What Do B2B Marketing Strategists Do?
B2B marketing strategy consultants oversee both campaign build out and tracking of campaign performance. They will ensure that all marketing materials of the business are aligned with the goal of building trust and credibility with customers and achieving revenue growth through customer acquisition. A B2B marketing strategist will also advise on a timeline for deliverables, direct budget allocation to areas of highest return, and revise underperforming campaigns.
To be effective, B2B marketing strategists will begin by taking an inventory of the client's business, growth goals, and their ideal customer. They will also seek to pinpoint key value points that will differentiate the client from their competition in messaging. Then, B2B marketing consultants will advise on the best strategy to lead prospects through the marketing funnel using consumer data to guide decisions.
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Why Hire B2B Marketing Strategists?
B2B marketing consultants work towards the goals of ensuring that campaigns are always moving revenue goals forward and positioning clients as trusted authorities in their industry.
The most common reasons businesses hire B2B marketing consultants are:
Generating Awareness & Building Credibility
B2B marketing consultants will evaluate the client’s business model, growth objectives, and customer pain points. They use that insight to build campaigns that draw awareness to the business and position the client as the ideal solution for other businesses.
While this might sound easy, oftentimes, clients aren’t entirely clear on what their value proposition is, who their ideal clients are, and what they want to achieve. It often takes some time and probing questions to hash out these details, which are critical and must be the foundation for all marketing campaigns. B2B marketing strategists know what questions to ask to unearth these answers and help design a marketing process that effectively promotes these goals.
Direct Inbound Marketing Campaigns
Businesses may come up with their own ideas for a marketing campaign, but not all ideas are equally effective at achieving objectives in an efficient way. B2B marketing strategists evaluate ideas against the company's main goals and determine whether the idea should move to planning or not.
If they feel a particular marketing strategy is backed with hard data that promises high returns, then they will implement a functional plan that includes a budget, timeline, deliverables and executable action. Throughout the entire campaign, the B2B Marketing Strategist will monitor performance data to make sure objectives are being achieved. If not, they’ll help the team change course quickly to avoid wasting resources and momentum.
Evaluate and Interpret KPI Data Metrics
Another key aspect of B2B marketing consulting is the constant monitoring of performance metrics such as open rates, CTR (click through rates), conversion rates, cost per acquisition, etc. The B2B marketing strategist will know what the bar for success is and what the velocity for achieving a metric should be. With that understanding, they will know whether the campaign is moving forward successfully or if it adjustment is needed. If a course correction is needed, they can advise on a more appropriate strategy.
Bottom line: the measure of a good B2B marketing consulting isn’t an instantly successful campaign, it’s a campaign that is managed well, that doesn’t waste a ton of time and money, and is consistent at achieving top results over time.
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Now that you’ve determined that you need a B2B marketing consultant, the next step is to know what skills to look for so that you can identify the right person for the role.
With any candidate, but particularly in the B2B sector, finding the right person with the right set of qualifications, technical skills, and background can be a challenging task. Top performing B2B marketing strategists are jokingly referred to as “unicorns” within the industry.
With that being said, here are some key skill sets to look for:
- In terms of operational experience, a B2B marketing consulting hire should have a proven track record of successfully developing and executing B2B marketing strategies, tactics and campaigns. They should have examples of campaigns they’ve worked on and be able to explain their contribution, what the bar for success was and what outcomes they were able to achieve.
- A B2B marketing strategist should also have technical experience with analytics tools like Google Analytics, Google Ads, and LinkedIn Sales Navigator. They should also have experience in marketing automation and sales enablement tools like Hubspot, Pardot, Salesforce and Outreach and be able to give examples of how they’ve implemented these tools in their campaigns.
- B2B marketing consultants should also have a strong track record of success with data application. Data is only as valuable as what you do with it. Therefore, a candidate should be able to speak to a campaign that did not achieve the desired KPIs and how they corrected its course using data to drive decision-making.
In addition, the B2B marketing strategist should also have a number of relevant soft skills, particularly because they will likely be providing guidance to a team to achieve the set-out marketing objectives.
- Consistently Seeking Mastery: Ask which marketing influencers they follow and which publications they read. The right B2B Marketing Strategist is always trying to learn more and perfect their ability to provide strategy that shows ROI. A red flag would be someone who doesn’t seem to have knowledge of B2B marketing thought leaders and publications.
- Strong Communication Skills: They should be able to delegate properly and communicate objectives to team members effectively. Ask the candidate to explain the important components of a successful B2B marketing campaign and why each part is critical to its overall success.They should be able to clearly explain objectives and without “fluffy” language and give concise answers with quantitative metrics where appropriate.
- Proven Success as a Leader: A team is only as effective as its weakest link. B2B marketing consulting is often about leading others as they work to achieve campaign objectives. Ask the candidate for an example of a time when they had to lead a team and there was a communication breakdown that resulted in an undesirable outcome. What did they do to correct the situation and coach the employee?
Once you have identified an ideal candidate, you want to make sure you set them up for success with proper onboarding. The following suggestions can help you ensure that your new B2B marketing strategist is successful in their new role.
- B2B marketing strategists require you to communicate, as granularly as possible, about your business and your growth goals. Doing this will enable them to advise on the best way to achieve your desired outcomes through effective campaigns.
- Define milestones together: much of B2B marketing consulting resolves around KPIs and obtainment of certain metrics. If you are both clear from the beginning on what defines a successful campaign, then the strategist can set off knowing exactly what’s expected of them and how to achieve it.
- Provide sufficient resources: The onboarding process of hiring B2B marketing consultants should involve meetings with key team members of both sales and marketing as well internal subject matter experts. Then they can gain sufficient perspective of the company from all angles and understand how best to connect you with your ideal customer.
Finding the right candidate in B2B marketing consulting is critical for achieving growth objectives and creating awareness within your industry. The right candidate will help guide you through identifying your marketing goals and executing plans to achieve them. From our experience, the best ones, you’ll want to work with again and again.