Marketing is becoming increasingly more competitive due to the surplus of new ideas and continuous innovations in the industry. It is becoming easier than ever to fall behind other brands. Therefore, optimizing your B2B marketing strategy is essential for success. What are the most common mistakes that marketers are making that might be keeping them from that optimization? How can we avoid those mistakes?
In a recent episode of Digital Conversations with Billy Bateman, Udi Ledergor – Chief Marketing Officer at Gong – shared insights on two of the most common mistakes he has noticed B2B brands are making. He also offered suggestions on how to successfully build your brand while maintaining a competitive edge.
The first mistake Ledergor mentioned was the tone of voice brands are using. So many brands confuse being considered a serious authority with being boring. You don’t have to be boring to be considered an authority. Ledergor used Gong as an example. “We’re not a serious brand, but we take our work very seriously.”
Numerous SAAS and tech companies struggle with marketing their product in a way that is easy to understand and relate to. They often get caught up in the complexity and sophistication of the product when they should be creating a brand voice that makes things simple and relatable.
A 2016 study by the Nielsen Norman Group showed how users preferred a hospital that embraced a more casual, serious, and enthusiastic tone of voice rather than a formal, serious, and matter-of-fact tone. These findings were true across several industries they analyzed, including baking, insurance, security, and healthcare. Casual, conversational, and enthusiastic tones performed best.
Tone of voice should be strategically defined and implemented, remembering there’s no need to get caught up in sounding smart or using jargon.
The second mistake B2B brands are making is the quality of their content. Marketing your product by announcing new bells and whistles is not enough. Ledergor emphasized creating amazing content by starting with what will make your customers day better.
We need to change our perspective from internal to external. Don’t ask, ‘What is going on in my development lab that I need to deliver outside?’ Rather, consider asking, ‘What is going on outside that I can actually add value to?’
When asked what marketing strategy he would never sacrifice, Ledergor responded, “Amazing content that really provides value. That is the core of any winning B2B marketing strategy.”
Building the Brand
There are two suggestions that Lederegor offered in successfully building your brand.
First, focus on the product to make customers happy. Second, create a content strategy that adds value to the lives of customers.
If you are an early-stage startup, simply bringing in a brilliant marketer to build your brand is not going to be sufficient for success. You need to focus on your product first. What is it about your product that is going to make your customers happy? The answer to that question will do ten times more than the best marketer can do.
You must get that elusive product market fit where customers are raving about your product. When your product is good enough, customers will be talking about it without you asking them. If you are at this stage, you can then bring in marketing that will come in to amplify those raging fans.
The product should be your initial focus. No marketing tricks can substitute for that.
Are you creating content that adds value to your customers lives? Is your content so good that people are willing to pay for it?
What is the most important thing the marketing leader can do after you’ve got a great product? And what can you do to help establish that brand throughout the entire organization?
Internal marketing is an underrated, yet critical part of successfully establishing your brand. That means getting your employees involved by showing them value internally.
Gong strategically executes this internal approach. Each time content is shared by the brand, hundreds of employees like, comment, and tag a prospect that they think would find it interesting. They might even share the piece on their own network. This internal marketing will emphasize the value of the brand and motivate employees in their work.
Ledergor gave several other invaluable suggestions that will help strengthen your brand. It is essential to be decisive and move fast. The easiest thing to do when the world is on fire is to sit back and wait. Most brands want to play it safe and do what everyone else is doing. When doing this, best practices quickly become ordinary practices. If you are doing the same thing as everyone else, how are you going to stand out? How do you expect to have extraordinary results? You need to be looking at what nobody is doing, and then go do that. That is what is going to set you apart from competing brands.
However, promotion is not everything. “Promotion is important, but you can’t hack your way out of a bad piece of content,” reminded Ledergor. Avoiding common mistakes, creating value content, and internal marketing practices will bring greater success to your brand.