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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.
Your content marketing goals and objectives need to be taken directly from both your short and long-term business goals.
But regardless of your immediate goal, a mantra of your B2B content marketing strategy should be to never stop educating your prospects. It’s crucial to understand what you hope to accomplish, but understanding your customers’ goals, problems, challenges, and opportunities is even more important when setting your B2B content marketing strategy. Ultimately, it’s important to focus on areas in which you can fill an informational void for your customers and prospects that will help get them closer to achieving their goals.
The intersection of your goals, your customers’ goals, and your solution expertise is where your B2B content marketing strategy should live. Understanding this relationship should help you uncover how much content you need, what type of content you need, where and when in the buying process your content will do the most good, how you will distribute your content, and ultimately highlight your content marketing mission statement. According to Joe Pulizzi of the Content Marketing Institute, it’s vitally important to hone in on the why of content marketing before you ever concern yourself with the what. To get more tips on content marketing for your B2B business, sign-up for our free monthly newsletter. Sam Brennand: Sam has a wealth of experience in B2B marketing and sales working on the Windows Client team at Microsoft Canada and the SMB Retail team at TELUS.
For example, this diagram illustrates researched levels of importance for different types of promotion in B2B marketing.
If you apply the science of business-to-business marketing, you'll develop winning strategies and sustainable competitive advantage. New products are the lifeblood of your business… don’t take risks – use trained, knowledgeable new product launch marketing consultants to be sure of success. Remember, "Procrastination is the thief of time" and the sooner you act, the sooner your Organisation will be humming at greater efficiency. Youa€™ll be joining the 130,000 Smart Insights members from 80 countries who trust our advice to Plan, Manage and Optimize their marketing. The importance today of using digital marketing in organisational or business-to-business (B2B) marketing is highlighted by the latest Buyersphere report from Base One. Online events and social media are also significant, more so if you drill down and look at their overall influence on purchase.
The route to effective B2B digital marketing unquestionably lies in engaging customers and prospects and providing them with useful, relevant content that improves their own businessa€™ revenue and performance and positions yours as an expert to rely upon. Routinely creating and disseminating excellent content lies at the heart of a digital strategy that can then draw upon the benefits that search, social media, digital PR and landing page strategies can provide to maximise impact.
Social media has balanced the playing field and created an outlet for disaffected customers.
Most business to business products and services are conceived to solve a problem for a particular type of customer.
I hope you can see through my blog posts that Ia€™m passionate about advancing digital uptake in B2B marketing.
You can define your Customer Value Proposition how you like, but from the point of view of your Customer, this is how the various offers on the market look.
Companies from the recently emerged countries have a competitive advantage on price, at a quality that is up to global standards.
The product push approach a€“ making a product and then marketing it aggressively - has been getting diminishing returns for years. Experienced MCE Senior Associates can help your management team tackle the challenge of creating closer customer relationships based on understanding your customer need. Experienced MCE Senior Associates can help your management team look into the organization, identify the implications of your chosen strategy for the customer-facing and support people in your organization. Both strategies mentioned above carry the same trend: the quality, performance or customized solution the customer is looking for is also a a€?sustainablea€? one, and this is where European companies can differentiate themselves.
Experienced MCE Senior Associates can help your management team ensure alignment of its sustainability and innovation policies with its overall strategy and Customer Value Proposition.Individual managers may tackle these issues in a diverse and interactive group of peers, in a workshop led by an MCE Senior Associate.

When B2B companies produce and sell functional ingredients or components that end up in complex products several steps later along the value chain, they struggle to have the value-added of their component fully recognized by the end customer. If a firm has a component with unique characteristics, it has more leverage than when there are comparable products available. Companies can seek to engage in strategic partnerships with their direct customers and co-design innovative solutions based on their combined strengths in product technology and market access. Perhaps the most effective route, but the most difficult to do, is to participate directly in the selling process to the end customer.
Find where in the value chain the real buying decision is made a€“ find out who the end customer is.
Craft a strategy to influence the buying decision, including direct participation in the sales process.
Experienced MCE Senior Associates can help your management team determine how to take leadership in creating a "value network" way of working, to improve your chances to get the business, and delight the customers along the value chain. Experienced MCE Senior Associates can help your managers plan the implementation of their global expansion strategy.
Individual managers may benefit from learning skills for their global role in a group of peers from different industries, in a workshop led by an MCE Senior Associate.
MCE has a team of Senior Associates with B2B corporate experience in various key industries. Every business professionala€”and every businessa€”is dealing with constant change and long-term uncertainty.
Develop your ability to meet tomorrowa€™s challenges and adapt successfully to changing conditions.Click the arrow to request more information about MCE's Open Enrolment Workshops. Increase the ability of your managers and leaders to meet tomorrow's challenges and adapt successfully to changing conditions.Click the arrow to request more information.
MCE senior associates provide flexible one-on-one mentoring and coaching to key people in yourA organization at middle or senior levels. For management learning and management academies, MCE can help you lay the foundation and get started.
Talk to MCE about developing talent for productivity, engagement and the leadership pipeline.Click the arrow to request more information.
You’ll be joining the 130,000 Smart Insights members from 80 countries who trust our advice to Plan, Manage and Optimize their marketing. 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. Different types of content will help you achieve different types of goals, so locking down what you hope to achieve is vital. Be sure to plan carefully so you’ll be able to measure how successful you’ve been in achieving your goals down the road. At its core, content marketing is about creating better informed customers and building relationships and sharing your knowledge without expectation is the key. They need to be the fuel that stokes your content fire and taking the time to build detailed buyer personas is the best way to hone in on these.
That’s why Joe recommends creating a content marketing mission statement as a crucial step in the development of a content marketing strategy. You need to believe that the knowledge you have about solving problems with your solution can make a difference for your prospects and customers because content marketing is a long-term strategy.
Learn how to deliver a good user experience, how to set up an effective site and what features you need to capture lead information. B2B management requires an intricate weave of all aspects of the 8P's of the Marketing mix.
Just email us by clicking this button or fill out this form and a consultant will get back to you ASAP.
A Supplier websites, web searches and in most countries emails are now primary information sources for business buyers. But because they don't have a planned approach, they fail to make the most of communicating the services they offer, the value they add, or the expertise they have to effectively meet customer needs.
But ita€™s at the human interaction level, rather than technical level, where the benefits of content marketing are most interesting. Shared and personal experiences can underpin relationships and can be effectively used to build engagement.
Whilst great viral commentary can make a business, one bad experience can destroy it as let-down customers realise they are not alone. Addressing the problems and offering ways to solve them, minimise their impact and disruption and actually remove them from the equation is a powerful way to drive trust and transaction. Companies in a€?traditionally richa€? countries have to distinguish themselves through a Premium Offer a€“ the best quality, performance, reputation a€“ or on using their expertise and networks to offer Custom-Made Solutions.
Todaya€™s successful organizations have figured out what the customer really needs and how to deliver it better than anyone else. Customer focus requires organizing people around the customera€™s needs, regardless of function. Through consulting, mentoring, workshops or other methods, we can customize a solution suited to your needs. Companies must find a way to make the difference in their organization, or they will not succeed. In many cases, you cannot sell to your customera€™s customera€™s customer, so it is difficult to differentiate your component from that of competitors.
A firm can try to increase the perceived value of its component by emphasizing the benefits directly to their customersa€™ customers.

An Ingredient Brand is exactly what the name implies: an ingredient or component of a product that has its own brand identity.
Senseo, the European coffee maker that was co-branded by Douwe Egberts and Philips Electronics has brought value to both parties. They already have experience in emerging markets, and now have an opportunity to take competitive positions on the global stage.
We can help your Sales and Key Account Managers, and product managers, be successful internationally, including in mature markets. They have held senior general management positions and have worked in more than one country.
Having robust skills in multiple areas reduces uncertainty and opens up a whole new world of possibilities for success. Talented managers and leaders in key roles make all the difference in taking smart decisions and leading strategy implementation to success.
We can help you decide what your curriculum should be in support of your strategy and learning and development needs. 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. Once you’ve nailed down your mission statement, you can use it as a barometer for all of your content creation.
Talking frequently and in detail about particular topics creates credibility which leads to you being trusted. Advertising in the 1960a€?s looked to profile particular people and sell them solutions to their problems and this has largely remained the same in marketing today. In B2B, there isna€™t a transaction as such, but white papers, downloadable content and subscriptions emails are great ways to obtain data which can be followed up later. Systems and processes are different a€“ driven by customer a€“centric metrics and customer insights. It starts with the sales team and key account managers, includes the operational and design people, and requires the support of the entire organization. The end benefit of the resin to a painter is that he can apply a second layer within hours rather than having to come back another day, which is more expensive. They can go even further and invite end users or end user groups to help them design new products whose performance is of high value to the end customer.
MCE Senior Associates can help you with refining and clarifying your strategy and customer value proposition. Thata€™s why thousands of people have turned to MCE for professional development that moves their skills to a higher levela€”fast.
Identifying talent potential and developing that talent to take on greater responsibilities is crucial for ensuring leadership succession asA the older generation retires. An important part of this is developing your people in the competencies related your your strategy. 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. Their old vertical structures and linear processes do not support the new customer value propositions. The shift in strategy is logical, but getting the organization and people to implement it is very difficult.
This benefit also reduces the a€?downtimea€? of the painted space, for the owner of the space e.g. MCE can help you with talent assessment, pipeline planning, and tailoring career path plans to achieve your future senior management needs.
It could be about filling a knowledge gap in a specific area in preparation for taking on a more senior role. Choosing a Premium Offer or Custom-Made Solution requires continuous incremental innovation to be successful. Guided by expert course leaders, you will learn new skills with a small group of peers from various industries and a diversity of cultures.
Your future leaders need to understand your business, the broader business environment, how to make strategic business decisions, and how to lead and manage people in complex organizations. Management Centre Europe can help you custom-design a development curriculum for the individual managers in your leadership pipeline. Do you have unique processes, expertise, or experience that differentiates you from your competition? They need a cross-functional understanding of how the organization works together to get things done. They need to master the strategy for their customer value proposition, and lead their people to be more customer-focused.
How can resin producers make these benefits known to the end customer and capture their fair share of the value? Create a list of reasons why your audience will respect and welcome your content, print it out, and post it on the wall where you can see it every day. The people who report to them, especially those who do not have marketing backgrounds, need a basic understanding of the principles of Value-Based B2B Marketing so everyone can have an understanding of what it means to be a customer-focused organization.

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