7 Traits of Great B2B Marketers
There is no “path” when it comes to online marketing. While some would like to think there is a magic playbook – there isn’t. Becoming a high-performance B2B marketer is a process, not a destination. Great B2B marketers are always looking for ways to get better.
After watching and working with some of the best B2B marketers in the business, I’ve come up with a list of 7 traits that seem to be common with all of them. Here they are:
First things first – every great B2B marketer I know is forever asking questions, seeking insight and sharing ideas. What worked today might not work tomorrow. I have several great friends that are also key competitors and we brainstorm all the time. Our minds are like parachutes – they work best when they are open. Never be shy about asking questions. Never think you need to be the smartest person in the room.
We are never smarter than the data. Remember that. I cannot tell you how many times we’ve run a campaign and the idea I thought was brilliant was a dog – the idea I thought was a dog turned out to be the highest performing concept. Always, always listen to the data. There are many ways you can use data to fine-tune your campaign before you even spend a penny – we will go over that in more detail in a future blog (LOL- remind me!)
The best B2B marketers I know are fanatical forward thinkers. They question everything and never assume something that worked in one scenario will automatically work in another. Good B2B marketers are always looking for new and better solutions – often creating the best solutions themselves.
Nothing in B2B marketing is “set and forget”. To be a great B2B marketer you’ll need to become good at A/B Splits (Multi-Variant Testing). You’ll always be looking for that 20% that will give you 80% of your results. Once you find that, you’ll want to find the 20% inside of that 20% to super optimize. Your ability to deliver killer ROI’s will be based on your ability to “tweak the knobs”. The law of compounding works incredibly well when it comes to optimizing your campaigns. We often find we can double or triple our clients marketing ROI. This often makes the difference between a campaign working and NOT.
As Albert Einstein famously said “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If it’s not working you will need to change your approach. This may sound obvious, but sometimes it’s hard to do. We typically start a campaign with 2-3 very different approaches. In some cases none of them work. In others, they all perform quite well. Just remember this – you can almost always make a B2B campaign successful. The trick is understanding when it needs to change and checking your ego at the door.
As I mentioned earlier in this blog, being inquisitive is core to being a great B2B marketer. Being a quick study is just as important. For me, sometimes that means quickly getting my thoughts into the hands of someone on the team that is better than I am in that specific area. B2B marketing is such a broad skill that none of us can be experts at everything. At MarketSense we have an awesome team of smart people, but we also realize each one of us can’t know everything. For me, I want to know exactly what time it is – not how the clock works.
Don’t Reinvent the Wheel
The amount of market research information available is just incredible. We use several expensive tools, however there are some great FREE tools as well. Doing the right research up front can (and will) save you and your clients a lot of time and money. A couple examples of tools we use on the market research side include SpyFu (www.spyfu.com) and Ahrefs (www.ahrefs.com). We are writing a blog that will feature some of the key tools great B2B marketers use to create winning campaigns. Stay Tuned!
If I could sum it up, I’d offer that being a great B2B marketer is about attitude and persistence. We didn’t learn how to develop and run great B2B campaigns overnight. It takes a real focus and some time. Additionally, keep in mind that you (or me) will never be the best at all aspects of B2B marketing. Try to surround yourself with great people and be collaborative in your approach.