How Effective B2B Marketing Increases Business Value
If you’re a business owner, you don’t need to hear that you need a marketing plan.
What you may not know or not had a reason to believe until now: if your marketing strategy is developed by people that understand your business and executed effectively, marketing can take you much farther than even the best salespeople – though marketing is meant to align with the sales team and make selling easier. The result: maximum business value when it comes time to sell or pass your business on to the next generation of owners.
Marketing is a way to increase the value of your business – often more so than your sales team, though effective marketing is meant to serve sales and make their job easier.
The right marketing strategy can substantially augment the business valuation of B2B companies. Communicating the problems you solve and the unique value you bring to your target markets will create and capture demand, build your brand, establish customer relationships and ultimately – grow the value of your business.
Below are eight ways to ensure that your marketing will generate and capture demand, drive leads, increase sales, and maximize your business value for your company.
1. Craft a Comprehensive Strategy
The most effective strategies start with your goals—revenues, customer acquisition and retention, margins, new target markets, new solutions, and even your exit strategy—and then work backwards to the present day. We call it the Merlyn Principle.
A solid marketing strategy is both holistic and customized, and is far easier to craft with an agile marketing partner who takes the time to learn and understand your business.
2. Establish Your Value
It starts with understanding what truly differentiates your company. What problems do you solve and what is the real value underlying what you offer your clients?
The brand story process represents a repeatable and proven process for quickly and comprehensively surfacing all of the value you provide, your differentiation, and other important parts of your story. As part of the brand story process, it’s essential to collect input from team members who interact with customers and external partners, and to understand the personas of buyers and influencers.
Exploring Blue Ocean Strategy will help you identify where the value you provide will attract non-customers and those not even looking for a solution but would find great value in what you provide if presented in a way that resonates with them. This will help you move away from saturated, highly competitive markets (red oceans) to carve out your own space (blue ocean) where competition becomes irrelevant.
3. Develop Your Message
It’s critical to develop messaging that clearly conveys your value, the problems of your market, the opportunities that arise from these problems, the ROI from these opportunities, your unique process, and your tangible evidence of success through case studies and testimonials.
This is best executed by copywriting professionals that really understand your business – ideally those that go through the brand story process with you, or even lead it for you.
4. Showcase Your Expertise & Credibility
Demonstrating your thought leadership is important but not enough. It’s imperative that you also provide evidence of your credibility in the form of testimonials and, ideally, case studies that clearly articulate the challenges your customers faced, how you solved their problems, and what impact that has had on their business (and them personally).
When happy customers review you on platforms like Clutch, Google and other relevant sites, your business value grows even further.
5. Capture Existing Demand: Inbound Marketing
For those prospects actively searching for solutions you provide, it’s important to pull them in by boosting your online visibility. This is best achieved by optimizing web pages, blogs, and other content with search engine optimization (SEO).
If your organic rankings need improvement, it’s important to evaluate paid search options like Google Ads, Microsoft Ads, and LinkedIn – if you can’t earn your way to the top of search results, you can buy your way there.
And, considering that Google stacks the deck of search results by placing up to four paid ads before any organic results are displayed, it’s sometimes critical to play the Google Ads game whether you like it or not.
6. Generate New Demand (Outbound Marketing)
For those prospects NOT actively searching for solutions you provide but who could derive great value from them (i.e. your target market living with the status quo), it’s critical to go to them with messaging that will resonate with them in mediums they pay attention to.
Email marketing is the fastest and most cost-effective way to do so but is an uphill battle on a good day because everybody and their brother does it. We target 10-20% open rates for B2B prospecting emails. If you get below that, it’s not working well – unless you get enough people to respond.
Direct mail can yield 50% conversation rates when followed up in a timely manner with a call – just make sure that the person you’re sending these to is still employed there and will receive it. Then only send 5-10 per week so that you can follow up with each one within 1-2 days of receiving what you sent. Sending postcards and hoping for a response never works unless you send them as often as Bed, Bath & Beyond, though look what happened to them…
Other mediums worth considering: highly targeted events with email/direct mail campaigns before and after, industry associations and publications, Vistage with its community boards, and other mediums where your target market is active.
7. Educate Prospects
Prospects need two things to solve their problems: an understanding of how to solve them and then who is best to solve them.
To answer the “how,” it’s important to provide your thought leadership on how your company solves them but also acknowledge other alternatives and the pros and cons of each – doing so increased your credibility.
To answer the “who,” it’s important to fairly compare different types of alternatives – not specific competitors, but other types of alternatives including the prospect doing it themselves. With marketing for example, you can hire freelancers, generalist agencies, niche agencies, or you could do everything on your own perhaps supplemented with outside resources to a lesser degree.
Creating tools like ROI calculators, webinars, and product demos will help them evaluate your solution to see if it’s optimal for them. Educating them on how simple you’ve made the purchasing process will also reduce buying friction.
8. Leverage a Marketing Partner for Maximum Impact
Results-driven marketing plays an undeniable role in increasing the valuation of B2B companies, but executing effective strategies is easier said than done.
As a game-changing partner for B2B businesses, Innovaxis works as an extension of your team to strategize and execute a custom marketing program to elevate your business. Innovaxis clients experience double digit revenue growth and a 300%+ ROI within the first 18 months. Over time, Innovaxis clients grow and thrive, and in some cases, are made offers they can’t refuse – even when they weren’t for sale.
Innovaxis services include:
An objective, external assessment is often what businesses need to identify gaps and areas of opportunity. Innovaxis marketing audits provide actionable insights, pinpointing where you are falling short in your current marketing efforts and where you could make the most impact.
Brand Story Workshops
This foundational service dives deep into the DNA of your company. By engaging in a Brand Story Workshop with the Innovaxis team, your foundational messaging will be redefined to ensure that prospects understand your unique value, quickly and powerfully.
Custom Marketing Programs
Imagine having a comprehensive, custom marketing program managed and executed for you, targeting all of the points above – and more.
The best part? All of this is available to you for less than the cost of hiring one marketing employee. It’s an investment that not only prevents unnecessary overhead but also increases your business valuation.
Don’t settle for marketing mediocrity. Partner with Innovaxis to gain a new competitive advantage and increase the value of your business.