As a CEO, when you reach the point of investing more significantly in B2B marketing, it may seem like securing the budget would be your primary challenge. However, once the budget is in place, you soon realize that the real challenge lies in figuring out where and how to spend the dollars.
So why is this such a challenge? As a B2B CEO just getting started in building your marketing function, deciding on your right next steps can be a challenge for many reasons. These reasons include:
- Lack of Marketing Expertise: Many CEOs are experts in their product, service, sales, scaling companies, or their industry, but may not have a deep understanding of marketing. Today’s modern marketing world can be complex and multifaceted, with different approaches suited to different stages of business growth, different industries, and different target audiences. This can make it difficult to know where to start when it comes to adding marketing to your growth strategy.
- Determining the Right B2B Marketing Approach: From content marketing and SEO to social media and paid advertising, there are many different marketing channels to choose from. Each approach has its pros and cons, and the best strategy for any given company will depend on a variety of factors, including the industry, target audience, and specific business goals. Determining the right marketing approach and channels can be challenging if you don’t have a background in developing marketing strategies.
- Finding the Right Talent: Marketing requires a wide range of skills, including research, strategic planning, creative development, data analysis, content writing, campaign development, technical skills, and more. Finding individuals or agencies who possess the right mix of these skills can be a difficult and time-consuming task – especially if you don’t yet have a senior marketing leader in place to guide the way and evaluate the alternatives.
- Budget Constraints: Developing and implementing a marketing strategy requires an investment. But what should that investment be? You need to determine how much you’re willing and able to spend on marketing, and then ensure that you’re getting the best possible return on that investment. This can be particularly challenging for companies that have been operating without a marketing budget up to this point, or don’t have an experienced marketing leader on board who knows how to track and determine what the return on investment should look like, and how long it may take to realize.
- Measuring B2B Marketing Success: Unlike sales, which can be directly tied to revenue, the impact of marketing can be harder to measure. It can be a struggle to determine whether marketing efforts are paying off, especially in the short term. In addition, when you are just in the beginning stages of building your marketing function, it’s essential to spend time creating your marketing strategy and building the systems and processes that make up a solid marketing foundation. During this time period, metrics should be more focused on getting everything implemented and your content completed and posted.
These are all efforts that will pay off over the longer term as you execute your marketing, and this is not the time to focus on immediate ROI. For CEOs, understanding expectations around metrics and when results may start to be seen is essential. Otherwise, you will fall into the trap of forever doing random acts of marketing in search of short-term ROI, and never implement the solid foundation you really need for long-term success.
- Integrating B2B Marketing and Sales: For companies that have been primarily sales-led, integrating marketing into the existing organizational structure can be a challenge. Sales and marketing need to be closely aligned, with clear communication and shared goals, in order to be effective. Moreover, if a company has a strong sales organization and leadership, it may be difficult for marketing people who are more junior or lack leadership skills to give marketing the strong voice it needs to be successful.
Overcoming Challenges to Get Started:
When you’re ready to invest more seriously in B2B marketing, it’s difficult to choose the best way forward when you don’t have a background and expertise in marketing. That’s why taking the time to find and bring on someone with a strong history in B2B marketing at a leadership level, such as a Fractional CMO may be an ideal first step. This person can act as your guide and support you in making informed marketing decisions and avoiding any costly missteps.
Next Steps: The B2B CEO’s Ultimate Guide to Building an Expert Marketing Team in Today’s Complex Marketing World
To help you overcome these challenges and make important decisions around your marketing investment, we’ve created a comprehensive eBook: The B2B CEO’s Ultimate Guide to Building an Expert Marketing Team in Today’s Complex Marketing World.
In this eBook, we walk you through the six most important questions B2B CEOs need to answer in order to build their first marketing team and choose the right marketing model for their stage of business and provide insight, recommendations and actionable guidance:
- How Do You Know It’s Time to Invest in Marketing?
- What are B2B Marketing Best Practices?
- How Has B2B Marketing Become More Complex?
- What Are the Top Challenges in Getting Started in Marketing?
- What Does a B2B Marketing Team Look Like?
- Should You Hire In-House or Outsource?
You can download the eBook RIGHT HERE
If you have any questions about this blog post or the eBook or would like to schedule a consultation with myself and Jen Kelly, NIM’s Founder and one of the Fractional CMOs to get more guidance around your next steps in marketing, you can send her an email or book a consultation time.
Nicole Croizier is the lead Fractional–CMO at New Initiatives Marketing Inc. Take charge of your marketing success today with us as your Fractional CMO + Marketing Team. Since 2009, we’ve been supporting mid-size b2b businesses worldwide through effective implementation and execution of marketing strategy. Not ready? Sign up and learn from our monthly newsletter.