games consoles and in-store devices. While these areas of expertise are important to managing and operating a business, not all of them are relevant to what your customer wants to know. Understanding the business you are in through the lens of your customer ensures that you are marketing holes, not just bits.
It is important to profile these segments by developing a long list of customer needs and pains using your customer’s own “How do I” questions.
Identify what matters, and what processes need to be put in place to track and measure them.
In government, or some not-for-profit organisations, developing a "digital marketing strategy" is less appropriate, so a digital strategy gives a more appropriate label for managing digital technologies. For example, the UK government defines its Digital Strategy in this useful way - here there is a clear focus on technology to deliver services rather than marketing.




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