The Marketing Boutique


What does it take to develop the right marketing strategy at the right time for any business? Whether you are a traditional B2B company, online business or a fitness app, your challenge is the same – making the right decision.

Deciding on a Strategy

Is there a strategy that is designed just for B2B versus retail? Is there a single strategy where no other industry can use? The short answer to these questions is – no. A marketing strategy is a road map, helping you decide which direction to take, whether it will be to enter a niche, penetrate a market, create differentiation and so on.

And, any strategy can be implemented for your business.

But, specific tactics do work beautifully for B2B, while consumer goods have other tactical planning that is better for their products!

Brief marketing plan outline for a B2B2C company!

In this post, we talk about B2B. Before you decide, include the following essential factors during your planning stage: your competition, location, product innovation, in-house resources and the technology available to you. Because a well-developed marketing plan can accomplish a lot for you in a relatively small amount of time and effort.

It stimulates thinking and can help you better use limited resources.

Customer & Competition Behaviour & Trends

Yes, your customers are online. But with the recent algorithm change from Facebook, even B2B companies can now win at Facebook Advertising. This wasn’t the case about a year ago. Also, keep track of your competitors behaviour. Are they more active with trade shows or online? Probably both, which could mean you’ll need to up your game with content marketing and SEO.

Sales Channels & Goal Setting

Lucky for B2B companies, we now have many sales channels to choose from, the big challenge is to select the right sales channels to develop. Most people dive right into tactics, investing in the how-to but that’s wrong. Start with your goals and your customer.

To reach your short-term goals, the best sales channel tactic is Google Adwords. While for your long-term goals, like brand leadership, the various tactics are Content Marketing and Email Marketing.

Consistency & Creative

As a B2B2C company, you’ll need to invest in staff because digital marketing requires consistency and original creatives. Meaning, you’ll need to pump out content on a weekly basis if not more often. And, all your creatives need to be created by your company. Sure you can use stock images, but you’ll need to change the colour, overlay them with another photo, or content. Unsure of where to start or you can’t hire more staff, just start with one social media platform and invest, invest and invest.

Budget & Measure

You’ll need to plan and budget for the holidays, seasonal activity and other significant events that may nicely fit your brand. After each campaign and quarter, measure and change the plan base on how well you are meeting the marketing goals.

Promotional Planning for B2B Companies

B2B companies are now promoting directly to the consumer. While you may still sell to another business, social media allows you to engage with the end-user – your B2B world has gotten larger, and they want to get to know you. Test promotions by following favourite retail stores. For example, during the Christmas holiday, people are more accepting of online advertising. You may want to test one out for this year! Twitter offers lots of themes you can take advantage of if it fits your brand. Do your research before you do any campaign.

Contact us today if you are unsure of where to start with your Marketing Plan, or need a review of what you’ve made –

Unsure of the company direction?

We’ll help you develop your marketing plan, strategy, budget and schedule.

What does it take to develop the right marketing strategy for your business? Whether you are a traditional B2B company or a fitness app, your challenge is the same – making the right decision.

Deciding on a Strategy

Is there a strategy that is designed just for B2B versus retail? Is there a single strategy where no other industry can it use? The short answer to these questions is – no. A marketing strategy is a road map, helping you decide which direction to take, whether it will be to enter a niche, penetrate a market, create differentiation and so on. Read More

Every time I start a new project around sales, territory planning, market planning, I get excited.

And, then I find myself in several intense meetings with the president or owner of the company, trying to convince them that a little planning goes a long way; but the response is usually the same, ‘sounds good, but just get those guys on the phone!’

However, this is just a quick remedy to a long problem.  

B2B Sales

Being a sales focused company is great at the start of your company but it builds a brand only based on what your sales people are saying and… that could be saying anything.  It does little in brand building.  Actually it does, but probably not the want you had envisioned.

High-Turnover in Sales Department

How do you know when you have a badly run company?  When your sales department has high-turnover.  Lack of leadership, biased territory planning, long-sales cycle and hiring recent graduates who just learn and leave for better are the usual crimes committed in a sales-focused company.

It’s the little things that matter

Let’s take a trade show I recently managed for a seriously sales focused client.  What I implemented was: professional presentation for their sales staff, pre-promotion program, changed their booth set-up and gave them tips on how and where they should take advantage of the show’s activities.  All this was great.  Then came the break-down.

They rushed, carried out the entire booth themselves.  We needed to do 2 trips, sweating, huffing and puffing.  What’s the problem with that you ask?

Well if you are in an industry where none of the exhibitors tears-down, then you need to follow your betters!  You don’t want spend the money on trade show contractors?  Then don’t go!

4 tips to help you make the sale, while protecting your business:

  1. Talk with your sales staff, often:  Create an open-door environment where your sales staff can come and discuss recent conversations, what was said and why did they decide to move the conversation in certain manner.
  2. Review territories: Give everyone a chance to show what they are made off.  If you are not convinced that a few of your sales team can handle an important territory, start them off with a few leads and work with them during this part, give them the chance.
  3. Value-based selling: A sales plan usually is a simple action plan.  This doesn’t do much in brand development.  Consider spending some time in developing sales pitches and collateral based on value, rather on promotion, discounts and chasing a new lead.  If not, you’ll probably find your sales guys are on the phone discounting the product or service, instead of selling value.
  4. Stay in touch: Give your team enough tools to say in touch.  You are better than that awful annual general email, ugh, its just so bad.  Instead, encourage them because you’ve implemented #1, to change it up and call, leave a message.  Work with your marketing department to create interesting newsletters, case studies and other content that helps to maintain brand position.

How does one develop brand leadership for their product or service? Leading companies usually develop brand leadership based on more than their product or service.

Working with several companies, I found that when there is a lack of vision for a company is usually the result of staying too focused on reaching a single monthly sale quota. 

This is the only important factor that the company is basing its success, what are their monthly numbers.

Of course, we do that too here at The Marketing Boutique but this is part of a larger plan, which includes company and personal goals and from time to time, we also check our path to see if we are on track, forks in the road and the path not taken vis-à-vis our vision. 

Lack of vision is boring.

When you add vision and mission, brand leadership is more than a product

The Marketing Boutique


  1. Stubborn:  You continue to believe that the promotional efforts you did ten years ago were better than this year without taking into account global recession, competitive growth, technological advancement (which affects the prospective client’s needs) and, of course, the changing needs of the new customer.  Change: Do a solid market review to help you measure your promotional efforts.   
  2. Stuck:  You firmly believe in the process, almost to the point that you can get stuck on terms.  You even expect everyone to learn these terms, convinced that this makes for a better running company.  But this doesn’t leave any room for brainstorming, open platform for discussion or free forum of ideas to flow in the boardroom. Change: Try to create an agile process and invite your staff to share their views.  Take advantage of the free flow of ideas and make sure you say thank you.
  3. Expand Your Network: Probably the worst of all offenders is going it alone or hiring the same-same. Look for people who have a fresh perspective. Invite like-minded companies to be part of your board.  
  4. Negativity:  To be in business is to be an optimist.  Change: Thank your staff, smile and walk away when you are negative. You will get more from your employees with a bit of honey than a gallon of vinegar.
  5. Lack of Learning:  We can all agree that continual learning and improving one’s expertise is beneficial to any business.  It is as easy as buying a book and taking an e-course like our Branded! Be the Change: Invest in your best people. 
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We’ve put together three values for brand building. After all, a brand is a lot more than the products or services you sell. Your brand is what you stand for and your ability to keep the brand’s promise. When the value proposition is more closely linked to your product, brand or service will make customers feel more satisfied and happy with their purchase.

However, it is a competitive marketplace today. And, most likely when defining your brand, you will discover that there is minimal positioning or white space left for your business to take advantage of or exploit within your industry’s matrix.

What most companies and entrepreneurs quickly find out is to compete successfully, they have to implement different strategies simultaneously.  This includes building a brand based on long-term vision and being open to change, scale-up, and, if necessary, exit – swiftly.

Developing your brand strategy first requires you to analyze your market landscape. Followed by adding value.  The ability to drive brand relevance and value among all stakeholders, which extends to your customers, employees and suppliers, will be essential in building a brand name and a portfolio in today’s environment.

In other words, do not give ‘free’ stuff, if you don’t believe in it.  Value, first.

Three considerations for building a brand

1.  Understand your company or personal strengths.

A recent Harvard Business Review article stated that the most common cause of company failure is product quality and the company’s trustworthiness. However, from our experience, lack of financial acumen, failure to understand the competitive landscape and weak management made three of our top five. I suppose a company’s trustworthiness could be viewed as the same as weak management. Successful companies and entrepreneurs have one thing in common. They understand their strengths and build on those strengths.

2.  Understand your business.

Which brings us to your business.  Failure to stay up-to-date with your competitive landscape and what your client truly values usually means offering a product or service that nobody wants.  Being the expert in your business means being open to listening.  This will help you to quickly take the opportunity when it shows up and build or extend a brand portfolio, which can simply mean repackaging your services or products to penetrate a different target market, adding convenience or even, an incentive to a current product with the aim to up-sell to your current market.

3.  Believe in your brand – keep the promise

Clearly define your brand values, then build a strategy with long-term goals based on your brand values.  Forget jargon and marketing speak. To create important intangible brand assets that can definitely contribute to the company’s performance means dedication, consistency and the belief that your brand is necessary and provide a true value to your target audience.

Questions to ask to help you build your brand value.

What are values that your competitors have incorporated into their business? Look for ways to differentiate your business. If they emphasize variety, you may want to focus on customer service, which will allow you to capture customers who value immediate service over variety.

What values are missing from your industry? As you conduct your SWOT analysis, you’ll be looking at your industry as a whole. Take a step back and look at what is missing and if it relates to your product or service. Can you incorporate missing values that relate to your brand and at the same time help you to differentiate in your field.

What values does your target customer care about most? Your customer’s beliefs should drive your decision making when it comes to selecting value propositions. It starts by clearly defining your target audience and learn their wants, needs, and worldviews so you can match your values with theirs.