Crafting a Harmonious B2B Marketing Strategy
Building a successful B2B marketing plan on your own isn’t easy. That’s why so many businesses opt to outsource this process to a marketing agency. But how do you know if you’re choosing the right agency?
Your chosen marketing team should work together like a great band. One of the greatest bands of all time – and they just so happen to be my favorite band – is Queen. Seriously, my cat is named after Freddie Mercury (see photo below). So, let’s use them to demonstrate the key qualities of any highly effective B2B digital marketing agency.
#1: Develop A Strong Voice
With his four-octave vocal range, not everyone can have a voice like Freddie Mercury’s. But what we can learn from him is the importance of having a strong, identifiable voice that showcases your personality. One that keeps people coming back for more.
The best B2B marketing agencies truly understand what your business is all about. They’ll collaborate with your team, gain insights into your values, and create a voice that represents your brand.
A brand voice encompasses the way you speak to your audience in all communication across platforms. Whether you’re crafting a social media post or filming a new video, your audience should be able to identify that it’s coming from your business.
Your content can (and should) take on a variety of formats. Even though Queen’s music spanned multiple genres – from rock to opera to thrash metal to funk – they had a very distinct and identifiable voice throughout their career.
Your ideal marketing agency should follow this concept! It’s imperative for the agency to know your brand voice and infuse it into every piece of content.
#2: Be Able to Adapt
While having a consistent voice is essential, that doesn’t mean your brand shouldn’t evolve. Your B2B marketing strategy should shift through the years as trends either emerge or fizzle. Nothing is worse in our digital age than appearing behind the times.
Let’s talk about Queen again (which is something I find myself saying often). They released new music from the early 70s through the early 90s, evolving their sound through the years. Think of how “We Are The Champions” is a classic 70s anthem while “Radio Gaga” just screams 80s. Imagine if they stuck to their original sound for 20 years. How boring and predictable would that be?
When I think of Freddie Mercury, the words “boring and predictable” never cross my mind. And these words should never apply to your brand, either. It’ll be tough to convert prospects into customers if your business has been doing the same old thing since its inception.
Any digital marketing agency worth their salt will stay up to date on the latest trends in the world and in your specific industry. Then, they’ll implement relevant strategies, analyze the data, and keep testing until something clicks.
#3: Don’t Forget the Competition
Experienced B2B digital marketing agencies know that your business doesn’t operate in a bubble. Of course, you know that you’re the best at what you do. But there could be dozens if not hundreds of companies within a 50-mile radius that offer the exact same products and services as you. How can your agency make you stand out?
Analyzing your competitors involves several steps:
- Identify 3-4 direct competitors
- Monitor their social media presence and engagement. Which platforms are they posting to? Is their content getting likes or falling flat?
- Research where your competitors are advertising. Do they have PPC campaigns running on Google Ads? LinkedIn Ads?
- Subscribe to their newsletter using a non-business email address. How do they communicate with their audience?
- Note your competitors’ content marketing strategy. Where is their original content housed? Do they post regularly or sporadically?
- Find out how their costs compare to yours for similar products or services.
To illustrate the importance of keeping up with competitors, let’s go back to 1977. The punk rock movement was in its prime. Punk bands like The Sex Pistols and The Misfits enjoyed the height of their popularity. But glam rock bands like Queen with their grandiose, operatic melodies fell by the wayside.
That’s when Queen decided to release “Sheer Heart Attack,” a punchy, upbeat, loud song that fit perfectly within the punk era. Definitely check it out! Just not while driving, because you may end up breaking the speed limit. Interestingly, the song had been written by the drummer, Roger Taylor, a few years prior. But the band waited until just the right time to release the song, and it ranked in Billboard’s top 20.
This is why it’s so important to keep a pulse on what the competition is doing. With the right timing, you can leverage the latest trends to get ahead and appeal to your audience.
#4: Be Eager to Innovate
Don’t forget about innovation. Have an idea that you’ve never seen any other business do? Your B2B marketing partner should see it as an opportunity to be a pioneer in your industry. Even if the idea doesn’t work, at least you’ll know for the future.
Just think about “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Being 6 minutes long and not adhering to one definitive genre, it broke a lot of rules for what could be a single. Queen was encouraged to release a shorter song as their single, but they stood their ground. And it paid off. In 2018, “Bohemian Rhapsody” was proclaimed the world’s most-streamed song of the 20th century with over 1.6 billion global hits across streaming services. …And I think about half of those streams might have been from me.
This just goes to show that your B2B digital marketing agency shouldn’t shy away from innovation. If something hasn’t been done before, you can be the first to do it. It could just pay dividends in the end.
Not sure where to get inspiration for a brand new strategy? Your marketing team should be open to collaboration. They can point you in the right direction and conduct market research to reveal any stones left unturned.
#5: Be Ready to Collaborate
Speaking of collaboration, I’d like to drive home the importance of developing a strategic partnership. The best B2B marketing agency won’t just take over the wheel and drive away to an unknown destination. Your business and your agency should both have a hand on the wheel on your road to success.
The best ideas are rarely formed in silos. They result directly from open communication and bouncing ideas around the room. Then, those ideas can be translated into real-world, data-driven marketing strategies.
If you’re getting pushback from a potential marketing partner about open communication and ongoing collaboration, they’re certainly not the right fit. Some agencies refuse to take your feedback or concerns into consideration. They’re positive that they know the correct course of action.
But if both parties aren’t on board, it’s almost impossible to craft an online presence that accurately represents your business. Differing opinions and varying goals lead to an unclear strategy for growth.
When groups collaborate, amazing things can happen. One of Queen’s most successful and widely known songs is “Under Pressure,” featuring David Bowie. In 2021, the song ranked on Rolling Stones’ list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It’s not high enough on the list for my taste, but I think you get the gist. The song was born out of an impromptu jam session with the musicians bouncing ideas around the recording studio. And the end result was a massive success.
Work with a B2B Digital Marketing Agency that Rocks
Ready to rock ‘n’ roll with a B2B marketing agency that’s as collaborative and cohesive as your favorite band? BNP Engage has almost 2 decades of experience partnering with businesses and honing their online strategies. Contact us today to get a sneak peek of the results we can deliver for you.