Tips and Tutorials

2020 Won - Killer B2B Marketing Strategies for the New Year

Ruth Plater
December 1, 2020

With over 15 years experience in the industry, Ruth is the fountain of knowledge for all things digital marketing. A tech geek with a brain built for strategizing, she’s the one to call if you want to take your marketing to the next level. After reflecting on this crazy year, Ruth has blessed us with her knowledge, insights and assistance with what we casually refer to as “how to make 2021 suck less”. If 2020 was the Marshmallow Man, Ruth is a Ghostbuster, armed with a backpack full of hacks and hints on how to conquer the new year. Who you gonna call?

Where to begin...

I’m not going to start with “a lot has changed this year” - you know it has. Every Zoom call which could have been an email, every eye roll over your house’s crap internet, every fake laugh when a colleague says “well at least I’m saving money on Starbucks!”, reminds us that 2020 has been somewhat of a stinker. And as the year wraps up and teams around the world start looking towards 2021, it’s easy to feel defeated by the constant reminders of the past few months.

You don’t need me to add to that chorus, so I won’t. I want to look ahead instead, and offer some hope and reassurance for the new year. Don’t dwell on the plans and ideas 2020 took away, see it as an opportunity to ditch the old ways and join the ranks of exciting, daring brands making waves in the tech and digital infrastructure space. There’s a big, beautiful world of marketing opportunities out there just waiting to be explored, and Radial Path has been exploring them for years. We’ve been banging the digital drum since day one, and we’re glad people in the more niche areas of digital infrastructure we work in, are beginning to listen.

The digital transformation boom

Digital transformation has been the buzzword recently; why it’s important, how to do it, and how embarrassingly far behind many companies are with it. This put a rocket up the rear of the tech and telco sector. As many businesses closed the shutters and went into hibernation, our industry scaled and expanded at a chaotic rate. CDNs and networks had a huge increase in traffic, and data centres have seen clients clambering to implement adequate and appropriate infrastructure for the uptake in remote working. And whilst we’re not suffering from lack of income, many people’s business continuity and marketing efforts went out the window. Hey, we’re guilty too. Our own internal marketing went on pause for months as we had to prioritize work loads and focus on our clients’ needs.

take off launch GIF

Take your lead gen digital

2021 is the perfect time to assess, adapt, and create a stellar marketing strategy that leverages modern techniques and capitalizes on the last year’s growth - and you can start by cancelling your events. Yep, I said it. Even when face-to-face contact becomes acceptable again, it’s time to stop relying on events for lead generation. Costly, lengthy trips which can often be more hassle than they’re worth. Sales teams put in long hours, only to return several thousand dollars worse off with a handful of leads which are difficult to track - not a great investment. They’re expensive, time consuming, and a ROI-measuring nightmare. 

Birthday parties, coffee breaks, church services and talent shows have all gone virtual - so why not lead gen? Services such as Linkedin’s Sales Navigator are an inexpensive and time efficient alternative to big events. They allow users to stuff their pipeline with highly targeted, and relevant leads (all within the ISO’s tough trust and compliance standards). Digital lead generation is also super trackable, making data-crunching, analysing and reporting a breeze. Not to mention it’s easy to determine ROI, so you don’t have to battle to gain approval from the powers that be - win.

Psst, did you know Radial Path offers a fully managed digital prospecting service? You do now.

Focus on your website

More eyes are on screens than ever before - bad for optometrists, great for marketers. So if you’re not throwing yourself into digital marketing, you’re doing it wrong. It’s time to take an objective, critical view of your website. Are your CTAs compelling? Have you considered technical SEO? Is it the same as your competitors? Is it worse than your competitors? It takes 50 milliseconds for a customer who lands on your page to make a judgement of your brand. If that judgement is anything less than, “Holy sh*t, we need to work with these guys”, it’s time for a revamp. We recently wrote a blog on our own website makeover, which was about a year in the making. It’s not easy, but with care, attention, and a whole lot of planning, your website will rake in the leads and make your competition cry.

Don’t have the time to hire in-house? No problem. We’re obsessed with turning MySpace-era monstrosities into shiny pearls of website wonder. Check it out.

The MarTech mountain

MarTech is the next mountain to climb, and it’s the mountain many marketers stumble on. You’ve amassed the SaaS, and paid a hefty sum for the privilege, but aren’t getting the return you were promised. You’ve fallen foul to the MarTech monopolizers, the big dogs of the software world. Who lure you in with attractive words like “hub”, “streamline” and ‘marketplace”, only to trap you into lengthy, expensive contracts and undermine you with shady payment options. 

Dramatic? Yes. True? Also yes.

I’m only being theatrical as inflexible contracts have been the sharpest thorn in our small agency’s side during the past year. Rigid, uncompromising contracts which have no place in the subscription economy, especially when demand/supply/the-fate-of-the-human-race changes on a seemingly weekly basis. This year we ditched our contracts with large, greedy companies in favour of some awesome companies who understood our needs at the time. Adzooma offered its services for free during the first lockdown, ActiveCampaign gave us a reduced rate and flexible billing, and companies like Asana gave their SaaS away for free to charities who were helping to fight Covid. Of course there’s always an element of CSR in moves like this - but by providing support and flexibility when it’s most needed, they’ve gained our trust, our business and demonstrated that they’re on our side.

My advice - start the new year with a spring clean of your SaaS. Wash your hands (like you haven’t enough already) of the outdated MarTech players and shop around for sympathetic and agile alternatives.

Still overwhelmed with the choice? Let us hold your hand. We’re experts in stitching solutions together to create MarTech machines.

Social media for B2B

B2C absolutely dominates the world of social media. Giveaways, countdowns, quizzes, carousels, stories, polls, competitions - you name it, B2C have done it. All the whilst B2B are churning out bi-weekly blue toned graphics about “exciting” industry news, and hoping for a few perfunctory shares on Linkedin and a like from a Twitter bot. It’s no wonder everyone thinks we’re boring. 

Social media is an untapped gold mine for B2B marketers. It’s a common misconception that decision makers aren’t interested in “business talk” whilst they’re scrolling through Twitter/Instagram/Facebook in their free time. As a decision maker - I call bull. As much as I hate it, I’m never not thinking about my business, its pain points, and how it can improve. I recently downloaded an eGuide from Asana after a sponsored carousel appeared on my newsfeed. An ad that probably cost Asana a few pence got them a follow, my email address, and a special mention in this post - all because their marketing team were clever and bold enough to realise that I’m never not thinking about work. 

Whilst I’m not suggesting your company needs a TikTok (or maybe you should - I’d love to be proved wrong), you need to up your social media presence in 2021 by thinking more like the best B2Cs.  And if you already have a large presence - use it! Assuming that key marketing personas switch off from work after 5pm omits massive potential from your marketing strategy. Get creative, get personal, and if you feel like breaking the biggest taboo in telco, maybe even get a little humorous.

Some final words of wisdom

So there you have it, my top tips for making 2021 suck less than 2020. Take your lead gen digital. Update your website. Assess your MarTech. Get bold with social media. They might not bring back the hours you’ve spent queueing for milk, but they’ll set you on course to enter the new year with a confident approach to your marketing. Armed with the best and boldest techniques to launch you in front of the competition and make waves in your industry. Best of luck.

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