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b2b marketing campaigns

B2B marketing campaigns: 4 essential steps for planning

  • How to plan your B2B marketing campaign
  • Defining your marketing goals and measuring your success
  • 4 simple steps to get the foundations in place
It may seem obvious to say that planning and strategy are key to successful B2B marketing campaigns. Yet, many marketers rush through this crucial part of the process. This might be due to a variety of reasons: a lack of time, or pressure from the boardroom to demonstrate results quickly.

However, if you want to ensure success for your campaign you can’t afford to take shortcuts here.

Why planning is so important

Good planning is essential for several reasons:

  • To define your goal
  • To define how you will accomplish that goal
  • To make sure everyone knows what’s going on
  • To measure success and make reporting easier

Read the case study: How we helped global systems integrator Dimension Data with successful PPC adwords campaigns.

Here’s how to plan your B2B marketing campaign:

1. You need to define your goal

When your goal is defined, you know what to aim for. It could be a set number of leads for a Go-To-Market (GTM) campaign, or alternatively, a set number of blogs or social posts per month for an on-going inbound marketing campaign. But this target needs to be defined and communicated to all stakeholders.

Another key consideration is to be as specific as possible. Simply saying, “We are going to generate more leads!” isn’t enough. You must decide exactly how many leads you’re aiming for and specify which products you want to promote and the audience you are targeting. When deciding on audiences, you may wish to create a ‘marketing personas’ document, which outlines relevant details about the target demographic, such as their pain points.

When executing this part of the plan, you need to agree upon realistic objectives. The last thing you want to do is promise too much and fail to deliver.

How to get started: Define the goals you aim to achieve and get these signed off by all key stakeholders.

2. Outline how you will accomplish that goal

Now that a goal has been defined, you need to determine how you’re going to achieve it.

  • First, what are your key messages?
  • Second, which channels are you going to use – social, blogs, paid media, landing pages, email campaigns etc?

Again, it’s not enough to just say, “We are going to publish some blogs!” You need to define how many blogs you will produce and prepare titles and a small synopsis for each.

Next, you should prioritise tasks – what’s most important, what will be most effective, what you need to do first. These can help you draw up a schedule and set out timeframes. Timeframes need to be worked out based on what’s going to be included in the campaign. Important aspects to set out include:

  • start dates
  • end dates
  • launch dates
  • publish dates.

Finally, you need to plan how much is going to be spent and on what. You need to determine what the budget is for the campaign and how that will be spread out.

How to get started: Create a document with your key messaging and make a list of the channels you will use during the campaign. Prioritise tasks and create a time schedule.

3. Make sure everyone knows what’s going on

You need to ask:

  • If there’s content, who is going to write it?
  • If there’s design work, who is going to design it?

What is required is a schedule to follow for stakeholders, clients and your own team. So, they can see that ‘Blog 1’ will be published on the first Monday of the month, ‘Blog 2’ on the following Monday and so on. Using a collaborative tool like Microsoft Teams can be very helpful.

You also need to figure out how the project is going to be managed. You need to define who is ultimately in charge and who is going to lead on certain aspects of the campaign, i.e. social, design, copy etc.

Reporting also needs to be considered. Someone needs to oversee reporting to stakeholders.

With all B2B marketing campaigns, consistency is key. The planning stage can be used to make sure there is consistency across channels. This means fully defining the messaging and brand guidelines and making sure everyone who needs to can access this.

How to get started: Sit down with your team and discuss the ins and outs of the project. Assign tasks (perhaps using task management software) which outline everyone’s responsibilities and deadlines.

4. Measure success and make reporting easier

Marketing isn’t just about being creative and delivering campaigns. Reporting and measuring success is essential for all B2B marketing campaigns. Stakeholders will want to see that the campaign was worthwhile, and to recognise areas for improvement.

So, at this stage, you also need to determine what metrics will be used to report the success of the campaign. This should go together with selecting what the goal of the campaign is. If the goal of a campaign is to generate leads, then you should use the number of leads to measure success. With on-going inbound marketing campaigns, you may wish to measure success via metrics like page visits, click-through rates, downloads, Twitter followers, etc. and map their change over time.

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You also need to decide how you are going to keep track of this progress as the campaign develops. Who is following up on leads? Who is going to run the analytics on Twitter and AdWords? Who is going to keep an eye on the budget?

Key stakeholders will need to be reported to. If the campaign is for clients, who oversees reporting to them, and how often? Will there be weekly updates, or will it just be reported at the end? All this needs to be considered as part of planning and strategy for a B2B marketing campaign.

How to get started: Decide on your metrics and communicate these to all key stakeholders.

We can help with your B2B marketing campaigns

Fifty Five and Five are a full-service digital marketing agency, executing campaigns ranging from blogs, social and paid media to web build, web design and video animation (read about our Strategy and Campaigns Service). Whenever we work on a new campaign for a client – no matter the size – we put as much drive and focus into the planning as we do for any other aspect. 

Make sure to follow us on Twitter for more articles like this, including the next blog in this series. For more information about planning B2B marketing campaigns contact us directly.

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Seb Gach

Seb Gach

Seb is a writer at Fifty Five and Five, one of a growing team that put the story at the forefront of everything we do.

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