How does having a proper pace make for better B2B marketing?
Is there such a thing as an ideal pace when it comes to marketing efforts, and does it matter if you’re in a sprint or an ultra-marathon?
Part of proper pacing is recognizing the length of your marketing race and maximizing your efforts to fully take advantage of each mile of the journey, whether its a short one-off campaign or a protracted always-on marathon.
Knowing and implementing steady pacing are often-overlooked elements in long-term B2B marketing success, so let’s take a look at five ways they pay off.
1 — Burning The Marketing Candle at Both Ends Will Fizzle Out
It’s unfortunately all-too-common for marketers to engage in marketing efforts at an unsustainable pace, leading to burn-out, especially during the pandemic when the boundaries between professional and home life have narrowed or disappeared entirely.
Since penning it in 1978, Neil Young’s iconic lyric, “It’s better to burn out than to fade away,” has been co-opted by countless people in all walks of life, including marketers and many in the frenetic technology sector.
Our content marketing manager Nick Nelson shared how — from SEO and social to experiences and strategy — in our fast-paced digital world, B2B marketers can gain many benefits from slowing down. You’ll find his collection of tips for avoiding burnout in, “In a Fast-Paced Digital World, B2B Marketers Can Benefit from Slowing Down.”
Marketers who overcook their pace sacrifice long-term success for short-term gains, and often fail to recognize the harm that comes from trying to sustain a pace that is beyond their ability.
Operating at a pace that’s too fast can take time away from important tasks in B2B marketing, such as getting to know your customers, as we looked at in “Create a Stellar Audience Experience By Slowing Down with These Tips from Ann Handley #CMWorld.”[bctt tweet=”We live in a fast-paced world. But slowing down our marketing efforts — from experience to strategy to social to SEO — can help brands differentiate and achieve more. @NickNelsonMN” username=”toprank”]
2 — Steady Doesn’t Mean Glacial Pace
On the other hand, marketers who take too much of a wait-and-see approach, and get bogged down in labyrinths of overtly gratuitous procedures won’t be nimble enough to keep up with necessary changes.
Today’s marketing world undoubtedly rotates at a faster clip than ever before, so it is important for B2B marketers to keep up with the latest industry news and changes.
Our own weekly TopRank Marketing B2B news, published every Friday, and numerous other industry news sources can help you stay on top of the swift marketing shifts our industry experiences, so that you can apply them to your own efforts.
If you do find yourself in a marketing marathon, check out my “26.2 B2B Marathon Marketing Lessons” article, which shows that racing a marathon and running a successful marketing campaign have a surprising number of similarities — including 26.2 things they share in common.[bctt tweet=”“If the marathon if a part-time interest, you will only get part-time results.” — Bill Rodgers @BillRodgersRACE ” username=”toprank”]
3 — Don’t Burn Out or Fade Away, Use Always-On Instead
What’s a B2B marketer to do, then, to keep from burning out with an unsustainable pace or losing any hope of winning the race using bogged down marketing?
When someone says, “Always-on marketing,” what does it mean do you?
It might be tempting to immediately relegate such an effort to the destined-for-burnout pacing category, yet in this case always-on doesn’t mean unsustainable.
As our CEO Lee Odden has written, always-on influencer marketing is the practice of ongoing relationship-building, engagement and activation of a specified group of influencers to build community, content and brand advocacy.
In fact, we’ve dedicated an entire series to the advantages of always-on marketing:
- Always On Influence: Definition and Why B2B Brands Need it to Succeed
- Always-On Influence: 5 Examples of Ongoing B2B Influencer Marketing In Action
- Always On Influence: Short Term vs. Long Term for Success During a Crisis
- Always-On Influence: Why B2B Needs Brand Research
- Always-On Influencer Marketing: Building Thought Leadership for B2B Brands
- For Successful B2B Marketers The Engine of Influence is Always On #B2BIMReport
4 — A Lifetime Network of Trusted Partners & Associates
Marketing efforts that move at a healthy pace foster a lifetime network of trusted partners and associates, and provide a wide range of benefits that improve our lives on both a professional and personal level.
Marketers operating at a pace they aren’t able to sustain often not only produce sub-par work, but don’t have the time to develop trusting relationships with a network of marketing industry professionals.
B2B marketing especially is about the longer haul, and building and nourishing relationships over time is an important part of success.
Proper pacing helps us not only have time to get to know each other over time, but also to learn more about our customers, and to gain empathy for their challenges.
Microsoft’s Miri Rodriguez recently shared how empathy, creativity, authenticity, and heart are key to great storytelling, as I covered in “Microsoft’s Miri Rodriguez on How B2B Marketers Are Embracing Empathy For Better Customer Storytelling #B2BMX.” Such goals are made possible only when we purposely adjust our pace and dedicate time to building connections and learning about our customers.[bctt tweet=”“A long term, relationship focused and results driven influencer program is a tremendous asset to a B2B brand that wants to be trusted, capable of exerting influence in the market and seen as a thought leader.” @LeeOdden” username=”toprank”]
5 — Marketing Fitness from Healthy & Sustainable Long-Term Pacing
It pays off when B2B marketers practice a type of marketing fitness that is a necessary ingredient to healthy and sustainable long-term pacing.
Just as it’s possible to gauge the level of our own personal fitness, we can also measure the health of our marketing efforts, by looking at the previous four elements we’ve explored in this article.
Healthy marketing is sustainable for the long-term, and can be achieved when we adjust our professional and personal pacing to match our abilities and goals.
Lee has spoken and written extensively about marketing fitness, including the following pieces:
- B2B Marketing Fitness: 16 B2B Experts Share Top Tips for Optimized Performance #mpb2b
- Lee Odden Shares His Secret to Content Marketing Fitness #CMWorld
- Content Marketing Fitness: Are You Ready to Integrate, Optimize and Activate?
Add Precision Pacing To Your B2B Marketing Slate
By being mindful of moving too slowly or quickly, B2B marketers can reap the rewards and benefits of a sustainable always-on cadence that includes a lifetime of trusted partners. Add precision pacing to your own marketing slate and you’ll find a lifetime of B2B marketing opportunities await you.
Creating award-winning B2B marketing takes considerable time and effort, which is why many firms choose to work with a top digital marketing agency such as TopRank Marketing. Contact us today and let us know how we can help, as we’ve done for businesses ranging from LinkedIn, Dell and 3M to Adobe, Oracle, monday.com and others.