Recently, I ran across some survey results by Hinge on the use of online marketing by B2B companies. The survey included 500 CEOs from B2B companies and asked them a range of questions about which tactics had been particularly valuable.
Not surprisingly, Hinge found that B2B companies were engaged in a range of channels to generate online leads. Case studies discussed the specific strategies that four companies employed to achieve an impressive return on their investment. All of these companies had invested considerable resources in their online marketing efforts.
The survey found that business leaders viewed online marketing was overwhelmingly positive, it often took a substantial amount of time to show results, and that certain tactics such as search engine optimization had been overlooked by a majority of companies.
While all of these findings are positive, if I were a B2B company I would be no less daunted by the prospect of mounting an online marketing campaign. The Hinge report doesn’t propose a framework for how a B2B company can get started; instead, it merely states that there are a number of worthwhile channels.
Take the case study of Kinaxis, a supply chain firm. With 35 to 40 percent of their leads coming through online channels, they have been very successful with online marketing. Those are numbers any company would covet. However, it also happens that they have devoted significant resources to the effort:
Kinaxis dedicates five people to online marketing, including two full-time content creators, one full-time events manager, a social media manager, and [[a VP of marketing communications]]. Eighteen other staff members also contribute content, including top executives. When you consider that the company’s highest-quality leads come from search engine traffic, this investment of time and people makes a great deal of sense.
So where does that leave a B2B company that hasn’t fully engaged in online marketing? It’s often not feasible for smaller firms to assign employees to these tasks—particularly in the areas of content creation and keyword research, which require specific expertise. And if a company can’t take on three or four separate channels initially, how can it proceed responsibly to get the most impact from its investment.
To address this specific challenge, I created a phased approach to online marketing that enables companies to get started and build momentum. Once they start to get a response, they can naturally expand to other channels in a sensible, strategic way.
Learn more about this approach by downloading the full white paper. In the meantime, don’t let the pressure of engaging across multiple channels force you into online marketing without a well-considered strategy. It’s not an all or nothing proposition.