If you’re like me and just starting out in your marketing career, or if you’re trying to run a small business and marketing is somewhat new to you, you’ve probably started to realize that there’s something new to learn every day. No two days are the same when marketing is your job. And as far as I know, there isn’t an all-inclusive list of B2B marketing tips for beginners to help you get started.
Even after only a few years in the industry, there are already plenty of lessons I’ve learned. Some I’ve picked up on from watching colleagues and supervisors; others I’ve learned the hard way, by trying and testing. While I know there’s much left to master, here are some of the best beginner’s tips for marketers I put to use almost every day:
Know why you’re doing what you’re doing
It’s fun and extremely useful to try new ideas, and testing new strategies is an important part of successful marketing. But don’t try things out just for the sake of it: you need to be able to back up what you’re doing with clear and thoughtful reasoning.
What’s the purpose behind a certain piece of content? Why are you testing a specific channel? How does this approach help you engage with your target audience? How will you measure success so you can fail quickly and readjust as soon as possible? These are all questions you need to answer, so you don’t lose sight of longer term goals.
Ask lots of questions
Whether you’re working in-house or for an agency, chances are, at some point in your career–likely very early on–you’ll probably work on projects in fields or industries that are new to you.
When you’re starting out, it’s important to ask questions about anything you don’t understand. It can be a little intimidating to admit when you don’t know something, but it’s better to ask questions upfront. If you’re unsure about the right audience for a product or campaign, or the purpose of a tactic, or pretty much anything else, don’t hesitate to ask.
Don’t limit yourself
Integration is a major focus in B2B marketing, no matter the industry. You don’t have to become an expert in all areas, but you need to learn how every part of a program, from strategy to operations to reporting to creative execution all work together to create a successful result.
Don’t just stick to one area or it becomes a crutch. Take time to understand the nuances of concepts and strategies for different tactics, channels and media. You don’t have to be a graphic designer to grasp the importance of an effective, on-brand visual, and you don’t have to be a producer to recognize how a powerful video can boost a campaign.
Collaboration is key
All of this focus on integrated marketing means that many different elements will go into executing one project or marketing plan. Whether you’re leading a project or just contributing to a piece of it, you have to be able to work as part of a team.
On any given day, you could work with colleagues, your executive team, vendors and contractors to do any of the above tasks. Understand what they each need from you, and communicate clearly what you need from them in order to move forward and put together a great final product.
Take advantage of down times
It’s always the “busy season” in marketing, but some periods will be more lax than others. Recognize slower times when they happen, and use them to get ahead on projects, because soon enough you’ll have another rush, so avoid the chaos if you can.
Taking advantage when you have some time in your schedule for reflecting, evaluating and planning ahead also helps you stay focused on your overarching strategy and goals. This kind of strategic thinking is more important than ever in marketing, and keeping it top of mind will better prepare you to handle the next big rush or last-minute change that pops up unexpectedly.
After reading this list of recommended B2B marketing tips, are you still trying to wrap your head around the daily demands? We’re happy to help answer any questions you have, so don’t hesitate to reach out!