Yes. You read it right. There are false truths in B2B marketing. And some of them have managed to insidiously make their way into the core of our collective B2B marketing narrative.
Don’t get side-tracked by these false truths.
#1 The Sales Funnel
It’s our favourite. A contradiction in itself.
Yes, there are lots of potential buyers in the world and only a very few end up buying.
We can all agree that the imagery is powerful. But is it accurate?
First, it should be upside down.
Second, it should be full of holes!
B2B sales funnels don’t beneﬁt from gravity.
There are no natural forces in the funnel to lead your prospects down the sales pathway. No magical conversion vortex.
And the funnel isn’t leak-proof. In fact, it’s full of holes.
There are thousands of ways out where your target can escape.
So what does that mean?
It means you have to create an upward swirl.
Bring out all the tools to push your prospects up the sales pathway and keep them away from the holes.
#2 The Purchase Journey
We agree, it’s easy to picture the sales process as a linear journey.
One with a beginning and an end.
But, B2B sales processes are more complicated than that.
They are circumstantial. Intermittent. And changing.
They can have many beginnings. Many end-games.
They’re anything but linear.
In fact, the B2B sales process is more like a maze.
A maze with multiple entry points. Many dead-ends. And multiple goals.
So what does that mean?
It means that you need to understand your prospect’s process.
Identify the entry point by which they came in.
Actively guide them so they don’t get lost. And highlight alternative paths to bring them back if they get stuck.
#3 Marketing Automation
The terminology itself is scary. It brings to mind a huge machine transforming great ideas into insipid and miniature look-a-like’s.
Cutting out the core of B2B marketing. Personalization.
Don’t get us wrong. We strongly believe in the intent behind what we call marketing automation. In that sense, we are true believers.
We are all for personalized, targeted communication. But the terminology tends to make us believe that all can be automated. That marketing automation is easy. Effortless. And time-saving.
It is NOT.
Marketing automation isn’t about automation. It’s about the personalization of content.
And personalization is hard.
It requires a solid strategy. A detailed action structure.
Time and effort.
And, above all, compelling and relevant content.
There is no magic button that can automate it all.
Funnels aren’t really funnels.
Journeys are all but linear.
Marketing automation isn’t about automation.
So, what does it all come down to?
B2B marketing is all about helping people do their jobs, solve their problems, or seize opportunities. And the best way to do that is with unique, clear, useful, interesting, intelligent and impactful content.