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4 reasons why your B2B marketing is failing

Read time: 
5 minutes
April 2024

At a glance

  • Sales and marketing alignment is crucial for B2B success. Encourage collaboration and open communication to maximise success.
  • Shift your focus away from vanity metrics that have little impact on business growth. Instead, prioritise metrics that centre on tangible outcomes, reflecting real business impact and driving growth.
  • Embrace initiatives with a long-term perspective. Prioritise gradual improvement over quick wins, ensuring sustainability and resilience in your marketing strategies.
  • Be intentional in your approach to high-value accounts. Personalise tactics such as periodic evaluations, direct mailers, and tailored content. For lower-value accounts, streamline efforts and demonstrate value in other ways.


B2B marketing is an art. It requires a thorough understanding of the product, deep empathy to grasp the customer’s needs, their pain points, and their delights—and then marrying these insights to understand product-market fit.

This is followed by developing strategies to support all sales and marketing initiatives, and executing these plans meticulously to measure effectiveness.

And if you've followed all that and still don't see success, you might find yourself stuck and confused.

Here we’ve shortlisted some common reasons why, based on our experience working with B2B companies over several years.

Reason 1: You have a “sales first, marketing later” mindset

The test-and-learn GTM strategy is characterised by its speed and agility. This approach allows businesses to launch products swiftly, gather real-time feedback, and Many B2B executives will recognise this. Some might even firmly stand behind it. The reason is simple: When organisations set sales targets and fixate on revenue goals, who gets hired first? Sales or marketing? Hint: It’s the group that the sales quotas are set for. So, does it make sense to prioritise sales over marketing? For many businesses, maybe.

Yet, our experience working with companies has shown us how integral marketing is to sales. We've noticed that marketing teams who work closely with sales teams tend to deliver the best results. These teams focus on creating messages that drive sales. They won't roll out new tactics until they can clearly answer, "How will this help turn interest into sales?"

Marketers who adopt a sales-first approach break free from chasing the latest trends, or from doing “what others are doing”. Instead, they use marketing to start meaningful conversations with customers that are aligned with business goals and work closely with sales teams to deliver their message.

Reciprocally, sales teams that maintain open communication with marketing teams on real-time, on-the-ground feedback can establish feedback loops that continuously improve how their organisations sell. The real magic happens when B2B sales and marketing teams work are closely aligned.


Reason 2: Focusing on vanity metrics

In B2B marketing, it's easy to get caught up in vanity metrics. These are impressive-looking numbers that, sadly, do little to show real business success. Many marketers track page views, likes, and shares because they're easy to measure, and frankly, they look good. But how often do these metrics correlate with real ROI?

"The marketing that you’re used to is obsessed with vanity metrics, but when sales is the name of the game, real beauty comes in the form of something entirely different—tangible business outcomes."

Start asking the critical questions. How many of your prospects actually match your ideal customer profile? How many are truly qualified? We once had a client who was thrilled about their social media growth, but a closer look revealed that 70% of their followers were from countries where they didn't even operate in. Pretty on the outside, irrelevant on the inside.


Reason 3: Lifting too much on day one

When B2B companies launch marketing campaigns with expectations of immediate results, they fail to recognise that there's no quick route to success.

Just as progress in fitness starts with establishing a baseline and improving steadily, effective B2B marketing requires building on initial efforts and refining strategies over time.

We look for instant gratification in an incremental world, and this can only lead to frustration and premature campaign abandonment when instant results don't materialise.

“Stop looking for instant gratification in an incremental world.”

The key to overcoming this challenge is to initiate marketing efforts with a long-term perspective, making incremental adjustments and continuously enhancing strategies as new data and insights emerge.

The most significant obstacle to marketing success is often a bias for inaction, dismissing strategies prematurely if they don't deliver fast, and constantly chasing the next big trend.


Reason 4: Failing to personalise — like sending everyone the same birthday card

Not all accounts are made equal, so why do most companies end up delivering equal experiences to save time and resources? Recognising this is the first step to delivering the right customer experiences for the right accounts. 

We pose a straightforward question to our clients: What are they willing to invest in securing a particular account? Often, the reality falls short when asked if they're allocating equivalent resources in sales and marketing efforts.

"Align your efforts with returns, without diminishing anyone’s sense of importance."

Be more deliberate with your high-value accounts. Employ personalised direct mailers, conduct periodic account evaluations, curate content tailored to their requirements, or even host exclusive events to underscore their importance.

Conversely, exercise prudence with lower-value accounts. Streamline communication and meetings, and show value in other ways.

It goes without saying that while effort and attention may vary, ensuring an equitable customer experience remains key.


In Conclusion

The success of B2B marketing hinges not only on the tactics employed but on a fundamental understanding of what truly drives business growth.

From fostering a synergy between sales and marketing to focusing on meaningful metrics, from embracing long-term strategies to personalising approaches for different account values—each element plays a critical role.

By reevaluating and adjusting these core aspects, businesses can overcome the common pitfalls that hamper their marketing efforts, paving the way for more effective engagements and, ultimately, sustainable success.

Remember, in B2B marketing, the goal is not to launch flashy, one-off campaigns, but to build enduring business relationships right from the start.

Ready to elevate your B2B marketing strategy and overcome common pitfalls?

Connect with us today for tailored guidance and support. At Verra Asia, we specialise in crafting approaches that drive tangible and sustainable growth for your business.
Contact Us >

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