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Why is marketing tough for B2B companies?

One of the most common questions I hear from CEOs of small and mid-size B2B companies is, “Marketing hasn’t been a priority for us because of the resources required—so where do we even start?” Their question reveals the challenges of B2B marketing. Many CEOs understand that marketing is important for their businesses, but they haven’t been able to tackle it effectively. They know they should be doing it better, and they want to do it better, but they don’t know how.

That’s understandable, because there are some significant challenges for B2B companies when it comes to marketing. The main challenge is a resource gap. For B2B companies, marketing is rarely a core competence. In small and mid-size B2B companies, marketing is typically a small function that doesn’t warrant its own executive or team. So the Head of Marketing is often someone who has another job—the CEO, the COO, or the VP of Business Development.

The problem is that these executives have other priorities. If there is a problem in the plant, the COO isn’t going to stop to write a press release. If there is a new sales opportunity, the VP of Sales isn’t going to film a video case study.

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Because their other responsibilities are prioritized, marketing activities are put on hold whenever the executive is pulled away to another area, which happens frequently. Because of the nature of marketing, this leads to poor results. Marketing is a business function that demands consistency.

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