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B2B Marketing Communications Playbook 2020

A roundup of resources for B2B marketers navigating communication challenges with their internal and external audiences in 2020.

7/9/2020

Achieving success with communications in 2020

As 2020 proves to be more complex than anyone could have planned for, a marketer's toolkit has become more important than ever. Communication is the foundation to what we do as marketers. From internal alignment on goals with your stakeholders, sales and marketing teams to external messages that build confidence and trust with your customers, prospects and partners – effective and efficient communications is the only way to see success in 2020. This playbook provides resources to conquering communication with the three main pillars that support our communications efforts: internal audiences, external audiences and technology systems. Select a channel below to make informed decisions on where you should focus your communication efforts.

Show me resources for:

Audience 1

  • Please choose an audience above to review recommendations and resources.

Audience 2

  • Please choose your impact level above to review the weekly trends for your channel focus.

Audience 3

  • Please choose your impact level above to review the weekly trends for your budget allocation.

Audience 1

Stakeholders

A consistent dialogue between stakeholders and the marketing leadership keeps all boats rowing in the same direction. Especially during challenging times when business, product, service or team resource pivots are needed – and quickly – a two-way, open communication system between your core teams ensures everyone is working toward the same goals. Here are some resources to help you navigate conversations with your internal stakeholders:

Audience 2

Marketing Team

It is imperative for the marketing team to communicate effectively on individual responsibilities and priorities and how they contribute to the team goals. When aligned as a team, there's not much that can get in your way. Here are some resources to help you navigate conversations with your internal teams:

Audience 3

Sales team

Though a relationship that is often dubbed as "troubled", the sales and marketing dynamic at a company can make or break growth opportunities, especially in challenging times. Alignment on goals, audiences and programs is imperative to achieving cross departmental success. Here are some resources to help you navigate communications with your sales teams:

Audience 1

Current Customers

Communicating with your customers should remain consistent through all stages of their lifecycle. Keep the conversation open to easily allow for updates, feedback and concerns. Put your customer at the center of your communications to ensure high retention. Personalize your messaging to ensure that your customers feel that you're talking to them rather than at them and allow for an open dialogue. Here are some resources to help you navigate conversations with your current customers:

Audience 2

Prospects

Your flow of inbound interest has the potential to make or break your business. Speaking to your prospects pain points will help personalize your messaging while facilitating an easier sale. Your channel strategy should adapt based on the type of prospect you're reaching out segmented by title, industry or pain points.Here are some resources to help you navigate communications with your customers:

Audience 3

Partner Networks

Partner networks can be a key part of your marketing strategy when it comes to building pipeline. Oftentimes via partner networks, you'll find the ability to reach an audience that you might not otherwise have been able to access. A potential referral partnership should be a reciprocal relationship where both parties can benefit from the efforts at hand. Here is a resources to help you navigate communications with your partners:

Audience 1

Internal

Technology can facilitate easier communication internally. Your tools should communicate effectively with one another to ensure there aren't any gaps within your strategy. Tools to consider
  • Teams: Chat Platforms, Collaboration Software, Time Management Programs
  • Shareholders: Email, CRM Data Reporting, MAP, Power BI
  • Sales: Sales Enablement Tools, CRM, MAP
Here's a resource to help you navigate tech decisions in 2020: How To Optimize Your Tech Stack to Find Marketing Success in 2020

Audience 2

External

Technology should be at the core of your external communications strategy and should integrate seamlessly with the processes you already have in place. Use your technology to easily facilitate a conversion process from lead to opportunity. Tools to consider:Prospects/Customers:
  • Email
  • CRM
  • Direct Sending Platform
  • Webinar Software
  • Organic Social Scheduling Tools
  • Display and Retargeting Ads
  • Website
Here's a resource to help you navigate tech decisions in 2020: Essential Tools for an Impactful B2B Martech Stack

Audience 3

Partners

Communicating with your partners cannot be effectively measured without technology. Keep your partners in the loop using your technology and track efforts accordingly without disrupting your communication with your customers and prospects. Tools to consider:Partners: CRM, Google Ad Marketing, MAP, Website

Do's and Don'ts

Please choose an audience above to review recommendations and resources. 

Please choose an audience above to review recommendations and resources.

Please choose an audience above to review recommendations and resources.

Please choose an audience above to review recommendations and resources.

Audience 1

  • Please choose your impact level above to review your weekly recommendations for earned media.

Audience 2

  • Please choose your impact level above to review your weekly recommendations for owned media.

Audience 3

  • Please choose your impact level above to review your weekly recommendations for paid media.

Audience 1

Stakeholders

  • Do maintain open communication where ideas are welcomed without taking on too much. Use data and anecdotes to prove the success of your strategy.
  • Don't take on too much. Not all ideas are good ideas and make sure you set clear expectations with your stakeholders to avoid burnout and overdoing it.

Audience 2

Marketing Team

  • Do align on priorities and goals to keep your marketing team communicating effectively.
  • Don't rest on your laurels and assume that everything is working all the time. Constant team check-ins and retrospectives are key to improvement and generating ROI.

Audience 3

Sales Team

  • Do set up check-ins with your sales and marketing teams to keep communication open. Align on goals, audiences and campaigns to generate ROI.
  • Don't rely on email communications to accomplish this alignment. Face time is important when building relationships and meeting in-person (even virtually) helps to ensure clear communications.

Audience 1

Current Customers

  • Do personalize your messaging throughout all lifecycle marketing. Blanket messaging will make your customers feel like you don't really know them.
  • Don't ignore your customer's pain points throughout their time working with you. Checking in with them consistently ensures that you aren't missing any key challenges they might be facing.

Audience 2

Prospects

  • Do speak to your prospects' pain points to personalize your messaging.
  • Don't bombard your prospects with questions, actively listen for clues on their pain points to help them address problem areas.

Audience 3

Partner Networks

  • Do keep your partners in the loop through an email nurture and ads to make them feel included in your marketing strategy and in the know on areas they can help.
  • Don't ignore how you can help your partners in return for them helping you. Focus on an offer you both can agree on so the relationship is mutually beneficial for both partners.

Audience 1

Internal

  • Do integrate your tech systems to ensure effective communication and reporting internally to prove success of your marketing efforts.
  • Don’t ignore set up processes and testing.

Audience 2

External

  • Do integrate your tech systems to ensure you're effectively reaching your customers and prospects by helping them move through the funnel.
  • Don’t ignore set up processes and testing.

Audience 3

Partners

  • Do integrate your tech systems to ensure effective communication across all partner networks to continue to enhance the relationship.
  • Don't ignore set up processes and testing.

More resources related to navigating communications in 2020: 

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