B2B Marketing Wipeouts to Avoid: A Lesson From Big-Wave Surfing

Business.com / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

B2B companies can make costly miscalculations using an ill-prepared marketing plan. Here are 4 critical marketing wipeouts common among...

Every year the surfing community gathers to honor those that battle and survive the heaviest blood-curling waves that would make a layperson soil themselves. The Billabong XXL Awards celebrate these dauntless big-wave surfers, but also showcase the year's worst wipeouts and near-death experiences. Despite the countless hours these athletes devote in preparation to face gigantic mountains of seawater, little mistakes are still made that result in hefty consequences.

As you can see, making a slight mistake in timing, strategy, and execution can result in a nightmarish fall from the top of the wave to the unyielding platform of water 50 feet below.  Likewise, but without the consequential physical pain, B2B companies can make costly miscalculations using an ill-prepared marketing plan, inadvertently causing a huge wipeout and loss in sales. Here are 4 critical marketing wipeouts common among B2B companies that can certainly be avoided:

Ignoring the marketing funnel

When these surfers drop into a wave the size of your office building, timing is everything. Similarly, a sale can be completely wiped out if you are engaging with a potential customer too late or too early in the buying process. The marketing funnel is a simple template to follow when executing a slew of complex marketing techniques. Be sure to check out our marketing funnel and the various methods you can employ at each stage of the buyer's journey.

Overlooking personalization and real-time marketing

In a recent study conducted by Neolane and the Direct Marketing Association, researchers found that  77% of B2B marketers believe real-time personalization is crucial to any marketing strategy. Be sure to integrate your customer relationship management system and your various marketing channels to create a personal experience. You can also optimize your social efforts through Twitter by delivering personal yet professional experiences for your customers.

Related:In a Professional World, It's Time to Get Personal

Targeting a broad audience

Our CEO recently touched on the frivolous marketing phenomenon known as "marketing waste"- or exhausting and misusing marketing resources to gain quantity over quality in a small and specialized B2B marketplace. If a display ad or paid search campaign is drawing thousands of irrelevant visitors to your site yet failing to result in any real conversions, you may want to rethink where and how you are allocating your marketing budget.

Related:Turn it Up to 11: B2B Digital Media is Having its Spinal Tap Moment

Neglecting responsive design

Some B2B companies make the huge mistake of ignoring responsive design in their marketing strategy. What these companies fail to realize is that anywhere from 8-20% of site traffic now comes from mobile devices and the mobile-friendly small business owner is getting comfortable making important business purchases with a smartphone. If your lead forms and content downloads aren't conducive to the mobile user, then you could be missing out on a chunk of potential clients. If you're not entirely sure how to make your website smartphone friendly, check out Google's easy how-to guide.

Related:The Mobile-Friendly CEO: the Case for B2B Mobile Marketing

Like these surfers, B2B marketers can learn from their mistakes and paddle back out into the line up with a more developed marketing strategy- but without the physical ramifications of being slammed with an avalanche of unforgiving ocean water.

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