What B2B marketing techniques haven't worked for you?

by josias
19 replies
When thinking about B2B marketing and sales, we often focus or try to find information about what has worked for other people, what has helped X or Y company to go from point A to point B. But it's also healthy to analyze what hasn't worked at all and why. I would love to know what didn't deliver as you expected and what is what you did after that experience.

My goal? Let's create together a list of the things that didn't work at all and what was done then to change that marketing frustration into an achievement, based on a variety of point of views, markets, industries, target audiences, buyer personas, even tools, and so on.

What to do you think?
#b2b #marketing #techniques #worked
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  • Profile picture of the author Aruvin Chan
    I'll probably get heat for this, but cold email/outbound prospecting. I've had so many more leads coming from "organic" sources, like forums and social media. I think it highly highly depends on which market you're in.
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  • Profile picture of the author josias
    I've tried cold email outreach a few times. In my case, it has only worked when targeting partners. One of my biggest mistakes then was to not segment the database/audience correctly.

    The more contextualized the message is for the prospect, the more chances to convert. Now I think that done right, depending on the industry/product/target, it works. It requires more time, investigating, segmenting the messages by buyer persona and so on, but it works. So this starts with a buyer persona analysis.

    Also, one of my biggest mistakes back then was to buy databases that wouldn't be updated or too generic, even when being specific about things like position or industry. So manual, old-school prospecting/research delivers better results.

    Another mistake I did was not following up accordingly. So I would think that it was just about creating automations and that's it. Mistake. Some contacts might need a phone call, or a Linkedin message or even a visit depending on the type of service you are in, the sales cycle and the average ticket per sale.
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  • Hi,

    Cold email outreach.
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    • Profile picture of the author josias
      Originally Posted by Sleekinfosolutions View Post

      Hi,

      Cold email outreach.
      Why do you think cold email outreach hasn't worked for you?
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    This is an interesting idea in theory but in practice there simply is too much missing information to make it practical.

    Someone says, "Email marketing didn't work for me."

    OK, and it may well be a bad leadgen source for that target market.

    But...

    ...how many times did they try?

    ...what was the message they sent, and was it demonstrated to be a match with the audience?

    ...what was the Call To Action? and was that the right one?


    Most people give up very, very early and after having tried something that was not tested to statistical relevance. In other words, they tried one thing one way and for nowhere near long enough.
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    • Profile picture of the author Medon
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      This is an interesting idea in theory but in practice there simply is too much missing information to make it practical.

      Someone says, "Email marketing didn't work for me."

      OK, and it may well be a bad leadgen source for that target market.

      But...

      ...how many times did they try?

      ...what was the message they sent, and was it demonstrated to be a match with the audience?

      ...what was the Call To Action? and was that the right one?


      Most people give up very, very early and after having tried something that was not tested to statistical relevance. In other words, they tried one thing one way and for nowhere near long enough.
      Jason, I tend to agree with you 100% most people are hopeful when they trample upon an idea. They get more excited when they hear that so and so has used the same idea to make thousands of $$$. So, they hurriedly implement the idea without asking how it should be done and the limiting factors. In a nutshell, trying to say here that this and that idea did not work for me may not be enough. Research should be conducted to find out why the idea did not work.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
        Originally Posted by Medon View Post

        Jason, I tend to agree with you 100% most people are hopeful when they trample upon an idea. They get more excited when they hear that so and so has used the same idea to make thousands of $$$. So, they hurriedly implement the idea without asking how it should be done and the limiting factors. In a nutshell, trying to say here that this and that idea did not work for me may not be enough. Research should be conducted to find out why the idea did not work.
        I call this the "School Of Fish" effect.

        A couple years ago I did a second coaching call for the B2B sales team of a marketer most of you know (he has a site that tracks launches, that'll give you the picture. But this call was for a brick and mortar business he runs.) He posted a testimonial and within a day I got 70(!) new Facebook friend requests.

        All unqualified, broke people who did not have real businesses. Not a qualified prospect among them.

        Things like this can look great, but they're just vanity metrics. The school of fish swings around to chase the new popular thing. But do they commit...test...get the expertise they really need to gain results? Nope. Next week, on to the next shiny object.
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      • Profile picture of the author josias
        Originally Posted by Medon View Post

        Jason, I tend to agree with you 100% most people are hopeful when they trample upon an idea. They get more excited when they hear that so and so has used the same idea to make thousands of $$$. So, they hurriedly implement the idea without asking how it should be done and the limiting factors. In a nutshell, trying to say here that this and that idea did not work for me may not be enough. Research should be conducted to find out why the idea did not work.
        I totally agree. That was one of the reasons behind this threat, although I didn't explain myself very well. Thank you for your comment. Just last week a lead asked me for what conversion they could expect from X marketing activity they are considering. I answered that it really depended on several key factors. Most of our clients see great results, but not all of them, in the same way not all of them do what we recommend so that they can see the type of numbers they have in mind.
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    • Profile picture of the author josias
      Originally Posted by Jason Kanigan View Post

      This is an interesting idea in theory but in practice there simply is too much missing information to make it practical.

      Someone says, "Email marketing didn't work for me."

      OK, and it may well be a bad leadgen source for that target market.

      But...

      ...how many times did they try?

      ...what was the message they sent, and was it demonstrated to be a match with the audience?

      ...what was the Call To Action? and was that the right one?


      Most people give up very, very early and after having tried something that was not tested to statistical relevance. In other words, they tried one thing one way and for nowhere near long enough.
      You are certainly right. I just updated the question adding "why". Every marketing activity should always be A/B tested and improved.
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  • Profile picture of the author myob
    I tried SEO once.
    Signature
    “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” – Isaac Newton
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    • Profile picture of the author LindyUK
      Originally Posted by myob View Post

      I tried SEO once.

      See, you should have tried it twice!


      Lindy
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  • Profile picture of the author air3lement
    Honestly, I've made a sale in any method I've tried long enough, with enough effort. As long as you're not doing the same thing, expecting new results. What I mean is, if you're using a cold approach, pay close attention to the objections, continuously fine tune your approach. I think it's a matter of what works best with your specific skill set.

    What's worked best for me is when consumers have reached out to the business and specifically ask for our product. Always nice to have your customer call you.

    That being said, one of my biggest customers have came from a cold approach. Did some research to find out about the business, sent a letter, along with a sample, to the business introducing ourselves and showing them what we have to offer. Got a phone call a week later with the biggest order I had yet to receive.

    It's not a fail until you give up. Everything in between is opportunities to learn and improve.
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    • Profile picture of the author josias
      Originally Posted by air3lement View Post

      Honestly, I've made a sale in any method I've tried long enough, with enough effort. As long as you're not doing the same thing, expecting new results. What I mean is, if you're using a cold approach, pay close attention to the objections, continuously fine tune your approach. I think it's a matter of what works best with your specific skill set.

      What's worked best for me is when consumers have reached out to the business and specifically ask for our product. Always nice to have your customer call you.

      That being said, one of my biggest customers have came from a cold approach. Did some research to find out about the business, sent a letter, along with a sample, to the business introducing ourselves and showing them what we have to offer. Got a phone call a week later with the biggest order I had yet to receive.

      It's not a fail until you give up. Everything in between is opportunities to learn and improve.
      This totally makes sense. One of my biggest mistakes was to stop something that I thought wasn't delivering as I was expected. Months later I realized that the revenue from that channel dramatically dropped, which put me in alert-mode to try to fix it.

      In my case, my biggest clients have come from organic channels with diligent follow-ups.
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  • I've tried some offline direct mail back in January (which admittedly i'm not the best at), and the campaign was a disaster. But i'm getting better, and have found that mixing business cards and flyers - along with joint venture proposals - significantly help when trying to stimulate business offline in my local area.
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    • Profile picture of the author josias
      Originally Posted by Randall Magwood View Post

      I've tried some offline direct mail back in January (which admittedly i'm not the best at), and the campaign was a disaster. But i'm getting better, and have found that mixing business cards and flyers - along with joint venture proposals - significantly help when trying to stimulate business offline in my local area.
      For what kind of business/product/service, Randall?
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  • Profile picture of the author MaxFeerden
    My cold email worked, but just not as efficiently as I wanted. But I can not say that everything was bad. I analyzed my approach and will try again.
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  • Profile picture of the author tinaHHH
    I have tried SEO, email promotion, FB and google ads. I want to get the traffic and find my wholesale buyers for my website. But all of this needs time to make the sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author printwin
    Originally Posted by josias View Post

    When thinking about B2B marketing and sales, we often focus or try to find information about what has worked for other people, what has helped X or Y company to go from point A to point B. But it's also healthy to analyze what hasn't worked at all and why. I would love to know what didn't deliver as you expected and what is what you did after that experience.

    My goal? Let's create together a list of the things that didn't work at all and what was done then to change that marketing frustration into an achievement, based on a variety of point of views, markets, industries, target audiences, buyer personas, even tools, and so on.

    What to do you think?
    If you're in that same boat, allow me to catch you up: Y2K never happened, Beanie Babies were a bad investment, and B2B buyers now have instant, unlimited access to information via a tiny, internet-connected screen that fits in their pocket.

    B2B buying has always been a tricky process. That hasn't changed, even with all the digital tools and resources available. Why? Because most B2B marketers and business owners, while they have adopted some digital tools and created digital content--haven't altered their overall B2B marketing strategy. A new study from marketing research firm Gartner found that despite the proliferation of digital access, 77 percent of B2B buyers still feel that making a purchase is time-consuming and even painful.
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  • Profile picture of the author Elvis1
    Yeah,most of as do not succeed online or take years struggling searching what exactly to do or simply things do not go well!
    Here the only thing which can help go where you want to go and get what you want is to know what you want and never give up.......
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