Author: Bonnie Harris

In the world of business and marketing, there always has to be a two-way relationship. To find success, you’ll want to rely heavily on your marketing tactics to get you results. When you’re looking to market in the B2B sector, this intensifies. More often than not, you have to ensure that your integration is flawless and that you’re focusing quite heavily on relationships. However, when you’re very much a digital business and you rely on your website to generate sales, that can be quite tricky. This means that your team really has to step up when it comes to facilitating sales, and you have to ensure that the user journey and the buying process is almost faultless. So let’s take a look at a few ways you can look to do this.

Choose Integrated Ecommerce

Marketing within the B2B marketplace presents a number of unique challenges and opportunities. A lot of companies within this sector are making some pivotal mistakes when it comes to their marketing campaigns, and these are preventing B2B businesses from aligning marketing to their company needs and maturing their marketing practices. With that being said, read on to discover some of the most common B2B marketing mistakes so you can discover whether your business is guilty of making any of them and what you can do to rectify them…

Not aligning sales and marketing

Sales and marketing need to align if you are to reach your company-wide objectives. One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is by keeping these departments separate. Instead, explore the possibility of having a service level agreement between both the departments so they can work together to master the service provided to customers and prospective customers.

Using black hat SEO techniques

Can a marketing agency help you create the best strategy? Flickr Most small business entrepreneurs are encouraged to work with marketing agencies nowadays. It’s seen as a smart way of investing your money as you should come out with a great strategy that works. Of course, there are many new entrepreneurs with small budgets who may wonder if it’s worth spending their money. So, for the sake of fairness, here are the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a market agency:

Advantages

Expert Knowledge
The key advantage of a marketing agency is that you work alongside people with expert knowledge of marketing. Granted, these days it’s fairly easy to get an accredited online MBA in marketing, but most entrepreneurs don’t have the qualifications. So, working with people that do will only benefit you as they’ll know the ins and outs of marketing.

[caption id="attachment_13975" align="alignright" width="300"]Social Media Employee Advocacy Social Media and Employee Advocacy[/caption] You may wonder whether you should incorporate a social media employee advocacy program into your integrated marketing plan. There are many good reasons to do so -  it increases the company reach, shows that employees are invested in the company, and can help raise the brand image across social media. But how do you build a program that bridges social media and employee advocacy? You'll need a system that works for you and your employees.  Making an overreaching or too stringent schedule will only decrease buy-in and make everyone hate social media. Use these tips to build a social media employee advocacy system that your team can keep up with.

“Our goal for the book was to codify a new marketing paradigm which our readers could leverage in order to build strong bonds with their stakeholders.” - Rina Plapler, author of Amazon’s #1 international bestseller Brand Intimacy: A New Paradigm in Marketing, and managing partner with MBLM.

One book that stood out from our recent list of the best marketing books to read in 2018 was Brand Intimacy: A New Paradigm in Marketing by Mario Matarelli and Rino Papler. It's challenging to find marketing books that truly present a fresh perspective. Brand Intimacy manages to present a unique view that combines the need for a strong brand presence with the need for a meaningful customer relationship. In the age of personalization, brands must connect with their customers in order for them to feel valued and special and that requires emotion. A recent MarketingProfs article explained why it's not just B2C but B2B customers as well that are motivated primarily by their senses.  The implications of achieving brand intimacy with consumers are significant. Customers who feel a close relationship with brands are more willing to pay a higher price for a product just because it is branded a certain way. These customers are also intensely loyal and great brand ambassadors. When the average company loses half of its customer base every year loyalty is king. Loyal customers more likely to recommend a brand to a friend. This is particularly relevant with millennials and GenZ, for whom peer reviews are the primary differentiator in product selection. [caption id="attachment_14002" align="alignleft" width="300"] Authors of Brand Intimacy, A New Paradigm in Marketing: Mario Natarelli, managing partner at MBLM, and Rina Plapler, partner at MBLM (PRNewsfoto/MBLM)[/caption] Simply put it's not enough to just sell. Matarelli and Plapler really "get" this idea and provide pragmatic tips for companies to reach toward a forward-thinking brand view.  Like any worthwhile endeavor, creating intimacy brand intimacy is a challenging and long-term process. Here are our five takeaways from Brand Intimacy:

[caption id="attachment_13954" align="alignright" width="300"]The Best Marketing Conferences in 2018 The Best Marketing Conferences in 2018[/caption] Keeping up with the changing marketing technology and strategy is tough. Conferences have to have dynamite content and great networking opportunities to make it worth your time. At Wax Marketing we look for the best conferences every year - these are the ones we'd go to if we could.  This is the year to immerse yourself in energy, innovation and inspiration. To pick these bad boys,  we took into account factors like the target audience, speaker lineup, topics,  and networking opportunities.  With attendance ranging from 300 to 21,000, 1-10 tracks,  and focus ranging from content management to B2B integrated marketing, one of these events is sure to offer you some great professional development in 2018

Wax Marketing's List of Best Marketing Conferences in 2018

Facebook marketing and advertising have a lot to learn from SEO, and vice versa. When integrated, Facebook and SEO strategies can be a powerful combination, though it might not be obvious at first glance. Here are some tips for synergizing Facebook and SEO to create more powerful results for your IMC campaigns. 

Think Beyond Marketing Silos

Six years ago analyst firm Forrester published a report showing that 86% of marketers see an integrated campaign as crucial to their success. A siloed approach to social media, content, paid search and organic search can end up feeling disjointed. As two of the bigger components of an omnichannel approach, integrating Facebook and SEO makes sense as a marketing priority. It’s important that social media, content, and search teams are not only briefed on each other’s activities but working together. An integrated team approach will improve marketing results, and probably save you some money too. When brands don’t connect all the different elements of their marketing strategies, they miss out on the potential to engage their audience from multiple angles. Facebook and SEO can work hand in hand when you're using communication as a basis for consistency. (If you're still planning your overall SEO strategy, there's more about SEO in 2018 here.)

Evaluate The Opportunity