As a B2B CMO, what’s that one thing your B2B marketing should be focused on above all else?
Yes, you guessed right: the growth.
Growth is the name of the game in every business and, without it, you won’t be able to keep up with the competition or survive in today’s fast-paced business world.
To help out our fellow marketers with B2B marketing, we compiled a list of 10 things every CMO should know about growth.
We hope this article will help you get your wheels turning so that you can start focusing on what really matters – growing your business.
Table of Content:
- Marketing is now about growth
- Customers are the lifeblood of your business
- Growth starts with understanding your target market and what they need from you
- There’s no silver bullet for growth
- Data doesn’t lie – use it to make decisions and prioritize marketing efforts accordingly
- Customer experience matters more than ever before
- Customers buy from those they know, like, and trust
- Understand the Power of Storytelling
- Embrace change – don’t get stuck in the status quo
- You can’t grow without marketing and sales – Align them!
1. B2B Marketing is now about growth
Marketing has changed so drastically over the past few years and it’s continuing to change at a rapid pace.
In the past, marketing was all about increasing awareness and generating as many leads as possible. It was all about getting as many people to know about your company and products.
But today, that’s not enough anymore.
Don’t get me wrong here, increasing awareness and generating high-quality leads is still important and something you should focus on, but it’s not the only thing that matters.
Now more than ever before, marketing is all about growth.
What that means is that marketers are no longer just accountable for generating leads and increasing awareness, they’re also responsible for driving revenue.
That’s why growth is now at the forefront of every business’s marketing strategy.
And, in order to stay relevant, marketers need to shift their focus from doing things the same way they’ve always been done to doing things that actually work and drive results.
The last few years have seen a dramatic shift in the rise and adoption of inbound marketing strategies and methodologies.
With inbound marketing, marketers need to focus on creating useful and educational content that helps potential customers solve their problems instead of trying to sell them something right away.
And while inbound marketing is nothing new to you, it’s started to get a lot more attention in the last couple of years because it’s proven to be much more effective than traditional outbound marketing and marketers finally understand the power of the dark funnel.
If you’d like to learn more about the dark funnel and why you should do things that won’t scale, we wrote an amazing article that you should definitely check out: Why You Should Do Things That Won’t Scale: The Dark Funnel Case Study
2. Customers are the lifeblood of your business
Customers are what keeps a business alive and kicking.
They’re also the ones who decide whether or not a company will stay in business in years to come.
Remember, without customers, you don’t have a business.
That’s why it’s extremely important to take whatever action is necessary to give your customers personal attention and make them happy.
On the surface, this seems like common sense but not many marketers actually do this.
Marketers spend too much time and effort trying to get new customers that they fail to pay enough attention to their existing ones. And while it’s crucial to try to get new customers, it’s even more important to keep the ones you already have.
The costs of acquiring a new customer are extremely high – it can take anywhere from 5 to 25 times more money, effort, and resources to acquire a new customer than it takes to retain an existing one.
And because marketing has become growth-oriented, marketers need to start focusing on retaining customers instead of just trying their best to get new ones.
If your existing customers are happy, then they will continue buying from you, and when this happens, then there’s almost nothing that can stop your company from growing.
But on the other hand, if your existing customers aren’t happy or satisfied with what you’re providing them, they won’t stick around for very long and you will face a significant shortfall in revenue.
This means that marketers need to do everything in their power to make sure their customers are satisfied and happy with the product or service they’re providing; otherwise, they could end up losing business – which is something no marketer wants.
When it comes to customer retention, most marketers focus on just upselling customers to more expensive products or services but what most don’t realize is that there are many different ways in which you can retain existing customers – by providing them with better service, building stronger relationships with them, and rewarding customers for being loyal to your brand.
What makes a huge impact on customer retention is listening to what current customers are saying about the company’s products or services – this will help you get a better understanding of their problems and needs which in turn should make it easier for marketers to come up with the right solutions.
There’s a ton of different retention strategies that you can use, but being creative with going above and beyond is always the way to go.
3. Growth starts with understanding your target market and what they need from you
Marketing is all about understanding your target market’s problems, needs, and wants; the more you know about them – their pains, struggles, and fears – the better off you will be as a marketer.
The first step in understanding your target market is to do research and find out as much as possible about them.
What kind of problems are they struggling with? What’s keeping them up at night? Where do they hang out online or offline? How can you make their lives easier and better?
These questions should give marketers an idea of what the ideal target market looks like and, more importantly, how they think.
Not only will this help marketers understand what problems their ideal customers are facing but it should also give marketers a better idea of how their target markets prefer to be communicated with – what sort of language they use, how they think, what their pain points are and so on.
By understanding your target market in this manner, you can better predict what a person’s behavior might be and how they may react to certain marketing strategies and campaigns.
4. There’s no silver bullet for growth
No, there’s no such thing as a silver bullet for growth and marketers need to stop looking for one.
There’s no single strategy, tactic, or approach that marketers can use to grow their business. Growth is all about experimenting and testing different strategies and seeing what works and what doesn’t.
Marketers need to be creative with their marketing strategies, push the boundaries of their comfort zone and never settle for what’s working just because it may be comfortable.
Marketers need to constantly test new ideas, implement them and then measure their results – the key here is to make sure you’re able to capture and monitor your progress.
Marketers need to take note of what’s working and what’s not, understand why certain strategies are effective while others aren’t – this will help them better optimize their future marketing strategies.
5. Data doesn’t lie – use it to make decisions and prioritize marketing efforts accordingly
Marketers need to stop relying on their gut and intuition in making marketing decisions; instead, they should always make data-driven decisions.
Analyzing data from your existing marketing efforts will help marketers better understand what’s working and what isn’t – this should in turn lead to a better understanding of your target market.
It’s always a good idea to set goals based on data and then use that as a benchmark for measuring future marketing efforts.
Data will also help marketers better understand their target audience and what they’re looking for from your company.
For example, if you notice your bounce rate is high on a specific landing page, it might be an indicator that something is off with that page.
Or, if you notice your conversions are low on a specific ad campaign, it might be an indicator that the messaging isn’t right.
Implementing this data-driven approach will help marketers better prioritize their marketing efforts.
6. Customer experience matters more than ever before
In today’s world, customer experience is everything.
Successful businesses know how important it is to focus on customer experience because if they don’t, then their business won’t be successful for very long.
Since the world of marketing has evolved into growth, marketers need to start focusing on delivering a seamless customer experience – this is what will attract new customers and it’s also what will make existing ones happy.
Think about the last time you were shopping online for something and you came across a website with a terrible customer experience – this could have been anything from being forced to fill out long forms before you could even take a look at the desired product/service, to having to create an account by filling in lots of personal information, or having to deal with tons of pop-ups and more.
Chances are that you ended up leaving the website and going to another one where the customer experience was much better, which means that the company you were considering lost a potential customer.
This happens all the time and it’s something that marketers need to avoid because when customers leave your website, they’re taking their money with them – which is never a good thing.
When you provide excellent customer service and you deliver a great customer experience, your customers will keep coming back to you because they know that when they shop with you, their needs will be met in the best way possible and they will feel appreciated.
“84% of companies that work to improve their customer experience report an increase in their revenue.”
7. Customers buy from those they know, like, and trust
It’s as simple as that – if you want to sell your product or service to people, you need to build relationships with them.
And that’s not something you can do within just a couple of minutes or days – it takes time, effort, and consistency to truly build relationships with customers, but the good news is that those who are willing to make every effort will reap a lot of benefits.
The more customers trust you and your brand, the easier it will be for them to buy from you.
And not only that, but if you build relationships with them, they will not only buy from you but also tell their friends and family to do the same.
The best way to build these kinds of relationships with customers is to be personal, friendly, and genuine.
Customers like it when they see that companies treat them as actual people and not just numbers which means that marketers should try to communicate with customers in a way that feels personalized and not overly automated.
The more personal a brand is with its customers, the easier it will be for them to build stronger relationships with them.
And as you can imagine, the better relationships a company has with their customers, the more likely they are to buy from them.
You need to start making your company more human and personal and there is no better way to do that than by storytelling, which is what we are going to talk about next.
8. Understand the Power of Storytelling
Have you ever heard of the phrase “stories sell“?
You see, this isn’t just a random saying – it’s the truth.
People are naturally drawn to stories and narratives because they provide us with a way to better understand the world around us and other people.
When we were kids, we learned about the world through the stories our parents told us and as we were getting older, stories helped us make sense of the world.
Since stories are such an effective way of communicating information and ideas, marketers are using them in their marketing strategies more and more.
Stories are not just effective for communicating messages; they’re also highly persuasive which is why storytelling has become wildly popular among marketers.
People let themselves be persuaded by stories because these kinds of tales tap into the human brain’s natural tendency to try and make sense out of things.
One of the best ways to use storytelling is by telling a story about your brand and its mission.
This kind of story will help you build a better connection with your target market and show them that there’s more to your company than just the products and services it offers.
Another powerful way to use storytelling is through content.
And by content, I don’t just mean blog posts and articles – storytelling is effective in every kind of content you create.
You can tell a story through blog posts, white papers, videos, and even social media.
The key to telling an impactful story is to make sure that it’s authentic, compelling, and clear.
When you tell a story that’s authentic, it will feel as if this could really happen to someone.
Your stories should be compelling and make people interested in what happens next; also, they need to be clear and follow in a reasonable way because you don’t want your audience to get confused or get bored with your narrative.
People love stories so you should definitely consider using storytelling in your content marketing strategy if you want to attract more people, build better relationships with your customers, increase revenue and GROW!
9. Embrace change – don’t get stuck in the status quo
We live in a world where things are always changing and the only way to keep up with those changes is by embracing them.
Change may be scary but it can also be exciting because change brings opportunities for growth which is what every company needs if they want to survive these days.
The thing is, you can’t just sit back and wait for change to happen – if you want your company to grow, you have to be proactive.
You need to learn how to embrace change and turn it into an opportunity because only by doing that will you be able to keep up with your competitors and remain relevant.
Change is even more important for us marketers because marketing itself is all about testing, testing, and more testing.
You can never assume that something will work, therefore, you always have to try out new things, gather data, and see what sticks.
Another important thing about embracing change is the fact that it helps us get rid of outdated practices.
Sometimes we cling to certain marketing activities just because we’re familiar with them, but if they don’t bring us the results we want, there’s no point in continuing to do them.
Keep this mantra in mind – “If something isn’t working anymore, it’s time for a change.“
One mistake a lot of marketers make is when they find a tactic that brings them success, they stick with that tactic and stop trying new things.
The problem is that lots of companies fall into the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality, and they end up stagnating, which means they’re going to miss out on all kinds of opportunities for growth just because they stop trying new things.
A good strategy is to always have a healthy mix of tried and tested marketing practices as well as brand new ones.
10. You can’t grow without marketing and sales – Align them!
A lot of companies struggle to see growth because they don’t have marketing and sales teams aligned.
Both teams have the same goal – to grow the company so it would make sense if they worked together towards that common goal.
The problem is marketing and sales are still traditionally at odds with each other, which means both teams don’t always work together, which means that the company’s growth is affected, but not in a good way.
To truly delight your customers, you must reduce friction by implementing a strategy to align your sales and marketing teams. For example, you can have your sales and marketing teams work together to create a buyer persona or document content gaps during the buyer’s journey.
When your teams are aligned, you can create a customer-centric culture where people work together to solve the same problems.
Aligning your sales and marketing teams will help your company close deals 67% better and generate 209% more revenue from marketing. Isn’t this what every company wants?
We won’t go into details about how to align your teams because it’s too broad a topic but if you want to learn more about it, we wrote an amazing e-book that you can check out here.
If you’ve read this blog post, congratulations!
You now know 10 things that every B2B CMO should be aware of.