10 Winning B2B Marketing Habits to Adopt in 2011

It’s been a while since I have neglected to end a year without doing some type of planning and goal setting for my business (or whatever company I was working for at the time) and my personal life.  Like the saying goes, it’s hard to hit a target you don’t have, and goal setting is the best way to establish those targets.

Perhaps you are equally committed to goal setting.  After you have set your SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) goals, it is a good idea to examine the types of habits that will make you a better B2B marketer in 2011, and benefit your company in a big way.  Here are my nominations for 10 winning marketing habits worth adopting in 2011:

Habit 1:  Carefully analyze your strengths and weaknesses.  We do this regularly at Fusion Marketing Partners, grading ourselves in areas like client service and effectiveness in pull marketing, web optimization, branding, sales enablement and content creation.  If we don’t continue to excel in these crucial areas, our clients won’t get great results, and this is unacceptable to us and our clients. Likewise, you have some areas that can benefit from the Japanese practice of kaizen, which stands for constant, never-ending improvement. You can use our B2B Marketing Effectiveness Checklist to analyze your own strengths and weaknesses.  

Habit 2:  Embrace your challenges.  Every one of us has things they are naturally good at and enjoy. We should of course take advantage of our strengths but at the same time, you can’t ignore your weaknesses if they hurt the company.  Challenge yourself to do what is necessary (including bringing in outside contractors as necessary), to overcome any weakness that prevents you from achieving success.  As Don Juan said in Carlos Castaneda’s Tales of Power, “The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge while an ordinary man takes everything as either a blessing or a curse.”  Resolve to be a warrior marketer in 2011, not an ordinary marketer.

Habit 3: Become a numbers cruncher.   The best way to impress your CEO (and CFO) that your marketing department is adding significant value to the organization is to produce the numbers that link what you do to revenue.  As a numbers-focused marketer, you will capture data such as:

  • Cost to acquire a new lead
  • Cost to acquire a customer
  • Conversion ratio of inquires-to-leads, leads-to-opportunities, and opportunities-to-sales
  • Incremental revenue generated through marketing programs

Habit 4:  Steadily improve your Website.  Let’s face it folks – regardless of whether you have an e-commerce site or use a lead generation model, most people will spend time on your Website before engaging with your sales team or making a purchase.  We’ve never seen a Website that couldn’t be improved in some way, either through intuitive navigation, more compelling offers, enhanced content, or a better look and feel.  So don’t let a week pass without doing something to improve your site. This habit alone can have a big impact on your results in 2011. 

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 Habit 5:  Do “one extra thing” every day.  I learned this one from a very successful sales colleague and it applies equally to marketers.  The idea is that when your work day is finished – before you go home or log off the computer – take one (or more) extra actions towards your goal.  My sales friend makes one more prospect call or sends an email to try to move a deal along. Marketers can write a bit of copy, strategize a new campaign, contact a potential strategic partner, and so forth.

Stay tuned next week for winning habits 6-10. 

Chris Ryan

Christopher Ryan
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One comment

  • Chris Bailey December 21, 2010   Reply →

    Chris, as I continue to think about pushing myself farther in 2011, this was a very welcome read. I’m in the process of rebuilding the marketing function within my small company so the idea of embracing challenges resonates strongly with me. One important challenge I see is to reignite faith among my fellow employees (and management) that we can move beyond the stagnation we’ve settled into for the past couple of years. It’s not only a marketing challenge…but one of leadership, as well.

    Look forward to reading habits 6-10.

    Keep it coming!

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