Each year brings more opportunities for brands to work through challenges of marketing to the changing needs of a target audience and balance it with what’s required for business growth. Clients are also savvier than ever. They have access to more resources than ever before to compare options, features, and costs, allowing for extra time and contemplation.

The B2C buyer’s journey for a considered purchase is slowly becoming more complex for the same reasons. Consumers are taking more time to research, investigate, and compare options, turning a buying decision with a high degree of financial and/or emotional risk and reward into a multi-step process. Brands need to market beyond the typical, “click here and get it shipped tomorrow” call to action and court customers with common B2B strategies for long lead time purchases.

Between increased competition, tech updates, implementing new marketing tools and processes, tackling emerging markets, and changing customer behavior, brands have some choices to make. How can we balance customer needs and find a way to thrive?

Time to widen the scope when talking about marketing challenges and helpful how-to’s and examine solid marketing strategies to support B2B campaigns and a complex, considered purchases for the B2C market, too.

Back to Basics for a Strong Marketing Punch

Looking at key elements of successful business acumen in the digital age, some things are very clear: businesses are content producers, social media experts, and digital landscape navigators. Even if you have different people and teams tackling each aspect, clear organized language, processes, and goals need to be in place to keep things tight and on message, while offering clear solutions to pain points. Here are eight simple go-to’s that have long-term punch.

1. Nothing Beats a Strong, Clear Brand Message

Competition is growing in all industries, but it becomes non-threatening when a brand is clear on what it delivers and how. Move past tinkering with the logo, tagline, color palette and giveaways part of marketing, unless that needs a refresh. Instead, get clear on how a brand sets itself apart in the marketplace. Offer more research data, compelling value propositions, clearly worded messaging, and an emotional hook. Then amp up the web presence and digital marketing efforts to match.

When all these elements play well together and deliver one complete, clear message to a target market, more people pop into the sales pipeline. It’s also easier to pull in repeat customers and expand past competition—all by building a strong brand message foundation and sticking to it.

2. Make User Experience Consistent across Channels

With a clear brand message in place, now marketing teams can focus on how to integrate it into every aspect of the user experience. Brands often have a handful of channels where their message comes across strong and clear.

But now more than ever, all channels and platforms need to offer the same seamless experience. In other words, each client interaction needs to feel authentic, simple, and organic start to finish. The website, digital accounts, social media, videos (yes, you should make some of those too), all count in the user experience necessities package.

The easier it is for clients to get a sense of how your offering helps them specifically—and give them a taste of how it works—the easier it is to justify the pricing and create a market edge that only your brand can fulfill and do it sustainably.

3. Connect with and Court Repeat Business

Look at that, account-based marketing and sales strategies are still going strong!

When brands combine personalized marketing efforts and a strong brand message with the right delivery tools (with added good customer service of course), it makes garnering repeat business a stronger sales channel overall. The important part is to make efforts to attract repeat business a specific part of the marketing strategy.

4. Review and Match Content Trends in a Logical Way

Marketing techniques that once seemed strictly B2C strategies are now coming into the B2B sphere as powerful marketing tools if you can leverage them in a way that’s logical for your target market.

Long- and short-form video are powerful tools, especially to demonstrate a key aspect of a product or service—with extra points for influencer endorsement. Consider ways to turn webinars into live events to create a sense of urgency, while gathering emails to access the recording afterward. Branching out to new social platforms like Instagram can work with the right strategy or another digital platform outside the traditional B2B sphere. Switching up content formats can also help, featuring a range of content types that favor mobile access.

5. Get Strategic about Data Measurement and When to Bring It into the Fold

There’s nothing more rewarding than saying I told you so—and you can, more or less—when you start data measurement strategy early in the marketing development process. Proof of ROI can be decided early on in the development of a marketing campaign, and marketers can pivot quickly to accommodate required changes before reaching the tactical execution level. Putting data in the right context from the beginning also clarifies the best marketing delivery tools, and helps marketers understand which metrics matter and why.

6. Identify and Understand Conversion Values to Craft High-Delivery Marketing Efforts

To hit on the data point even further, the more effectively a brand can collect and interpret data, the easier it is to court the long game customer in a way that leads to conversions.

For example, does your brand have standard data conversions per piece of content, phone call, download or content form? Not all conversions are created equal, making it essential to identify and capitalize on the conversions that create the highest value.

Then it’s much easier to create a successful marketing campaign with clickable gold.

7. Get on Top of Data Privacy and Security Requirements

There is no workaround or scrimping on data privacy and security requirements. Clients deserve to feel at ease when doing business with your brand and to know, with certainty, that their personal data is being protected and kept private at all levels.

New insights about Facebook and how data concerns spread to the companies partnering with them is still evolving, so don’t leave the privacy policy to chance. It absolutely will impact sales and how confident clients feel purchasing form your B2B or B2C brand.

Make it a priority to improve privacy policies, website security and take the first step to be proactive and transparent when communicating with customers.

8. Review Digital Marketing Efforts and the Why Behind Them

Brands often jump on marketing trends without the core knowledge to carry them out effectively, or understanding if they are a fit for their target market. Others hold off too long and do nothing, while competition jumps on low hanging fruit.

To make marketing efforts easier and more targeted, ensure the marketing team can answer these questions:

  • What is the primary goal for the brand? For example, do you want to be the destination for your target audience?
  • Can you pinpoint ways to better educate buyers, build trust, and secure repeat business? How? Through demos? High-level customer service? Educational series or classes?
  • In what ways can you make your brand and web presence the end goal rather than a stop along the buyer’s research journey?

When looking at the ways B2B and B2C businesses can be better, simple always wins. Create a circle that keeps going back to what the client wants and needs, and make it as simple as possible for them to choose your brand to fulfill it.

Katrina Pfannkuch

About Katrina Pfannkuch

Katrina Pfannkuch is a creativity consultant specializing in writing, editing, strategy & coaching. She's a bit of a data nerd & loves seeing how pieces of the informational puzzle come together to paint a creative picture. Catch Katrina & her insights on kick-starting creativity at @creativekatrina on Twitter.