B2B marketing planningB2B marketing planningAny plan begins with objectives…goals…what you want to achieve…the desired results. Marketing communications plans are no different.

There’s sometimes confusion, though, as to what B2B marketing communications can do. Here’s a list of objectives that marketing communications programs can achieve.

BUILD CREDIBILITY

A company may want to be seen as an expert in their field. In this case, they need to be accepted as a credible information source. Tactics that can be used to build credibility include:

  • Marketing public relations, especially articles, whitepapers and case histories
  • Blogs/newsletters
  • Social media
  • Website
  • Conference/tradeshow workshops
  • Literature
  • Webinars

 GENERATE RESPONSE

Most companies want to increase sales. Marketing communications can help by bringing in inquiries. Response-generating programs include:

  • Advertising
  • Product publicity (product news releases)
  • Direct response, particularly marketing email
  • Tradeshows

INCREASE AWARENESS AND PREFERENCE

Awareness and preference are where the sales process begins. A prospect needs to know of your company or brand and feel positive about it before they’ll buy. Programs that can build awareness include:

  • Advertising
  • Social media
  • Tradeshows

EDUCATE

An educated customer is a good customer. If you need to educate customers and prospects, consider using:

  • Marketing public relations – articles, whitepapers, case histories
  • Blog/enewsletter
  • Social media
  • Website
  • Conference/tradeshow workshops
  • Literature
  • Webinars

ESTABLISH/PROMOTE A BRAND IDENTITY (IMAGE)

Since people want to buy from recognized entities, establishing and promoting a recognizable identity (personality or image) for your brand is very important. Marketing communications can help with programs like:

  • Advertising
  • Blog/enewsletter
  • Social media
  • Website
  • Tradeshows
  • Literature

MEASUREMENT

At least some of your objectives should be measurable – a 10% increase in awareness or 3,000 inquiries generated, for example. Measurable objectives can be…measured. So you can track how you’re doing.

What about ROI, you say? To really measure Return on Investment you’ll need a good inquiry qualification and tracking system as well as access to sales records. You’ll probably find that each sale has multiple influences and touch points – which speaks to the value of an integrated, multifaceted plan that’s founded on clear objectives.


Need help planning next year’s marketing communications programs? For more information about business-to-business marketing communications planning, contact CCC or email me, Susan McPherson, at smcpherson@cccinc.com.

Creative Communications Consultants, Inc. (CCC) is a business-to-business marketing communications agency. We specialize in providing strategic marketing communications thinking to marketers of industrial and commercial products who target B2B audiences.