Getting the Cold Shoulder as a B2B Marketer?

It’s easy to feel undervalued as a communications or marketing professional working for a B2B manufacturing organization. Sales metrics are king in traditional organizations, and business functions that can’t clearly show how their budgets drive revenue are at risk of losing both funding and respect.
It isn’t that B2B marketers don’t recognize the value of showing ROI. We surveyed 225 marketing and communications professionals across the U.S., and 82 percent of respondents indicated that showing measurable results was extremely or somewhat important to them. But success doesn’t always come easily. Thirty-seven percent said their greatest barrier to success lay in poor infrastructure to collect and analyze data, and 31 percent pointed to lack of internal knowledge on how to measure success as their biggest issue.
Part of the problem is that marketing and communications technology—as well as related best practices—are evolving too quickly for business leaders to keep up, making them hesitant to approve investment in unproven or unfamiliar channels. At the same time, traditional marketing channels aren’t faring much better. Seventy-two percent of manufacturing companies said tradeshows will either be extremely important or somewhat important to their business, yet busy building and construction professionals are moving away from tradeshows and toward virtual events as budgets are scaled back.
Communicate Value. Communicate Better.
The bottom line? Marketing is too often an afterthought or is simply measured against the wrong metrics. The good news is that a bit of education and strategic guidance around communications can go a long way toward achieving—and showcasing achievement of—business goals. Here’s where to start.

1. Think about the pressures your business is facing and how marketing communications help alleviate them. Do you have lower-priced competitors chipping away at your market share? Strong marketing messaging that explains the value of your premium product can help. Is there a lack of awareness in the industry around your company’s capabilities and solutions to pain points in the market? Tailored campaigns that speak to customers where they are in the buyer journey can create leads and fans of your company.
2. Once you’ve documented the value marketing can create, think about how you can showcase it better. Remember that not every communications initiative should be measured the same way. If you’re generating awareness or positioning thought leaders, don’t measure success based on resulting sales meetings—you’re setting yourself up for failure. If you are collecting leads at a tradeshow, make sure you’re efficiently recording and following up with them. Document your KPIs based on what you’re trying to achieve, and write down how and how often you’ll reference those metrics.

3. Be honest with yourself. Do you have the resources available to reliably create, measure and show marketing success? The good news is that there are inexpensive digital tools and experienced communication professionals available to help.  

At akhia communications, we believe that communications drive business. Smart, intentional communication initiatives are the backbone of organizational success and should be recognized as such. We’ve worked with companies of all sizes in a wide variety of industries, and we know what it takes to deliver communication-related results… as well as how to measure them effectively.
If you’re feeling frustrated with the way marketing is valued at your company, reach out. We’ll share our insights based on decades of experience, and we’ll get your team positioned for success in your organization. Contact me to start the conversation.