Setting B2B Marketing Strategies
Your question: In our freight forwarding business, we have just set up our marketing department. What would be our first step after recruiting sales executives?
My answer: What an excellent position to find yourself in! You’re starting up sales and marketing strategies from the ground up. It’s your opportunity now to set yourself up for success. Here are some of the first things I would consider:
- Align your sales and marketing teams immediately. I’ve seen so many instances where sales and marketing are not aligned, and it really hurts both marketing and sales. Since you’re starting from scratch, this is your opportunity to build a sales/marketing team that works together; one that shares common goals and actually communicates with each other. For example, you can let both teams determine when a lead should be passed along to sales—where marketing’s activities end and sales begins. They can build a system from the ground up that determines where Marketing’s expertise should be used and where sales skills should be maximized. This alignment of sales and marketing will reap you huge benefits down the road when you see sales exceed their goals and marketing truly supporting the sales effort with solid lead generation activities.
- Develop sound lead generation strategies: A key first step would be to develop marketing strategies focused on generating qualified leads so your new sales folks can hit the ground running. Some tactics I would consider would be:
a. Generation of interesting content: White Papers, How-to documents, Case Studies—any type of information that your prospects would find interesting. And, it needs to be interesting enough that they will give you their contact info in order to receive it.
b. Make sure that your website is optimized so that your prospects can find you. Work with a search engine specialist and make sure that you are easy to find in your product/service category. Of course, once the prospect is visiting your website, make it easy to find your white papers and other give-aways so that you can start collecting prospect information and start programs to turn those prospects into leads for sales.
c. Along these lines, you’ll need to reach key prospects to tell them about your services. Depending on your marketing budget, consider the various channels that make sense for your business. Consider direct mail programs, print advertising, industry online newsletter sponsorships, outbound teleprospecting etc. Develop a multi-channel strategy that allows you to cost-effectively reach your target audience. Plus it sets the stage for continuous learning so that you can refine strategies over time.
Good luck with your new marketing department!