Creating a B2B Marketing Plan – Step by Step Guide

A suitable B2B marketing plan can support both the effectiveness and the efficiency of marketing. It can help to efficiently coordinate and implement the multitude of marketing activities among businesses. Generally, a marketing plan can come in a number of shapes and sizes. It could range from an annual tactical plan to detailed strategic plan. Creating a Marketing Plan Checklist would therefore be of great help to help a business identify the range of items to consider for a typical marketing plan.

Today, content marketing is at the center of many business-to-businesses’ marketing strategy. Many enterprises are currently concentrating on improving this subtle form of business promotion to further their marketing goals. In business-to-business marketing, content is created for your customers and potential consumers out there, not a chance for you to talk about yourself. It is a way of focusing on the problems of those you intend to sell to, not about your products.

Usually, the ultimate goal of creating a B2B marketing plan is to drive sales. In this case, you must create an effective plan that will speak to your customers, promote your product and help you reach your business goals. A business that does not create sufficient time to focus and create a plan will end up rushing down any road that looks promising only at the moment. The problem is that these unplanned roads end up leading a business to higher costs and unexpected mediocre results. Eventually, such a business could suffer the loss of time, customers and money and end up frustrated.

Saving yourself the drama of stress and frustration that results from lack of proper planning can save you a lot. All you need really is some time to define your business goals and then invest properly on these strategies to get there. A properly defined plan can deliver results within the shortest time possible, making it easy and possible for a business to gain its maximum benefits.

Creating a B2B Marketing Plan – Step by Step Guide

Business Goals

Creating an effective B2B marketing plan starts with your business goals. Generally, you should start your marketing planning process by defining your one to three year business goals. The next thing is to understand your products and services and their key differentiators.

Know your targeted audience and define your competitive landscape. It is at this stage that you get to understand your campaigns and how you can really measure up the results gained from your marketing activities. Conduct a preliminary analysis for your website as well as the keywords.

Generally, a business goal is a custom marketing strategy with core messaging, measureable objectives and integrated campaigns. It entails content development, web marketing, demand generation, public relation and advertising, events and strategy and branding. The six features must be taken into account because they form a framework of business goals.

Marketing Strategy 

It is at this stage that a business takes time to define its marketing goals. A goal could be something like growing inbound website visits, growth in thought leadership or defining how your business would go about capturing leads. Having a major foundational goal like adopting marketing software or building a new business online solution would be a great plus.

Creating a marketing campaign is essential in this stage. These are activities you can coordinate closely to achieve a business goal. Center your campaigns on your industry, audience type and major products or service initiative.

Identify your targeted audience at this point. This is where you define the market that you intend to influence and how you expect that particular market to consume your content. Define the platform through which you would keep your targeted audience engaged to your product. It could be via social media, your blog or company’s website.

Make sure you have content that is good enough to let the words out about your products or services. If you are creating content for your website, make sure it is going to be the kind that that moves readers to the next stage of buying your products. Content should be geared towards providing information and solutions, not pitching products to the consumers, a technique common in traditional advertising.

Activity Prioritization

Take priorities in inbound and outbound marketing activities. Because content is central to any marketing campaign, identify the key content needs that will help to support your business marketing campaign objectives. Go further in prioritizing your marketing acidities. From a simple definition, prioritizing is about putting you activities in order of execution, where you concentrate on one or several tasks first before going to the next set.

Examples of these activities include public relations, advertising, social media, database marketing and search marketing. These activities can attract visitors to your business, capture leads, deliver on marketing and help you realize your business goals with ease. Always take into account the activities or even that may trigger customers to be interested in your business.

Think About a 12-month Activity Plan

Map out your marketing campaign in a budget based one-year activity. A one-year plan should be a living document that outlines specific activities by quarter. The reason why this plan outlines specific activities by quarter is that they are subject to modification once after every four months. A plan is always modified based on the rise of new opportunities in the market, the outcome of the previous activities and the continuous changing business needs.

This stage marks the best time for identifying the best external resources and relevant internal staff for the execution of the activity plan and results measurements. It is here that you get the chance to define the responsibility of each internal staff and allocating the external resource needed to make the plan in question work best for your business.

Conclusion

A great marketing plan will get your business a voice in the market and the best multi-platform identity it needs to stay ahead of the cutthroat competition existing in the current market. The four steps above are the smartest, fastest and the most cost effective ways to develop a B2B marketing plan that will help you achieve marketing and business goals as well as reducing cost inefficiencies.

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James Mello
James is the Lead Author & Editor Product2Market of Blog. James writes for the Product2Market blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Product Marketing.
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