When it comes to B2B marketing, having a well defined strategy is the key to increasing its effectiveness. Today we're going to cover the top four ways you can improve your B2B marketing strategy.

1) Get feedback.

If you aren't collecting customer feedback, you might as well be flying blind when it comes to your B2B marketing strategy. Marketing, at the end of the day, is about creating a relationship with your customer. Any good relationship is built on communication. How will you truly know what your customers are thinking if you aren't outright asking them. Here are three ways you can start implementing a customer feedback campaign today:

  • Use a tool such as Qualaroo on your website to survey your website visitors in order to find out more about their needs and how your product can help.
  • Hire a market research/consulting firm to run surveys and make sense of the data they collect. This can be incredibly powerful in understanding your lead acquisition and proving ROI when it comes to trade shows.
  • Use a tool such as SurveyMonkey to create and send a survey to current customers via email.

2) Invest in content marketing.

According to HubSpot, companies that blog get 70% more leads than those that don't blog. Why? Blogging not only creates more "pathways" for people to find your website, it also increases their trust of your company. Businesses that share their knowledge are more likely to be seen as thought leaders in their industry. When it comes to a B2B purchase, the time from lead to customer is often much longer than it is with a B2C purchase. This is because there is more research involved. Content marketing allows you to answer these questions before customers even have the chance to ask them.

To properly integrate content marketing into your current B2B marketing strategy, think about what part of your funnel needs the most work-awareness, persuasion, conversions? Create content that helps "plug up" the holes in your funnel and watch your leads increase.

3) Develop buyer personas.

One of the most helpful things you can do to create a better understanding of your demographic and create synergy between your marketing and sales teams is to construct buyer personas. According to MarketingProfs.com, B2B organizations that exceed annual revenue goals are more likely than worse-performing organizations to use a wide range of sources to develop buyer personas, including interviews, surveys, and competitive analyses. This is because buyer personas allow you to hyper-target your demographic.

Although they aren't a B2B company, Lululemon does an impeccable job when it comes to creating buyer personas (and it shows in their sales numbers). Their marketing team created specific personas for the male and females they're targeting. "Duke", their male buyer persona, is 35 years old and an "athletic opportunist" who enjoys surfing and snowboarding. "Ocean", their female buyer persona, is a 32-year-old single professional woman who makes $100,000 a year. While it may seem ridiculous to go as far as to create fake names and personalities for your target demographic it can, psychologically, put you into their mindset so you can make marketing decisions that are more likely to resonate with them.

4) Integrate marketing automation.

The tech side of marketing has made it increasingly simple to scale campaigns by way of automation. However, marketing automation is a double-edged sword. Automate too little and you aren't optimizing and scaling your campaign properly. Automate too much and you risk coming off too impersonal in your campaigns. The key with marketing automation is to find a sweet spot and integrate it into your current campaigns to help boost certain sections of your marketing funnel (much like content marketing). Here are some examples...

  • After a trade show, you can utilize email marketing to thank, or follow-up with, those who stopped by your booth.
  • Automate your lead scoring through algorithms that take into account buying signals such as form submissions or page views with services such as HubSpot, Marketo, or Pardot.
  • Use a tool such as Rebump to automatically send follow-up emails to leads that have yet to reply to you.

Regardless of which marketing automation tactic you go with, remember never to go overboard in scaling your automation. Use it as a pillar, not as a crutch, when it comes to your overall strategy.