Ahhh, B2B Marketing strategy. That tricky beast that has swallowed up, digested and then spat out many a good marketer and business who’ve tangled with it.
There are loads (106 million google search results at time of writing to be precise) of blogs, presentations, courses and general sources of advice out there that claim to be able to help you create a B2B marketing strategy.
But most of it appears to be crap because people are still getting it wrong on the regular.
So, we thought, “well, with all that advice out there and people STILL getting it wrong they must be TRYING to create a terrible strategy. Let’s chuck all that other stuff in the bin then, flip this on its head and help THEM.” And that’s exactly what we’ve done.
May we present to you then, our 5-step guide on how you – yes, YOU! – can get it wrong, go off half-cocked and generally create the WORST B2B marketing strategy ever.
Focus exclusively on tactics
If you want to create a truly awful B2B marketing strategy the best way to do it is to not create a strategy at all. Instead focus all of your efforts on tactics and channels.
Make sure you get everything arse-about-face and put an inordinate amount of focus on only HOW you’re going to do things. All these shiny new channels and flash-in-the-pan trends are there to be jumped on, right? So just do all the tactics because they’re there and you can. Never, ever question whether you should.
It really doesn’t matter that you’ve not defined any metrics or measures of success, have no idea what you’re going to say, and don’t know who the audience is you’re targeting. You’re making this strategy truly terrible after all. So just build it and they’ll come…
Now, if anyone with a shred of marketing savvy questions you on this, just tell them they’re “out of touch” and then create an Instagram Reel/TikTok dance of you rolling your eyes at their well-intentioned and genuinely helpful challenge.
Don’t include any view of what “good” looks like
The best worst B2B marketing strategies have absolutely no measures of success in them and no clear idea of an end point either. Who needs to know if you’ve actually achieved what your business needs you to by a certain point in time, anyway?
People who keep asking you dumb questions like “What’s the ROI?”, “How has this actually made any measurable difference?”, or “What’s the impact in terms of revenue?”, that’s who. The fools. Who even thinks that marketing can have an impact on the bottom line of a business?!
So, make sure you completely strip out any sort of targets, measures or timescales from your strategy. And if anyone wants to know what’s actually been delivered by when just wink, tap on the side of your head and say “It’s all up here, big guy” before spinning around in your chair until they leave the Zoom call/walk away confused.
Completely ignore your current position
Everyone knows that you have to completely ignore your own strengths, expertise and value when you’re building a strategy. Pah! Only suckers of the highest order will focus on what they’re great at, where the opportunities to be great lie and then align the two to build a strategy.
Chase those shiny objects. Explore brand new and unrelated sectors and markets for the fun of it. Focus all your efforts on trying to do something new, somewhere new over and over again. Because that’s how you REALLY grow.
Make sure to totally ignore your competitors and the alternative choices your potential customers might have too. Who cares what else is going on in the market? Losers, that’s who. So what if your market share is tiny or you’re in a saturated space with loads of established players and incredibly long buying cycles. You’ll definitely be number 1 (whatever that means) soon, simply because you say you will.
Make sure it’s for “everyone”
You know what you’re doing, right? You’re hot property. The bee’s knees. The cat’s pyjamas. Anyone would be lucky to just get even the faintest chance to work with or buy something from you and your company.
So, make sure your strategy targets everyone, because everyone is going to want to buy from you. Tech CIOs, Fast Food Franchisees, my Nan. They’ll all want a piece of whatever you’re offering, won’t they?
Definitely don’t do any research on target individuals, organisations, and markets and absolutely NEVER create a strategy that tailors what your marketing does in terms of messaging or creative approach to cater for these different group’s wants, needs and challenges.
If you do feel inclined to do a tiny bit of research or targeting though make sure everything is aimed at a catch all demographic like “millennials” or “digital natives”. It’s a known fact that everyone born within a certain arbitrary range of years wants EXACTLY the same thing all the time. Use that devastating insight.
Keep it broad. Keep it bland. Keep it terrible.
Get people to blindly support it
Once you’ve cobbled together your hodge podge of a “strategy” you’ve got to get people behind it and supporting it. And the best way to do that is with some nonsensical bluster.
Organise a “strategy day” or kick-off event where you waste everyone’s time running through a 500 slide PowerPoint deck via the medium of interpretive dance that tells them absolutely nothing (but includes lots of hashtags).
They don’t need to know any detail anyway, do they? People don’t want insights or considered thought when it comes to strategy. What they want is easily repeatable sound bites.
That’s why the best marketing strategies can be communicated in just a few words and are weirdly vague. You don’t want it to stand up to any sort of critical thought after all. “Be the best”, “Lead the market”, or “Do some stuff” are all excellent strategies that you can definitely own.
There’s absolutely no need to get into specifics or tie your strategy to anything remotely resembling reality. You want your truly awful strategy to be ephemeral and almost non-sensical. (That way you can just bullshit it when someone asks you what it actually means).
Once you’ve got your strategy slogan – or Strogan – nailed be sure to then bludgeon people to death with it at every opportunity. But be equally ready to run and hide if someone asks you any sort of question about what it actually means. They’re just haters after all and you haven’t got time to deal with such coherent and intelligent thought.
The B2B Marketing Strategy Bottom Line
So, there we have it. You’re easy to follow guide on how you can create the absolute worst B2B marketing strategy the world has ever soon. Follow these 5 points and you’ll be churning out weapons-grade strategy nonsense quicker than you can say “Gary Vee” 3 times whilst looking in the mirror.
COMING SOON: The B2B Strategy course. 12 easy steps to build the worst strategy the world has ever soon. Normally £2997 but reduced to an ultra-exclusive £97 for first 100,000 people to register
We’ll remove that tongue from within our cheek now…
But what we’re highlighting with this blog is the backward and ineffective way that lots of marketers and businesses go about creating marketing strategy. A great strategy needs to coherently address the ”why”, “who”, and “what” for your business before getting anywhere near the tactical “how”.
But we still see so many marketers and brands missing the mark and getting sucked into a tactics-first, bluster-packed method of creating strategy.