We’re just over halfway through the year, so how’s it looking for you? Achieved all the brand and marketing goals you wanted to? All on track with your plan?
From the experience of talking to companies of varying sizes across B2B industries, it’s fair to say that, at this mid-year point, they’re all in different situations! That’s the thing with marketing – there are always lots of variables and it’s rare to set out an annual plan and then find that, when you look back, mid-year, you’ve exactly stuck to it. If you’ve achieved everything you wanted to, this far into 2023 – give yourself a pat on the back!
No matter what your current situation, here are a few pointers on what you could be checking in on, mid-year, to support achieving your goals by December 2023. This list could help inspire your next six months and ensure you close the year on a brand and marketing high!
What are the outcomes vs. your goals, so far?
So, how are you doing with your results vs. your plan? Firstly, this is presuming you set out marketing goals and a strategy at the start of the year. If you didn’t, you can still put a plan in place now for the second half of the year, or even from mid-year 2023 to mid-year 2024.
This is a great time to not just tick the boxes of what you’ve achieved from your plan, but to go more in-depth and assess what’s working, what’s not and why. So often, marketing is pulled in many different directions, sometimes taking on urgent requests from company directors, sales for external campaigns and HR for internal comms.
Having a better understanding of the most effective strategies, tactics and content types will put you in a much better position to juggle (and push back on, when needed!) your many changing priorities. Frequently, marketing departments are spread thinly; and prioritising what is evidenced as performing best to achieve your overall objectives is always going to bring better ROI. Take the time you need to analyse your web and SEO performance and where the opportunities lie, which content performed best on social media and which emailers had the highest open rates.
Ultimately, if you don’t have the 6–8 brand touchpoints usually needed to generate a viable lead for each campaign (following a clear strategy) then you’re unlikely to succeed. In order to do this, we often need to become more focused, spreading ourselves less across multiple messages and activities. It’s not about how much you do tactically, but about how effective you are strategically.
Have you joined up your sales and marketing touchpoints?
All too often, marketing and sales work in silos. When they come closer together, the efforts of both can be massively amplified. If you don’t have regular catch-ups between these two departments, now is the time to start. From our experience, all organisations are at different stages when it comes to a joined-up sales and marketing approach, such as:
- They don’t talk at all!
- Marketing shares materials for sales to use
- There are some joined-up activities – especially when sales has a new product/service to push or for key exhibitions
- (Rarely) organisations have fully integrated campaigns e.g. there are planned marketing and sales touchpoints on the same campaign topic and sales and marketing work together on the strategy, key messages, supporting materials, method of communications, regularity of contact, etc
By better joining up Sales and Marketing, more cohesive and valuable touchpoints with prospects are generated as part of the relationship-building process to Sales. The two departments also bring different skills: Sales often bring real-time views on customer wants and needs, alongside a drive for strong calls to action; Marketing provides the skills to generate creative, relevant and valuable messages that connect.
How refined and targeted are your marketing efforts?
It’s great to have messaging going out in regular email campaigns, on social media and on your website – but are you making the most of segmentation and an account-based marketing approach? This links us back nicely to the point above! If you don’t have specialised marketing strategies for certain prospective client segments, this is a good conversation starter with the Sales department! If they’re targeting certain segments, how can you work together on an account-based approach to better warm-up relationships, especially for those higher-value sales?
If you’re interested in account-based marketing, you might want to read a recent blog on how it works and the impact it can have.
Need some support?
Embrace Marketing offers a fully outsourced marketing solution to suit your individual needs. If you’d like support with your marketing strategy or in outsourcing any aspect of your B2B marketing, get in touch today!
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