What comes to mind when you hear B2B marketing strategy?
For many marketers, creating persona-focused content, delivering that content to your buyers, driving qualified leads into the pipeline, and measuring the revenue impact of your efforts come to mind.
If that’s what you think, too, you’re absolutely right.
But to get to those critical outcomes, it first takes a solid foundation that supports collaboration and consistency across internal teams, each responsible for their own piece of the content pie.
It takes alignment and visibility.
Welcome to the Age of the Customer
Today, customers have more control over their buyer experience than ever before. They research their purchases thoroughly (and independently), gathering information from various channels and resources. This information comes in the form of marketing content, and guides them through every step of their journey from first touch through advocacy.
The tricky part is that different teams within a single organization – social, demand gen, digital marketing, field marketing, inside sales, outside sales, customer support – are responsible for delivering content across various channels to the same buyer. These channels might include Twitter, LinkedIn, marketing automation, paid ads, website, blog, CRM, direct email – the list goes on.
Unless your internal teams are aligned, your organization won’t be able to deliver an optimal, engaging customer experience. Instead, your buyers will find themselves on a disjointed, inconsistent journey, which can have a quantifiable impact on your company’s success in the market.
In fact, buyers that report having great customer experiences are 5.2X more likely to purchase more from that company. What’s more, Watermark Consulting compared stock performance over an 8-year period, and found that companies considered customer experience leaders saw a 107.5% cumulative total return, while average companies saw 72.3% and laggards only 27.8%.
In today’s landscape, the B2B marketing strategies that deliver the best customer experiences are the ones that win, and this requires alignment across teams to deliver a cohesive narrative every step of the way.
2 Ways to Ensure Cross-Functional Alignment
Here are two ways you can build a stronger foundation for alignment to support your B2B marketing strategy.
Get on the Same Calendar
Get your internal teams working from the same, centralized calendar. This may sound like a simple tip, but in reality, many marketing groups have to manage collaborative timelines through unnecessary meetings, back-and-forth emails, or manually updated spreadsheets.
Share a single calendar with every stakeholder or department involved, and have the project lead map out the defined milestones for each team to work toward. Doing so eliminates the need for constant status updates or the concern that someone will drop the ball, and if a key date needs to shift forward or back, everyone has immediate access to the altered calendar. Also, a central calendar ensures that every team understands their role in the larger strategy, and will be held accountable to that shared timeline.
Store Content in a Single Location
65% of B2B marketing content goes unused, according to SiriusDecisions. Why? Internal teams either deem content irrelevant to the buyer, or they simply can’t find what they need.
There are three main problems here:
- Content that isn’t used equates to millions of wasted dollars every year,
- You’ll spend more time fielding requests for content that already exists but your internal teams can’t find, and
- In a pinch, those in need of content quickly will simply create it themselves, resulting in inconsistent content and a disjointed buyer experience.
This is a particularly potent challenge for sales and marketing alignment, as 65% of sales reps say they can’t find content to send to prospects.
To solve these issues, store your content in one, central content repository – and make it easy to search. Whether you organize content by metadata, tagging and filtering capabilities, or naming conventions, educate internal teams on how to find the content they need.
B2B buyers’ expectations are getting higher, and until you establish processes for alignment and visibility across internal teams, you won’t be able to deliver customer experiences that make a positive impact on your business.
Time to tame the content chaos – and it starts inside your own organization.
When you establish processes for alignment and visibility across internal teams, making sure each customer-facing team has access to your effective content is key. This can be part of an overall strategy to align your marketing, sales, and customer success teams into a Team Trifecta that stewards the consistent customer experience across every facet of the customer lifecycle.
Read more: Walk in Your Customers’ Frankenshoes!