When you know the short-term solution isn't good for you, but you just can't help it

B2B marketers have an unhealthy addiction to bottom-of-the-funnel, short-term tactics and need to break with convention says Jason Talbot

The results are in, and the B2B marketing industry now has to confront the facts. Namely that the B2B industry has an unhealthy addiction to short-term tactics – and it flies in the face of effectiveness. It’s something most professional marketers have known for a long time.

short-termism graph

Earlier this year, LinkedIn revealed a vacuum in big–picture thinking on what drives long-term growth in the B2B world. It turns out, most are trapped in short-term, bottom-of-the-funnel tactics that are proven to be ineffective.

Campaign effectiveness graph

Efficiency and growth

The marketers who are truly going to be delivering effectiveness and growth in 2020 are those who leverage the five key B2B marketing principles created by Les Binet and Peter Field:

  1. Invest in share of voice
  2. Balance brand and activation
  3. Expand your customer base
  4. Maximise mental availability
  5. Harness the power of emotion.

However, only a few transformative marketing leaders are in–step with these views. Increasingly, the data is proving it’s not a B2C or B2B issue. More simply, it comes down to whether the strategy is good or bad.

Accenture reinforces this perspective, having found a small percentage of marketing leaders that are outperforminging their peers – by 11% – on value return to shareholders. What do the leaders all have in common? Primarily, they are all rejecting broken, irrelevant marketing blueprints.

Connecting with people

It’s time for B2B to evolve from old, limited conventions. Personas have always sucked. Isn’t it time we evolved to usable segmentations that help to connect with real people? Break convention with psychographic and behavioural profiling to unlock insight capable of elevating your communications from barely relevant to contextually resonant.

In 2020, set a goal to make your brand more meaningful to more people, more of the time. Warning: this might mean you have to break some outdated rules.

To the brave we solute you

As the B2B customer experience agency, we’re proud to be sponsoring the CX category in this year’s B2B Awards. The category recognises the best of the best; marketers who have already shifted from the addiction to short-termism, instead, choosing to invest in meeting (and surpassing) the expectations of their customers to deliver long-term growth.

To everyone shortlisted I salute you. The very best of luck to you all.

The B2B Marketing UK Agencies Benchmarking Report 2019

This year's league table features a record-breaking 95 agencies, and is chock-full of analysis, commentary and interview with the agencies themselves and on the state of the market.

Found out the UK's top B2B marketing agencies

The B2B Marketing UK Agencies Benchmarking Report 2019