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Leveraging Software to Solve B2B Marketing's Biggest Challenges

With a shift in technology and media platforms, marketers face several B2B marketing challenges. Some of the biggest hurdles include how to align sales and marketing efforts, create personalized experiences, measure marketing ROI, etc. Before marketers make any sale, they must generate leads and find qualified prospects that can stay with them for the long term. All such constant challenges of making b2b transactions force marketers to use the software and technologies to help them to learn and grow.

According to a report by McKinsey, B2B leaders who are employing the right tools and technologies can drive 5 times more revenue than their peers.

These days, being an early adopter of customized technology or software can help marketers remain highly competitive in their respective market.

Important Benefits of using B2B Marketing Software

To make b2b marketing more result-oriented, the focus should shift towards modernizing marketing capabilities. By leveraging b2b software like Salesforce, Marketo, Eloqua etc., marketing professionals can have better control of their campaigns, leads and the ROI they are driving. On top of that, technology allows teams to become agile and data-driven so that they can use this data to create personalized customer experiences.

Given below are some important benefits that marketers expect to gain from b2b marketing software.

Better Decision Making 

Through analytics software, marketers can drive useful insights about their customers’ behaviors and what drives them to make purchasing decisions. This way, b2b players will make better business decisions with real-time data and devote more time in building relationships with their customers.

Save Time and Money 

Smart business investments made in technology or software will give immense profit. Moreover, using methods like A/B Testing, b2b marketers can figure out what marketing approach works best for them and what not. This way, they can prevent themselves from a failing strategy and can save a lot of time, energy, and money.

Leveraging software help overcome the biggest B2B marketing challenges

Widespread adoption of digital devices and channels has presented several b2b marketing challenges like how to accurately target prospects with tailored messages. As prospects have become more intelligent in terms of creating decision shortlists by visiting brand websites and social channels, the marketers must be innovative and aligned with sales goals. They must equip themselves with the right tools to have greater visibility into buyers’ attributes and behaviors.

How do marketers go about implementing the right software? Here are the biggest challenges for marketers trying to conquer the B2B world.

Technology Integration

If Social Media, SEO, Marketing Automation, and other APIs are not well-connected, then how can communication be integrated and bring value to the table? These sources pay dividends in terms of capturing the prospect or customer journey -- information about their needs, pain points, and interests. Too often many marketers see the potential and exciting opportunities that emerging b2b technologies bring to the world of marketing. But they find it difficult to integrate into their business models.

A similar case was experienced by Sabon, a leading retailer of nature-infused bath & body products. The brand was facing challenges in integrating new functionalities into their website including front-end and back-end. They needed the right tools to have smooth entry of new product SKUs and enable efficient product return processes. Using custom built integrations in Magento, several custom APIs and modules have been built to automate processes such as product returns, entering new product SKUs.

The Solution: CRM software, content management system, social media, analytics platforms should be well connected to capture better customer insights. There are multiple tools that offer native integration with CRM like Salesforce and CMS like Sitecore, respectively. Such platforms allow marketers to push complete customer data into custom Salesforce dashboards and reports.

Managing Brand Website

Managing brand websites is yet another big challenge for b2b marketers. A website is a crucial business asset that represents business offerings to draw in more visitors, converts them and helps businesses achieve their sales goals. There are multiple challenges with website management right from optimizing website performance to modernizing the website out of the legacy systems as per the taste of the target audience.

For example, Toto, the world's largest luxury bathroom brand, was facing a challenge in modernizing its website along with traffic without affecting its core values. Using Drupal CMS, the company has evolved into a strong digital entity that offers seamless customer experience. It showcases a large product and product features of the brand – allows customers to add specific products to their bucket to compare price, performance and more.

The Solution: Marketers can make their website management easier with Content Management System. Platforms like WordPress, Drupal, Magento can help marketers to create, manage and distribute online content. Moreover, there are platforms like Sitecore that allow marketers to manage site content. Plus, it enables them to deliver next-level marketing automation in the form of contextual customer experience.

Data Integrity

A business audience is a moving target that marketers must keep track of while launching any marketing campaign. The basic information about them is constantly changing as they get promoted and change their title. They switched from one organization to another. Such constant changes alter the segments in which the audience is bucketed. And while releasing a campaign, the right message will not go to the right audience. With this incomplete and inaccurate data, marketers face challenges in customer engagement.

The Solution: If marketers feel that their data is inaccurate, they can utilize the software built specifically for data cleansing.

Marketing and Sales Alignment

As a B2B marketing professional, the main job is to generate qualified leads. Those leads that make a good match with the ideal buyer persona. On the other hand, the sales team is overwhelmed with prospecting buyers and closing deals. Having differences in the marketing and sales functions, it becomes difficult to get the two teams on the same page. B2B marketers who lack this synergy face challenges in driving qualified leads for the business.

The Solution: A shared CRM dashboard helps the sales team to see how many leads are qualified. With the same CRM software, marketers can see how many qualified leads get converted. Also, marketers can use the software to create new opportunities whenever a lead is qualified.

Behavior based Personalization

In the age of Amazon and Netflix, individuals are getting accustomed to personalized recommendations. More and more B2B buyers are expecting tailored messages when buying from a B2B company. This often poses a unique set of challenges in front of B2B marketers on how to engage with customers and prospects in a more personalized manner. For example, David Zwirner, an American contemporary art gallery, was facing challenges to enable different experiences for different types of customers. Using Sitecore as the main backbone of the site, the company is now able to deliver seamless digital experiences depending on previous customer engagement points and provide better insights cross-departmentally.

The Solution: Most CMS platforms like Sitecore enable marketers to cater personalized content based on customers’ behavior. This includes what kind of content they consume and the activities they perform. Knowing the customer behavior, it will become easy to personalize marketing emails, web pop-ups, and even the complete website.

Account-based Marketing

Account-based marketing is a growing trend among marketers. This type of marketing is driving a change from bulk lead generation to highly targeted outreach to fewer identified accounts. Essentially, this is a growth strategy wherein marketing and sales come together to create personalized buying experiences for select prospects. Marketers can consider that each account has its own market and start targeting the b2b buyer by directly speaking to their points and needs.

As per ITSMA, 85% marketers believe that ABM deliver higher returns when compared to other marketing approaches. However, the challenge comes when delivering a personalized experience.

The Solution: To speak to the unique points of selected account, marketers should use software that helps collude sales and marketing information. HubSpot's ABM Software has the capability to perform account-level targeting.

Measure Marketing ROI

Another biggest b2b marketing challenge is the proof of the Return on Investment (ROI). If marketers are not able to align marketing campaigns and other efforts to broader business goals, then it would become extremely difficult to understand which strategy is providing fruitful results i.e. leads. On top of that, marketers would hesitate to request a more budget. This demands accurate organization and planning to measure marketing ROI from the beginning of the marketing and sales efforts.

The Solution: To measure marketing ROI, marketers should dedicate time and resources to having synchronization between their marketing activities and sales results. Combining marketing software and CRM solution, marketers can establish links between marketing and sales efforts. That way, they have the visibility of how many leads and customers are generated through marketing activities.

Summing Up

Challenges for B2B marketers are growing with the evolving needs of tech-savvy customers. A complete analysis of marketing activities and their performance will help marketers find out the biggest opportunities to flourish and grow. This will also enable them to pay attention to the areas that need improvement, so that they can make their marketing efforts in a reward yielding direction.

Stay up to date with latest trends and leverage software & tools specifically built for unique marketing needs. This will not only help marketers to stay ahead of the curve, but also help them overcome challenges before they affect the business bottom line.

At Icreon, we believe in telling stories and driving values from them. And we do it by creating digital strategy and roadmap, building software to help our clients maximize their marketing returns.

Find out how software can overcome your biggest b2b marketing challenges with us.