1. Do you know your market?

A strange phenomenon of the online marketing world that continues to baffle me is the number of business startups that have no real idea who or what their targeted market is.  Even though the world of Internet marketing has existed since well back in the previous century, there still seems to be a built in idea that you can “build it and they will come.” 

Many companies still focus most of their finances, skills and time on developing a beautiful website, while seemingly assuming their market will simply find them above all the noise of others in the same market.

The truth is, if you want to reach beyond the standard framework of operating a B2B venture, you need to know your market.

With the tools available now, more than ever before, there’s a much broader market than just the home front.  The broadening of horizons for small businesses to include the global market has allowed for so many new opportunities for B2B firms to communicate internationally.

Do your research!

Business development in North America is a potentially lucrative idea for most companies, but only if you know your target market before you pour your money into your sales platform.

2. Do you have a plan?

There is a saying often attributed to Benjamin Franklin that “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.  Simply put, if you don’t have a plan in place, you have no road-map to success and you will not get there.  This is where it often pays to consult with a B2B sales and marketing firm.  Just like you would be very unwise to start building a house without an architect, trying to penetrate a new market beyond the home front without a professional plan is neither wise nor cost efficient.  There is a very good chance that it will be an expensive failure.

How are you going to finance your big expansion?  You can try to be successful with your own money, but if you really want to fly, hiring aB2B venture to find funding and advice you could well be the smartest move you will ever make.  They will help you develop a plan that will work and source any funding needed to move forward.

If B2B experts cannot find investors for your business, your business may not be viable.  Often this can be addressed by working on the plan and making a few changes.  However, it is far better to find out at the beginning that your idea just won’t fly in the market, before spending all your money for nothing.

 3. Do you have a mobile brand?

T-Mobile might be a great brand for its German parent company Deutsche Telekom to expand its operations throughout the North American map, but most people in North America would say, “You’re kidding, right?”  If you want a mobile service company to market as successfully online in Anchorage, AK as in Key West, FL and in Vancouver, BC, you need a mobile brand that is relevant everywhere on the continent.  That’s where a good B2B sales and marketing firm can really shine.  Their target, their focus, their entire reason for being, is to make sure every facet of your business is planned and developed to know and reach your target effectively.

4. Does your marketing plan work everywhere?

Have you taken the necessary steps to ensure your marketing plan will work everywhere on the North American continent?  Are there any language or cultural issues that you may have overlooked?  How will you know with confidence that it will work everywhere.

Again, that’s where a B2B sales and marketing firm can help you.  They are experts in market research and development, and can help you fine tune your marketing plan for maximum reach in every corner of your intended North American market.

Were you aware that not only can you completely miss certain segments of your market if your marketing plan isn’t designed to include them, and much, much worse than that, you actually risk offending some members of your target audience if you aren’t aware of cultural factors that may be unique to them?

Let me give you an example:

A Canadian company I used to work with, now one of the most successful of its kind, was trying to market its product in the United States.  Its product quality was better than its US competition and its prices were better, yet it wasn’t selling.

A B2B sales and marketing expert told them that they would never sell much of anything in the US in Canadian dollars, and that their prices were too low compared to their American competitors.  They raised their prices 20% (I kid you not) and switched currencies to US dollars.  They have never looked back and are now a multi-million dollar company reaching the entire North American continent.

Did you catch the fact that they made an extra 20% just by raising their prices at the advice of a B2B marketing firm?  That was pure profit and paid for the advice FAR beyond its cost.

Make sure your marketing plan is designed to cover this and all other aspects before you launch.  Getting expert advice now will not only save you money over the long term, but it will increase the overall accuracy of your targeting, which means maximizing your incoming revenue, as well.

5.  Do you track your marketing campaigns?

If you’re not tracking your marketing campaigns, how do you know whether they are effective or not?  If you aren’t tracking your marketing campaigns, you’re simply guessing.

What’s worse is that you’re leaving money on the table, because without tracking, you don’t know which campaign is generating how much revenue, where the buyers are located, how they’re finding you.

What is even worse is that you could be spending money wastefully on marketing that is completely ineffective.  Just because you have sales coming in from somewhere doesn’t mean your campaigns are all effective.  It only means that some of what you are doing is effectively reaching its target.  Again, a B2B sales and marketing firm is in business to show you how to actively track your marketing campaigns and analyze the data for even more effective and profitable marketing strategies.

 In Conclusion:

Don’t just guess when it’s time to branch out to the North American beyond your business’ home front.  Use the services available from a reputable B2B sales and marketing firm to take it to the next level, cost effectively and painlessly.  Your business is selling high quality products that rock.  Theirs is making sure your message gets to the entire North American market.