This post continues the thread started in our last post – 7 common mistakes by B2B tech companies [in our target market].
The first part covered the first two mistakes – around hiring your first sales person. This part covers the other 5 and is much more marketed related. So let’s get on with mistake #3:
3) Not taking Marketing seriously (enough)
In the 2018 Mainsail Partners survey of bootstrapped entrepreneurs they generated the following insight asking [paraphrasing], “how important do you perceive each function, and do you view it as a strength or weakness?”
Clearly, Marketing is perceived to be a ‘meh’ and consequently becomes a strong weakness. For B2B tech companies thinking BIG, recognising that Marketing is the engine that is going to drive your business forward by enabling Sales is critical. Having established some level of sales with your product/solution, being able to scale the business is just as important, if not more important, than Product and Engineering.
Two posts that cover why this is the case are What Does Marketing Mean to You? and Why Inbound Digital Marketing is More Important than the First Sales Hire for B2B Tech Companies.
4) Thinking Marketing is about brand guidelines/style guidelines
For our target market, the focus of any and all marketing initiatives should be lead generation. If an initiative is not going to be contributing to lead generation then it should be consigned to the waste paper basket.
Pretty simple really but we often come across tech B2B companies with handsome brand guideline documents and templates for powerpoint yet no thought or effort given to lead capture mechanisms.
Marketing can extend to lead nurturing after the initial lead capture but the marketing focus for B2B tech companies thinking BIG has to be 100% on the lead.
5) Building a website for anything other than lead generation purposes
This is an outcome of the last two mistakes but, if the sole function of marketing is lead generation, then the sole purpose of the website is to support lead generation. It’s not to tell the world all they could ever wish to know about you, your company, your product/solution; it’s simply to help the visitor understand how you can help solve their problem, to provide the trust that you’ve done this before (for someone like them) and then to exchange their contact information for something of value to them and ‘permission’ to follow up. The point of your website is not to provide so much information that they can decide on that visit that you’re not for them and then to leave without taking action.
We’ve covered this before in several other posts, of which, Website? What’s the Point? is a good starting point.
6) Building a website on a platform that is not fit for purpose
A website focused on lead generation doesn’t need to be overly complex yet we continually see websites built on proprietary CMSs (content management systems), or that are custom coded and which are not fit for the purpose of lead generation.
Using a proprietary CMS/custom coding can then make the site difficult, if not impossible, to change to support the requirements of lead generation.
Examples, we’ve seen recently include:
- a CMS without the ability to build a page without a header/footer (some landing pages for paid traffic will convert better without the standard header/footer)
- a CMS that fixed the header, which on a mobile which resulted in an available viewing window of less that 1cm
- contact forms without the ability to prevent false/personal email submissions
Why not use WordPress or similar open source CMS and, instead of using custom coding, use a theme that’s fit for purpose? For what should be a relatively simple website, this will be more than adequate and will enable you to develop best practice lead generation techniques.
7) Driving paid traffic to the home page
If you’re going to pay for traffic (from Google Ads, Capterra etc.) then make sure you direct that traffic to a page with a specific call to action relevant to the original search term/ad.
We see lots of companies sending traffic to their home page which is ‘nice’ but pretty well a waste of money without a specific call to action.
If you’re looking for ideas on what works (and doesn’t) try Googling some search terms relevant to your market and see what your competitors are doing (if anything). Please check out our recent post for more details on different approaches to paid ads.
Those are 7 common mistakes we see. Hopefully you won’t be making the same mistakes. If you need help in building out your effective lead generation engine then please use the Get in Touch link at the top of the page and drop us a line.