Are You Making These B2B Digital Marketing Mistakes?

Smartt has helped many leading Canadian B2B companies evaluate their digital marketing strategies. Here are some of the common mistakes we have seen B2B companies make:

  1. Thinking that digital marketing is not important

    Many B2B companies still think they only need to rely on distribution partners and sales agents to push their products. However, 72% of buyers planning to purchase a business product begin their research with a Google search. Some companies tell us that their customers are older, traditional, and don’t use the Internet. We say “When those older managers retire, their successors will be younger and expect their suppliers to use the Internet.” Help your customers find relevant information online. “The more you tell, the more you sell.

  2. Failing to integrate multiple channels

    The most effective B2B campaigns are ones that integrate multiple channels, both digital and traditional. An online promotion that drives potential leads to a real live seminar, or capturing leads at a tradeshow to let you deliver targeted display banners and emails after the event, are examples of using one channel to leverage another.

  3. Ignoring mobile

    Despite the number of B2B customers using smartphones and tablets, B2B marketers are falling behind their B2C counterparts in serving the needs of mobile users. Emails are often not designed or optimized for smartphones, and many websites we have audited for our B2B clients are still not responsive or mobile-friendly. 

  4. Misaligning sales and marketing

    Marketing and sales misalignment is a common problem in B2B companies: Sales blame Marketing for the lack of quality leads, and Marketing blames Sales for not trying hard enough to close. What B2B marketers and salespeople should do is align their efforts by collaborating to create the perfect buying experience for the B2B buyer. For example, marketers can create online marketing content that helps buyers advance through their buying cycle, and salespeople can follow up on buyers after certain interactions on the website are triggered. 

  5. Creating content that doesn't map to the buying cycle

    B2B buyers increasingly prefer a self-directed buying process rather than rely on sales agents. In our experience, the majority of a B2B purchase cycle is completed before the buyer even considers contacting the vendor. To direct your buyers through this self-guided funnel, you must provide content that addresses their questions and needs at each buying stage as well as give them a clear reason to advance to the next.

  6. Letting the team's knowledge base fall behind

    B2B marketing is more complex and challenging than consumer marketing. Often it involves a customer buying decision involving tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. A B2B digital marketer needs to be knowledgeable not only in digital and traditional marketing, but also about the product and its sales process. Marketing teams need to budget for regular Smartt P.A.C.E. model that allow new ideas to be tested within a strategic framework. “Aim for continuous improvement, not continuous impulsive changes.”

  7. Forgetting that people are interested in other people

    Every time we see another boring cartoon or complicated diagram, we cringe. Complicated diagrams do not help buyers identify their problems and cartoons do not invite belief. Instead, show real people, case studies, and testimonials.

  8. Creating “one size fits all"

    B2B sales often involves multiple decision makers. Cracking the corporate code means providing content and offers that address the needs and pain points of each decision-maker persona. 

  9. Avoiding the hard work of differentiating content

    Digital marketing is by no means an easy game. Decision-makers are bombarded by a daily onslaught of eBooks, whitepapers and webinars. To grab a prospect’s attention, you must address their pain points in a simple and memorable manner. What Ogilvy said half a century ago is more relevant than ever: “Unless your advertising contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.”

  10. Overlooking proper research

    Clients are quite often surprised when we dig up more facts about their industry, customers, and competitors than they know themselves. The Internet is a goldmine for research if you know how to use it. Successful marketers today spend more time thinking, analyzing, and researching than the average marketer.

  11. Disregarding metrics for content and digital effectiveness

    Digital marketing isn’t cheap – a lot of time, expertise, and resources have to go into producing quality content. As tempting as it is to put everything on auto pilot, it is important to step back and analyze whether your programs are successful and worth the investment. If not, what kinds of changes would deliver results? Many clients come to us for audits and fixes only after they experience problems. We could have helped them evaluate their results when things were going well – to understand how things could be even better, and to put metrics in place for ongoing ROI assessment.


  12. Neglecting to map marketing metrics to your sales cycle

    Many B2B companies with long sales cycles fail when it comes to attributing sales to their marketing activities. Although the B2B sales process can be complex, it is possible to align your digital marketing metrics to your sales cycle to ensure that sales driven or influenced by your digital marketing activities are accurately measured and analyzed. We do this for clients all the time and have seen some great returns.


There are only a few of the mistakes we often see B2B companies make when we perform digital marketing audits to increase their ROI. Smartt provides a private 90-minute executive briefing with more than 50 facts that can help make your B2B marketing more profitable. If you’re interested in attending this complimentary executive briefing, please write from your company email to: measurableresults@smartt.com.