Written by Lidia Vijga, Co-founder at DeckLinks
When it comes to the success of any startup, marketing and your go-to-market strategy play a crucial role. But what if you build a great product but don’t have any budget to market it? I believe that the most skilled marketers can execute on a $0 budget, and you can learn those skills by following a framework that advertising agencies use. The same exact framework applies to marketing for b2b, and any startup can follow these steps to build a successful foundation for their B2B marketing efforts without a budget.
What skilled b2b marketers have in common with skilled developers?
Similar to developing a product, building is hard but deciding what to build is harder. Highly skilled developers are not always those who make the most complex stuff. The most skilled software engineers are the ones who decide what to build when resources are limited. Typically they do extensive customer research, ask a lot of questions and create a roadmap that aligns with the company objectives. The most skilled developers build features that create the biggest impact and have the lowest cost/time to implement.
The same applies to marketing, and there is a framework you can follow to start creating impactful marketing strategies at a very small or no cost. And that’s what marketers call a “Big Idea.”
Big Idea does NOT require ad spend to:
- increase signups and paid users
- retain customers
- convert loyal users into your brand advocates
Marketing for B2B Foundation: Find your Big Idea
First, the Big Idea is NOT a hook nor a value prop. The Big Idea is a combination of 2 things:
Your ethos – what YOU believe in, your objectives/mission and what your company stands for. After all, companies are extensions of founders.
Customer insight – The hidden truth about your ideal customer profile. It could also be the most painful thing your customers are going through but no one talks about.
The BIG IDEA is the connection between your company ethos and customer insight.
Once you link these things together, you will formulate a strong foundation for your marketing campaign. If you watched Mad Men, a show about the world of advertising firms on Madison Avenue, you will remember how an ad executive and a creative director Don Draper was coming up with his ideas. Don first tried to understand the client and what made the brand different from others, and then he was engaging in deep conversations with the customers to find the hidden insight that he could connect with the brand.
Marketing tip for B2B startups: You and your customers are the answer to everything
Advertising agencies don’t have those answers. But they know where to look and what to ask, and that’s why they get paid a fortune. First, they do multiple briefings with clients, then they conduct field research, market research and in some cases focus groups to figure out the foundation for the ad campaign.
All you need to do is to dig deeper into yourself and your company, and then get chatty with your users. Trust me, you will start connecting the dots that will, later on, manifest into meaningful ideas and will not require any marketing costs or media spending.
Example of marketing campaign for B2B
As a B2B SaaS founder, I’m happy to share a personal example. I hope it will help you and your team find the Big Idea and build a strong foundation for your ad campaigns.
I’m a co-founder at DeckLinks – a platform that enables sales teams to create and share video PDFs and access engagement analytics in real-time.
Our ethos and what we believe
We believe that personal characteristics outrank everything else. Kindness, empathy and willingness to understand others can go a long way. Our goal is to make B2B sales more human.
The hidden truth about B2B sales
Buyers first decide what they think about the salesperson, and only then decide what they think about the company and the offerings.
Big Idea: Sales professionals close more deals by showing their human side to buyers.
Execution on a $0 marketing budget
For our marketing strategy, we run a series of rapid-fire questions with sales professionals and B2B sales influencers where they answer the first thing that comes to their mind to show their human side. Since paid media is not an option when marketing without a budget, marketers can maximizing the reach of their campaign by tapping into the following base of their content collaborators on social media.
If you found this article through search and want to learn SEO to help your B2B company grow, I invite you to read my other article to learn SEO content writing with free tools.