Five annoying B2B marketing tactics to avoid

Since the arrival of COVID-19, we’ve seen a wave of marketing redundancies, marketing budgets being slashed and the onset of ‘panic marketing’. Azadeh Wiliams looks at five common annoying B2B marketing tactics and how to avoid them.

Marketers are in constant ‘panic mode’ trying to do more with less since the pandemic. But this risks creating the perfect storm in which marketers, desperate to fill the lead gen funnel, go to dark, frightening and often disturbing places in their marketing strategies. Here are five things to avoid when B2B marketing.

Email marketing overload

 

So you have set up an automated EDM flow, congratulations. But overuse of email marketing can end up looking like spam in your prospects’ inbox. According to Hubspot, one of the common reasons customers unsubscribe from emails is they ‘don’t offer content, promotions or coupons’ that the brand described when marketing the subscription.

Now is the time to be more empathetic, provide more practical, educational and helpful information to your prospects so they get value from your communication, not just hard ‘sell’ messages.

Thinking ‘ads’ equals ‘marketing’

 

Another annoying B2B marketing tactic is bombarding prospects with social ads, sponsored content and Google Ads. The thinking is that ‘running ads equals marketing’. Yes, advertising has its place in the marketing mix. But just paying for ‘ad space’ with no regard to organic inbound marketing as part of a long-term strategy is very expensive and unsustainable. Organic content and earned media placement activities can be easily scaled, create a variety of interesting content for your prospects, build trust and help drive an authentic community around your brand. 

Trying to be the one-person ‘show’

 

In the age of digital and data-driven marketing, trying to do everything all the time is not only going to annoy your colleagues, it could also mean you’re so stretched you make fatal marketing decisions or mistakes, which may annoy, offend or upset your prospects and customers. Gone are the days when you could go in with a plan and then try to execute everything solo. 

B2B marketers just don’t have the resources anymore. They don’t have the money or the time. So, it’s about being much more focused. If there’s a priority in your marketing that you don’t have the skills to execute, consider speaking to a specialist agency, which can fill just that one gap in your marketing mix.

Complacency and repetition

 

Another tactic that will undoubtedly end up annoying your customers is doing the same thing over and over again. You’ve got to keep testing and learning. We’re going through a bumpy recovery that could last for another 18 months to two years. So don’t stop and wait for things to settle, keep going into the market and keep testing to find out what works for you now.

Agency apathy

 

When time and resources are scarce, one of the things that we find often fails is the fact that marketers will forget to give their expectations clearly to their media or marketing partners. They’ll forget to give clear, honest feedback, or they overcomplicate briefs, interfere with the process and cause delays. So if you want to get the most out of your partners, take the time to have collaborative conversations naturally, and in a way that’s very open and honest. Otherwise, you’re just destined to waste money, waste time and annoy your partners.

Turning the corner

 

As we look towards 2022, the pandemic has caused us all to rethink what it actually means to be in business – and growth can only come from investing in strategic partnerships and scalable, innovative marketing activities. The future of B2B marketing is about a clear focus on driving real growth through innovative, creative and engaging tactics – and that’s exciting.

 

Azadeh Williams
BY Azadeh Williams ON 25 November 2021
Azadeh Williams is the Founder and Managing Partner of Global B2B Media and Marketing Agency, AZK Media.

A former publisher, editor and journalist (The Times UK, Sunday Times UK, Reuters, IDG) Azadeh has over 20 years' international experience in media, custom content, marketing and public relations.

An award-winning media and marketing leader, Azadeh has delivered integrated marketing and PR strategies for privately held and publicly listed B2B enterprises across the UK, US and the APAC region.

A qualified solicitor and former lecturer in media law and business journalism at Macleay College, Azadeh is also on the Judging Panel of the IT Journalism Awards, Mumbrella Publish Awards and B&T Women in Media Awards.