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2020 has been a challenging year for many businesses. With increased pressure on marketing teams to deliver, reduced staffing and smaller budgets – generating a high return on investment (ROI) is key for success.

Your customers may be reviewing their budgets, reducing resource or even pausing new activity until they’re on more stable ground. It makes sense, but what does that mean for businesses (like yours) who are looking to target B2B customers?

It’s time to review and refocus your marketing efforts to ensure that it meets the needs of your customers in the current climate, and that you’re working to maximize that all-important ROI. Here are five ways (plus a bonus tip) that you can start to improve the ROI on your B2B marketing today:

Planning and preparation is key

Understanding your target audience, their customer journey, their motivations and their needs is essential, particularly in the current climate. How can you help your current customers solve their problems? What solutions can you give them?

Revisit your customers targeted personas and their decision-making journey. How has this changed and what can you offer them to help? Focus on your existing customer base and help them to be more successful with their clients, by better understand the changes they are going through. You’ve already spent budget on acquiring these leads and it’s important to nurture these relationships as well as maximize ROI.

Informative, relevant content is essential

According to marketing advisory firm Demand Metric, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about three times as many leads. With that in mind and the current financial climate, providing good quality content makes sense to position your company as a thought leader, as well as benefit from search engine optimization.

47% of B2B buyers consume three to five pieces of content prior to engaging with a sales person, and 60% of people are inspired to seek out a product after reading content about it.

It’s important that the content is useful, relevant and compelling and meets the needs of your prospective customers – knowing your audience is essential to drive a successful content strategy.

Choose the right channels

Delivering a B2B message can be more challenging than a B2C campaign. Your “target audience” is usually a team rather than an individual and finding targeted channels in niche industries can be difficult. As well as the fact that in-person industry networking events and conferences are likely to be a little different in future.

This is where reviewing your existing leads and contacts is essential. If you’ve spent the last few years building up a comprehensive B2B email subscriber list, well done! Now is the time to utilize this and send out your relevant, targeted communications.

If you don’t have this database built up, digital channels such as account based advertising (ABA – preferably enabled by a programmatic platform) are usually the most cost-effective and targeted way to reach your chosen audience. Another option to explore is developing your brand as a thought-leader in industry publications, websites and communications – it doesn’t have to have a direct sales message, avoiding this might actually add authenticity – or even working with influencers in your industry.

Utilize existing tools

It probably isn’t the right time to invest in lots of new digital tools if budgets are limited – it’s time to get more out of the existing tools you have in place. Take a look at the Content Management System (CMS) , Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and marketing automation tools your organisation is currently using and plan out if there are better ways they could be used.

Is there an opportunity to design a more advanced marketing automation funnel to get more leads? Can you do some A/B testing on existing content to improve conversion? Can you connect your Customer Retention Management (CRM) and Content Management System (CMS) together to automate your lead generation? There are lots of tools and plugins that can be used on website to automate communication, leads and data collection.

Execution matters

There’s no point putting great, well-planned and targeted campaigns in place if there isn’t a strong finish. The purpose of your activities is to gain business and execution of strategy is an essential part of this.

The 80-20 principle isn’t going to be enough here – successful marketing campaigns need to be driving leads, conversions and income to maximize ROI.

Measurement is also key. Setting up meaningful KPI’s and a simple, useful campaign dashboard is essential to measure campaign success. Robust KPIs and reporting helps you sell your efforts internally and celebrate successes that can be rolled out across the business. It makes it easier to review campaigns and work out where you can learn and improve if you’ve planned in measurement and goals from the beginning.

B2B blogs are an underused tool

Here’s a bonus tip: B2B blogs are often underutilized but can be a great opportunity to deliver new, relevant content to your audience as well as improve your on-site SEO and develop your business as a thought leader or voice of authority.

You need to be clear on the aims of your content so that your messaging resonates with the audience. Are you going to share hands-on application tips? Is it going to be thought leadership? Take a look at your business goals and work out which is going to be the best approach for your B2B audience.

Looking to reach more B2B customers, review your marketing activity or discover new techniques to maximize return on investment? Get in touch with us at for a free review of your business.