Crafting a smart digital marketing strategy in a B2B ecosystem is definitely challenging. But the scenario gets further complicated when you are at the strategizing your digital marketing approach for your IT company. The rules have changed significantly for the B2B marketer in the digital era and the methodology is a lot different from the ever-popular B2C approach. In addition, with so many options of tools, analytics, and content formats, you are never quite sure that your strategy is going to deliver the best returns.
But despite the avalanche of changes and the innumerable options in online marketing tools, the basic B2B approach to digital marketing is uniform. This approach can then be customized and fine-tuned based on your specific goals. Let’s look at an example that can help us understand what a B2B digital marketing strategy looks like.
Tally – a brilliant example of smart digital marketing strategy
Tally was already on the top 10 chart of ERP and accounting software providers, when the GST wave took over India. They were quick to realize the opportunity and even put their product development plans on hold. Tally focused completely on making their products GST compliant. While their teams were dedicated to revamping the products, their marketing experts worked on building a customized strategy aimed specifically at the GST-enabled solution.
The First Step – Market Survey
Tally wanted to first understand their target audience’s opinions, hopes, and apprehensions with regard to GST. Hence to get a clear idea of the “real facts” on the ground, Tally went ahead with an elaborate market survey to understand what their target audience’s GST-specific problem areas were.
A strong strategy and a stronger implementation
The report gave them a detailed insight into what their audience was expecting in terms of a perfect GST solution. They realized that their digital marketing strategy had to first aim at creating awareness. Tally hence created a rich repository of blog posts and videos answering GST-specific questions and issues. They brought in renowned experts who were able to allay all the fears of their existing and potential customers. They then simultaneously created interest about their updated Tally products by releasing educational videos highlighting Tally’s GST-specific features. Tally also supported this content-rich approach by conducting frequent events across their partner network to educate their audience digitally and in person (a hybrid approach)
This educational approach has been a great hit since it entirely focused on simplifying the concept of GST and providing solutions rather that just highlighting GST concerns. Tally easily established themselves as expert solution providers in GST, and the results have been pretty impressive, with their sales shooting up exponentially.
Lessons in Planning the Perfect Digital Marketing Strategy
We can learn quite a lot from Tally’s perfect implementation of their super sharp digital marketing strategy. So, let’s try making a quick list.
Your digital marketing strategy must account for four critical elements – content, SEO, distribution, and data. Give equal importance to all four elements, else even the best of content will disappear in the overwhelming digital crowd because you ignored to focus on your target audience.
Before you start planning your strategy, do your homework. Research your market landscape and your competitor space to determine the market needs and requirements. Make sure you do not emulate your competitor’s approach.
Move on to defining your target audience and their persona. This approach will open up details about their needs, wants, and problem areas. Clearly define the specific market space where your brand will be competing.
Distribution, format, and schedule
Plan your content distribution avenues – social media channels, email marketing, paid ads, and other options. The choice of channels depends on your results from assessing your target audience and their persona.
Move on to then define your content formats and their percentage contribution to your digital marketing plan. You have more than 100 content formats to choose from – from blog posts and white paper to case studies and videos.
Plan your content topics and themes depending on your brand, market space, target audience, and differentiators. Do not plan your content across a long stretch since you need to stay in trend or create trends.
Include your non-content initiatives – online events, podcasts, webinars, and multiple other interactive marketing approaches.
Create a digital marketing calendar and stick to the timeline
Review and regroup
Define your source of analytics – the parameters you will assess, how, what, and when. You could use paid solutions or even the basic version of Google Analytics.
Review the performance of your digital marketing implementation and regroup to make changes depending on the response to your initiatives.
This list gives you a quick overview of what a digital marketing strategy looks like. Of course, many of these stages happen simultaneously and they may overlap. But with this framework, you can be sure of not missing out on the essential elements of a rock solid digital marketing strategy.