B2B bold marketing doesn’t mean high costs and huge risks. Often, a small shift in a campaign’s focus can yield the biggest results for your bottom line. Making the right adjustments will improve customer engagement, increase conversions, and boost brand awareness.
This piece explores novel ways to bolden your efforts for the best B2B marketing impact. But first, let’s look at a dogged trend that needs to be dropped in marketing, 2023.
Ditch the Old B2B Marketing Strategy in 2023
B2B marketing teams adjust to new trends as buyers’ needs, demands, and expectations change. B2B SMBs that hold onto outdated strategies risk losing the attention and engagement of their target audience, who may switch to rivals keeping in touch with the latest trends. Businesses should prepare to be more competitive to stand out and position themselves as industry leaders.
But that doesn’t mean you have to compete on pricing to succeed. If anything, it should be the opposite!
B2B content and marketing strategies that compete solely on pricing fall flat in today’s environment. The lower profit margins associated with this competitive “race to the bottom” strategy often makes it difficult, even impossible, to sustain healthy operations. Being vulnerable to price fluctuations means less money to reinvest in your business and new ideas. You also risk reducing the perceived value of your products and services if you go too low. As a long-term marketing strategy, competing on price alone is a competition of attrition that only works if you are market leader undercutting competitors to force them out of your market.
What is Bold Marketing and Why Does it Work?
Bold marketing uses unconventional strategies or tactics with a creative use of visuals and proactive messaging. This approach is often attention-grabbing and includes unexpected elements of surprise. Being bold can also mean directing your marketing efforts to a highly specific audience. All successful bold campaigns leave memorable impressions on those they target.
Because bold marketing tells a story, it creates an instant, personal connection with the audience. That’s why more B2B marketing teams are integrating bolder strategies to stand out in today’s hyper-competitive environments. Here are a few examples of bold marketing tactics:
- Viral video campaigns
- Guerrilla content marketing stunts (to create an element of surprise)
- Surprising and bombastic ad campaigns that catch people by surprise and get everyone talking
- Disruptive product launches to help B2B companies stand out
However, there is a fine line to balance when running bold marketing campaigns. At best, the campaign resonates with, and grows, your audience. At worst, it’s considered offensive or too controversial and may damage a company’s reputation and bottom line. Multinationals with deep pockets can rise above such storms, but most B2B SMBs don’t have the capability of coming out the other side of a similar misstep.
Bold Marketing Tactics That Get Results
We have six bold marketing tips that offer practical suggestions and smaller tweaks that can make a big splash for your business. They help you focus on ways to execute new, bolder strategies. These principles are simple to grasp but can take a while to master for busy or less-experienced B2B marketers.
Bold Marketing Expertise That Works for B2B
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#1 Start with an End in Mind
Many campaigns fail because they lack a clear direction from the outset. That is why you should start every bold marketing plan with an end in mind. Having an end game also makes aligning your strategies to specific goals much easier. So this approach gives you a clear understanding of what your campaign needs to succeed.
Knowing what your campaign needs from the outset is critical. This thought-driven approach is more successful than simply reacting to market conditions.
To avoid getting overwhelmed, create a prioritized list of your needs. Focus on the top items first and work through the rest of your list in order.
#2 Revise Your Target Audience
The needs, demands, and expectations of your B2B clients are rarely static. That’s why successful marketers periodically revisit their audiences. Your campaign will fall flat if you do not periodically review and revise your customer profiles and buyer personas.
And to do that, you must ground your campaign with a true, updated understanding of your target buyer. Other reasons to periodically review and revise your target audience include:
- Keep abreast of pain points and buyer motivations to finely focus messaging
- Stay up-to-date with evolving buyer trends to ensure relevance
- Discover new B2B opportunities for audience growth and expansion
- Recognize pitfalls and avoid missteps that would harm your reputation
Be mindful of the Pareto Principle: 20% of your B2B clients are responsible for 80% of your revenue. By keeping close watch on changes in your target audience you can ensure that critical 20% have their needs met.
#3 Assess Your Messaging
Bold B2B messaging needs periodic assessment to ensure it stays highly relevant, so your old brand messaging must change with the target buyers’ pain points and challenges. The right tweaks to your messaging clearly communicates and improves your value proposition. And that is how you stay on top of your game and differentiate your B2B firm from competitors.
Moreover, accurate messaging establishes your company as an industry expert in the field. Good thought leadership marketing increases prospect engagement, retains customers, and attracts new leads.
The importance of consistent messaging cannot be overstated. That means ensuring all your B2B content marketing channels reflect your revamped messaging. Why? Because mixed messaging is poison for marketing. It confuses your audience and can negatively impact brand recognition and trust equity you’ve built over the years.
For this reason, ensure you update all your active channels (website copy, social media, offline media, etc.) with cohesive messaging using the same tone, look, and feel.
In summary, your content marketing message needs clarity and focus. It must tailor product or service benefits to its audience and differentiate your company from competitors.
#4 Assess Your Sales Funnel
A successful sales funnel accurately maps out the customer journey. Its primary purpose is to optimize your lead generation efforts by maximizing conversions at every stage. The concept is simple, yet many B2B marketers get it wrong.
Regular assessment of your sales funnel serves five purposes, noted below.
Define Sales Funnel Stages
Your sales funnel will typically consist of four stages: awareness, consideration, conversion, and loyalty. Once you define these stages, use analytics to assess the behaviors of leads as they progress through the various phases.
Analyze Conversion Rates
Each stage of your sales funnel has a conversion rate. Analyzing the different conversions throughout your funnel identifies the weak areas where you lose the most potential customers. This valuable insight tells you where to focus your optimization efforts.
Identify and Remove Bottlenecks
Sales funnels can experience slowdown, even stoppage. They can appear at the top where leads enter or further down the funnel where lead progression stalls. While there are a myriad of potential reasons, the most common bottleneck culprits are unclear messaging, lack of relevant information, and a confusing buyer’s journey experience.
Stress Test and Optimize Your Funnel
Continual testing and tweaking is the only way to completely solve bottlenecks and other issues affecting your sales funnels. Work on one issue at a time by first identifying the problem and analyzing it to discover the root cause. Then brainstorm tweaks and changes that can help mitigate the problem.
How you test and optimize is individual to your campaign’s specific channels, tactics, and strategies.
Measure Results and Keep Tweaking
This is where you keep a close eye on your newly optimized strategies. Every successful B2B marketer tracks progress and measures for change after they make amendments to their funnel. Without regular analysis, there is no other way to tell what’s working or what needs more work to improve conversion rates.
#5 Never Overlook Your Existing Customers
B2B marketing teams often overlook their most valuable asset: their existing customers. This oversight is one of the costliest mistakes your B2B business can make. Marketing to an existing customer is faster, cheaper, and less time-consuming than attracting new leads.
Taking a holistic approach to customer retention is a wise move for any B2B company. Research from the consulting firm Bain & Company found a small 5% increase in customer retention could boost business profits a dramatic 25% to 95%! 
These six questions will help you develop marketing strategies for existing customers:
- What other professional services or products can we cross-sell customers?
- How can we upsell existing B2B customers or clients?
- How can we incentivize client referrals?
- How can we enhance the customer experience to keep customers coming back?
- What customer feedback can improve our B2B marketing strategies?
- How can we reward existing customer loyalty?
Add any other questions as they pertain to your business.
B2B marketers can learn a great deal from current customers and clients. These valuable lessons can help you retain your loyal followers. They can also help shape targeted and effective marketing strategies to grow your customer base further.
#6 Put an End to Lookalike Marketing
Organizations that try looking and sounding like frontrunner competitors to build credibility are going to be sorely mistaken. Blending in is not a sustainable marketing approach in 2023. Without significant differentiation, B2B companies will find it far more difficult to increase revenue and close sales.
Having no distinguishing characteristics from other competitors doesn’t create trustworthiness. All it does is encourage potential costumers to evaluate your company based solely on pricing.
Lookalike marketing can also create a misalignment with your company’s values and messaging, the issues of which we discussed previously. And, lookalike marketing diminishes your brand while strengthening your competitor’s branding. It can even place limits on innovation for your offerings by focusing too much on following in a competitor’s footsteps.
Trying to compete apples to apples on your B2B competitor’s successful marketing can at best, caps your success at the same level as the competition. Like we say at Bold Entity, “Be Bold!” It’s always contrast that draws attention and creates interest, not impersonation.
Choose Bold Marketing in 2023
Successful bold marketing is about having a clear end goal, knowing your target audience, and creating messaging that resonates. It requires periodic assessment and optimization of sales funnels to maintain or improve conversions. B2B marketers must never overlook existing customers, who are already developed leads and proven buyers. Often current customers are interested in cross-selling and up-selling opportunities, they may just not know you offer the services they’re looking for. Moreover, your current customers can become great brand ambassadors.
And lastly, remember to stand out and avoid trying to blend in with competitors by taking a bolder, more creative approach to your marketing.