Simplifying the B2B Go-to-market Strategy (Part 1)

The harsh reality check

In the grand, often bewildering world of B2B marketing, the path to a successful go-to-market strategy is littered with good intentions, flashy tools, and a whole lot of jargon. Yet, for all the sophisticated frameworks and buzzwords that marketers love to throw around, the devil, as they say, is in the execution. And oh, how devilishly wayward that execution can be.

Welcome to the candid exploration of the B2B go-to-market strategy, or as I like to call it, „The Art of Overcomplicating the Simple.“ Here, we’ll dive headfirst into the common pitfalls that ensnare many a well-meaning marketer. From the allure of shiny new software that promises the world (but delivers little more than a hefty invoice) to the enthusiastic yet misguided tactics that seem to miss the mark as often as a stormtrooper in a blaster battle, we’ve seen it all.

So, buckle up and prepare for a journey through the maze of B2B marketing strategies, where we’ll poke fun at the overly complex, shine a light on the unnecessarily convoluted, and maybe, just maybe, offer a glimmer of hope for simplifying the whole process. Because, at the end of the day, a fool with a tool is still a fool, and a strategy without sensible execution is about as useful as a screen door on a submarine. Let’s get started, shall we?

Real-World B2B Marketing Insights, or: The not-so-pretty-reality

When talking about how they market their stuff, a lot of B2B marketers skip the planning part and jump right into action. It’s like when I tried to cook a fancy meal without looking at a recipe first. I just threw a bunch of ingredients into the pot, hoping for the best. Spoiler: It didn’t turn out great. That’s kind of what happens when marketers start with all these different tactics without a clear plan. Let’s check out what they usually do, okay?

Underestimating the Competition

Failing to thoroughly research and understand the competitive landscape can result in a value proposition that isn’t compelling enough to stand out.

Inadequate Value Proposition: Speaking Softly in a Noisy Market

Think your product speaks for itself? Welcome to the club of countless others humming the same tune in a crowded, noisy market where everyone claims to be the next big thing. Relying on an inadequate value proposition is like whispering in the middle of a rock concert and expecting to be heard. Spoiler alert: You won’t be.

An effective value proposition isn’t just a catchy slogan or a list of features; it’s the crystal-clear answer to the „why you“ question. Why should customers choose you over the sea of alternatives? If your answer is anything less than compelling, you’re blending into the background.

Crafting a value proposition that resonates means digging deep. It’s about highlighting the unique benefits your product offers, the problems it solves, and the reasons it’s the best choice for your target customers. Anything less, and you’re not just inadequate; you’re invisible.

Your potential customers are bombarded with choices. Make sure your value proposition cuts through the noise, grabs their attention, and doesn’t let go. Otherwise, you’re just another voice in the cacophony, struggling to be heard.

Posting Big News on Social Media: Why No One Seems to Care

So, you’ve been sharing all the big things happening at your company on social media. You talk about the money you’ve raised, the awards you’ve won, or the events you’ve been to. But here’s the thing: it feels like shouting into an empty room. Sure, your team might give you a thumbs-up, but that’s about it.

The real talk: Honestly, most people outside your company don’t really care about these updates. It’s not that they’re not happy for you; it’s just that this news doesn’t mean much to them. It doesn’t make them want to buy what you’re selling. The only likes you’re getting are probably from your own team members being nice.

The truth is, when folks scroll through LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook, they’re not looking to shop. They’re there to see what’s up with their friends, catch up on news, or get some good advice from people they look up to. They want stuff that’s fun to read, makes them think, or teaches them something new. But don’t worry, there’s a way to make this work for you, and I’ll tell you how in just a bit.

Chasing Clicks with Cheap Content: Why Your Blog Isn’t Winning Customers

So, you’ve decided to fill your blog with posts packed with popular keywords, hoping to get a ton of traffic. And to save some cash, you’ve hired writers who don’t cost much but also, let’s be honest, don’t write the best stuff. They take a look at the top articles out there, give them a quick rewrite, throw in a few mentions of your product, and call it a day.

Here’s the hard truth: This plan isn’t going to work out the way you hope. Sure, you might climb up the search engine rankings and get some clicks, but don’t expect a flood of interested customers. Why? Because the content is just not good enough.

Think about it. Articles that just scratch the surface (like a 101 on creating a healthcare app) might actually turn people off. They’re looking for answers to their specific questions, insights they can’t find anywhere else, and information that helps them make decisions. What they’re not looking for is more of the same old, same old.

Your potential customers are craving quality over quantity. They want articles that dive deep, offer new perspectives, and really help them understand the topics they care about. That’s the kind of content that builds trust, showcases your expertise, and, yes, turns readers into leads.

Underestimating the Competition: The Fast Track to Obscurity

So, you’ve launched your product with the belief that it’s the first of its kind—innovative, unmatched, and set to revolutionize the market. You’ve glanced at the competition and figured, „Hey, we’ve got this in the bag. They’re not even in the same league.“ It’s like showing up to a marathon in flip-flops, confident you’ll outpace everyone because, well, you’ve been jogging around the block lately.

Here’s the wake-up call: That laid-back approach is a one-way ticket to being overlooked. Your competitors are not standing still. They’re innovating, improving, and understanding their customers better with each passing day. By the time you realize they’ve launched features you hadn’t even considered, they’re not just in the same league; they’re playing a whole different game.

Underestimating the competition means you’re missing out on crucial insights that could shape your strategy. It’s not just about knowing their product lineup; it’s about understanding their strengths, weaknesses, and market positioning. This knowledge isn’t just power—it’s the playbook for carving out your unique space in the market.

Your potential customers are watching too. They’re comparing, contrasting, and looking for the best solution to their problems. If you’re not making the case for why that’s you, rest assured, someone else is.

Lost in the Inbox: The Reality of Automated Outreach and the Quest for Genuine Connection

Diving into the world of automated email and LinkedIn outreach, we find ourselves in a sea of messages that often feel about as personal as a robocall during dinner. The strategy seems to be: if you throw enough darts at the board, surely one will hit the bullseye, right?

The ugly truth rears its head: When was the last time you excitedly opened an email from someone you didn’t know, promising you the moon if only you’d take the time to reply? Or better yet, when did a message from an unknown SDR (Sales Development Representative) on LinkedIn make you think, „Yes, this is the solution I’ve been waiting for all my life“? If you’re struggling to remember, you’re not alone. Your potential customers are in the same boat.

These automated blasts are the digital equivalent of walking down the street and having flyers thrust into your hand for a store you never visit. Sure, it’s information. But is it relevant? Does it make you want to take action? Or does it just become part of the next trash can’s contents?

Your buyers are craving connections, not just another sales pitch lost in their overflowing inbox or LinkedIn messages. They want to feel understood, seen, and valued—not just like another name on a mass outreach list.

So, before hitting ’send‘ on that next automated campaign, ask yourself: Is this message going to light up someone’s day? Or is it just adding to the digital noise? Remember, in a world where everyone is shouting to be heard, sometimes the most powerful thing you can do is start a genuine conversation.

The Great Gated Content Circus

Here, we have the classic move of dressing up gated content and webinars as the next big educational breakthrough, only to hand over the contact info of every Tom, Dick, and Harry who dared download a PDF or sign up for a webinar straight to sales.

The not-so-pretty reality: Believe it or not, hitting the „download“ button or registering for a webinar doesn’t mean „I’m ready to buy!“ B2B buyers aren’t sitting around, eagerly waiting to be led down the garden path by a 5-email sequence. No, they’re out there consulting their inner circle, making decisions based on trust and credible recommendations.

Casting Nets in the Digital Ocean: The High Cost of Chasing Cold Traffic with Ads and Emails

„Let’s throw cold traffic at our demo or trial page and see what sticks“ strategy. It’s like casting a wide net in the ocean and hoping you’ll catch only the fish you want. Spoiler alert: You’re going to get a lot of seaweed.

The harsh reality check: Pouring your budget into social ads or cold email campaigns? Congratulations, you’re on the fast track to making a whopping 97% of that budget disappear into thin air. These channels are about as far from showing buying intent as I am from winning a gold medal in gymnastics.

And let’s say, for argument’s sake, that you’re okay with targeting the elusive 3% of companies actually in the mood to buy. Guess what? You’re not the early bird catching the worm here; you’re the latecomer to a party already packed with cooler, more popular brands.

Lacking in trust and credibility? Brace yourself for the fun world of sky-high click costs and acquisition prices. And those win rates you were dreaming about? They’re going to be as low as my motivation to hit the gym after discovering Netflix’s true crime section. After all, in the eyes of your potential customers, you’re just another face in a crowded marketplace.

Shiny Tools, Rusty Strategies: The Pitfall of Relying Solely on Marketing Software

In the rush to digitize and automate, many B2B companies are snapping up the latest marketing software with the hope that technology alone will catapult their sales figures into the stratosphere. It’s like buying a high-end sports car without knowing how to drive; it looks impressive in the driveway but isn’t going anywhere fast.

The reality: No amount of cutting-edge software can act as a stand-in for a solid Go-To-Market (GTM) strategy, essential marketing functions, and operational processes. These tools are designed to enhance efficiency, speed up workflows, and polish your execution. However, without the strategic foundation in place, they’re just expensive digital paperweights. Don’t forget, a tool in hand doesn’t make the user grand.

What’s the common thread in these outdated approaches?

They seem to be stuck in a time warp, ignoring how the buying process has evolved.

Instead of aligning with the modern buyer’s journey, they’re centered around how these companies wish to sell, not how their customers want to buy.


The unfortunate results speak for themselves:

  • Conversion Despair: Turning leads into opportunities becomes an uphill battle, sparking endless debates over lead quality instead of addressing the root cause.
  • Unpredictable Growth: Reliance on referrals and the sales team’s individual efforts leads to erratic growth patterns, making scalability a pipe dream.
  • Sky-High Acquisition Costs: Without a strategic approach, customer acquisition costs (CAC) balloon, eating into margins and making sustainable growth challenging.
  • Marathon Sales Cycles: The journey from lead to customer becomes a marathon, with sales cycles stretching longer than ever, frustrating sales teams and potential buyers alike.

Here’s the unvarnished truth:

Until you get back to basics and solidify your GTM strategy, all the marketing tactics in the world will fall flat. It’s not about having the flashiest tools; it’s about understanding your market, knowing your customer, and crafting a strategy that speaks to their needs and guides them smoothly from awareness to decision. Only then can you truly leverage the power of your marketing software to its full potential, turning those shiny tools into engines of growth.

  • Imagine if marketing ditched the keyword obsession and teamed up with sales to dive into real customer questions and challenges. What if customers themselves helped shape the content?
  • Suddenly, your content hits home, speaking directly to your audience’s needs. Sales then have the perfect excuse to reach out, offering value instead of just a sales pitch. This content doesn’t just sit there; customers share it, spreading the word far and wide.
  • Sales now have engaging, meaningful content for social media, sparking conversations and building connections.
  • This shift isn’t just smart; it’s a game-changer, creating genuine inbound interest and opening doors to meaningful engagement without relying on the usual costly tactics.

Where to go from here?

Think of the B2B marketing strategy not as a dense, unreadable tome, but more like a concise, clear set of directions. It’s about moving from where you are now to where you want to be, which is typically surrounded by goals like revenue targets. You’ll need the right resources—your team, technology, and a straightforward plan.

To get your B2B marketing strategy on the right track, focus on these six essential questions:

  1. Who are you targeting? Identifying your audience is like choosing the right tool for a job. You wouldn’t use a hammer to screw in a lightbulb, right? Knowing your audience ensures you’re not wasting effort.
  2. How will you stand out? Differentiation is key. It’s similar to choosing a specialty dish at a restaurant known for that cuisine; it’s about offering something memorable and unique.
  3. Where do your buyers look for information, and how do they decide to buy? Understanding this is akin to knowing the best fishing spots if you’re a fisherman. It ensures your efforts are focused and effective.
  4. How will you capture their attention? This is about crafting a message that resonates. Think of it as the difference between a generic greeting and one that mentions something personal; the latter is far more likely to get a response.
  5. What resources do you need? Planning your budget and skillset is like packing for a trip. Knowing what you need ensures you’re prepared for the journey ahead.
  6. How will you measure success? Without metrics, you’re navigating without a compass. Setting clear KPIs is essential for knowing whether you’re moving closer to your goals.

But – as seen in the examples above -, its not always a clear path. Let’s dive in building and executing a solid strategy in part 2.

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