It’s tough to keep up with the daily changes in marketing, especially digital marketing. With new channels (hi, Threads!) and daily updates (what’s Google changing today?), it’s almost a full-time job to read about what’s new. And being strategic in your marketing is additionally hard when you’re putting out fires all day long.
But there are fundamentals in marketing that never change. And that’s where B2B marketers make the same mistakes, over and over again. Here are the three biggest mistakes that are repeated by many, especially those just starting out in B2B marketing.
#1 Mistake – starting off with the product/service
If I had to sum up the biggest mistake that I see marketers make, it would be starting with the product or service they’re selling.
What does this look like? Copy that reads (and yes, these are REAL samples):
- We’re here to get you platform-perfect photos, videos, and GIFs that will make you stand out from the crowd and boost your conversions.
- The return of H-E-B Live! Live from Plano, TX.
- Dynamic Inventory Retargeting Ads – with a 98% VDP URL string resolution, this makes these ads EXTREMELY powerful!
Where to start instead? With the target market: who is your customer or client? What is their persona? What does that persona need? Copy that starts with the target market addresses:
- Who are you? (persona)
- What problem do you have that you’ll pay to have fixed?
- What do you care about?
If you start here, your communication has a much better chance of resonating with your audience.
#2 Mistake – focusing on product features
One great example of where I see this is Saas marketing, or other software or hardware. Product marketers love the product, so they tend to focus on the features: “it now does A, B, C, and even D!” Or, “it’s the newest and best version we’ve created, ever!”
But here’s the deep, dark secret: no one cares about your product.
Pretty scary to hear, isn’t it? Whenever I tell engineers this they freak out. “Of course, people care about our product!” they tell me. “It’s so great! You can do all these things! Our competitor’s product can’t do all these things.”
When you’re talking about the product, you’ve stopped thinking about who you’re talking to, and why they should stop what they’re doing now and switch.
Remember: changing people’s habits – even ones they hate – means changing behavior. And that’s hard to do, unless someone is very motivated to make that change.
If there’s a problem to be solved, your customer or client will be motivated to change because your product or services solves it – not because of the features themselves.
#3 Mistake – failure to focus on benefits
Instead of focusing on the features, focus on the BENEFITS of your customer or client changing what they’ve done in the past. How does your product or service alleviate the problems you’ve identified in #1? (This is why it’s critical to start with your target market.)
What does this type of messaging does that look like?
- It will save you hours of time
- It costs 50% less than what you’re using now.
- It’s so much easier to use
I shake my head, because the messaging I see doesn’t take into consideration that people fear and hate (HATE) change. If they’re using your competitor’s product or service, they will stay with it UNLESS you can tell them WHY they should switch.
And that why is the benefit that your shiny new product or service provides is so important to share and explain.
Do you recognize any of the mistakes that I’ve listed here? If so, contact me and let’s talk about how to get your marketing back on track.