7-step survival guide for small B2B marketing teams

Life in a small marketing team might be quite stressful: 

  • Too many initiatives
  • Unclear priorities
  • Vague KPIs
  • Lack of budget
  • Not enough hands
  • Oh, and HUGE expectations!

The result? A speedy burnout. 

B2B marketers are often expected to accomplish too much with too little. And they really do everything: content, ads, webinars, SEO, website fixes and pretty slide decks for Sales.

In this article, we give small B2B marketing teams seven tips on how they can make the most of their limited resources, get meaningful results, and avoid burnout.

To get a tad more hands-on, we give examples of how we have succeeded as a small team here at The F Company. 

1. Don’t try to copy big company marketing strategies

Whether it’s because of ambition or pressures from management, small B2B marketing teams often try to copy big company strategies. 

The obvious thing here is that the big companies have the resources to go for an “everything but the kitchen sink” marketing strategy. You don’t. 

The good news is that you don’t have to do everything, everywhere, all at once (like the name of the movie). Small teams can achieve a lot with limited resources—and without spreading themselves too thin.

2. Get back to the basics and review your B2B marketing strategy

When you’re busy doing everything, you might not have time to ask yourself: WHY are we doing this in the first place?

Start with the big picture. Don’t do anything before you have that in place.

Understand your audience

B2B customer journeys are long and complex. It’s easy to get lost in there and lead your marketing efforts astray. Therefore, some prep work is essential.

Start by understanding who your audience is, where they are, how they find you, what they need to hear, and what needs to happen before they can buy from you. 

Try to build this understanding with information from many sources, but most importantly directly from your existing customers. 

When you have this information, you can start thinking about how you can give value to your customers in a few channels that work for your business.

Revisit your positioning

A well-defined positioning can help build trust and credibility with your target audience.

Put your thinking cap on and revisit what makes your company stand out from its competitors. What kind of value are your customers getting when buying your products or services? What would you do instead if they chose to not buy from you?

Figure out whether you need to improve the match between your offering’s value proposition and your potential customers’ needs.

Align your strategy with the CEO and Sales

Have a serious discussion with the CEO and Sales. Aim to understand the company’s growth targets in the short and long term—and how marketing contributes to those. 

Make sure there’s a shared understanding of what the role of marketing is and how its success is measured.

Once you understand where the growth comes from, you can define your focus areas and adjust the B2B marketing strategy accordingly.

3. Improve your focus

Doing good marketing doesn’t mean using every channel, tool and tactic that you see others use. You’re more likely to do all of them poorly. And when your ad budget is stretched across too many channels, you won’t see any results.

Pick your battles and choose quality—or rather, consistency—over quantity. Set a pace and stick to it. It’s always better to do good marketing on one channel than to be invisible on ten.

Ask yourself: what few tactics or channels, if focused on, would make the most impact on the business goals? Pick one or two. Set everything else aside. Simplify to amplify, if you may. 

Here are some concrete examples:

  • If social posts work for you, focus on those, instead of producing many different content formats that people don’t tend to read.
  • Master one paid channel over wasting money on five.
  • Scale your already popular webinars, rather than trying to make one occasional podcast episode.

Expand and optimize your efforts on those few things. Add new ones only when you can execute them consistently or when your current focus areas get saturated.

4. Resist the fear of missing out

No, you don’t have to be on TikTok. You also don’t need to have an active Instagram account or put a lot of research into ‘that new social media app that everybody’s talking about’. 

For many marketers, the fear of missing out kicks in every time they check social media. “The marketing guru is saying we should do X, quick, let’s add that to our marketing strategy!”

Before you know it, the focus is lost and the team is burnt out. Don’t say ‘yes’ to every shiny object. Stick to your guns and resist the FOMO!

5. Build a solid content repurposing strategy

You already have great content. So why should you reinvent the wheel? 

Building a content strategy with repurposing in mind is perhaps the most powerful way small companies can make an impact. Don’t treat repurposing as an afterthought but plan for it!

Here are a few examples of how you can repurpose your content:

  • Turn blogs into smaller social posts—or conversely, expand on your successful social posts to turn them into articles. 
  • Create all videos in different formats so you can use them on ads, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, what not.
  • Clip your webinar recordings into smaller snippets or transcribe them into articles. 
  • Use your bigger downloadable guides to create a series of blog posts. 
  • Simplify some good articles or guides into mobile-friendly document ads.

Sometimes the repurposed content might even outperform the original content—and that’s a happy accident.

6. Launch a set of experiments or pilot projects

You might feel like you’re wasting money if the outcome isn’t what you expect, but experimenting is actually a very cost-effective approach. 

That’s because you can test different tactics, channels or content without having to commit a large number of resources upfront. 

Learning what does NOT work is a valuable learning that you’d rather have sooner than later, so you don’t end up wasting your precious, limited budget. 

And once you learn what DOES work, you can scale up your efforts and get more bang for your buck.

7. Leverage the data and learnings from your successes

By testing different approaches, you will have gained fresh insights into what works and what doesn’t. You can use this data to optimize your campaigns and make more informed marketing decisions in the future. 

And by proving the value of your work, you’ve also built a case for more resources—that is, more money and teammates to help you out. 

When marketing actually drives revenue, it’s stupid not to invest more.

How The F Company succeeded with a small marketing team

Let’s look at the year 2021 at The F Company:

  • We also had a small team
  • Everybody was quite busy 
  • The budget was limited

Sounds desperate, but we actually grew by 130%!

All thanks to choosing to focus on just a few things and eliminating a lot from our marketing. We didn’t stress about SEM or SEO. We rarely wrote blogs. No piece of content was ever gated for lead generation. 

It is in fact much easier to list what we were doing, instead of what we were not. 

We focused on two key activities for providing educational content: webinars and (mostly) organic LinkedIn posts

On top of that, we created an employee advocacy program to get our teammates active on social media. Posting and engaging are considered work time. 

The lesson? Figure out what works for you. Get the most out of that, and only then scale into other activities.

Are you ready to turn B2B marketing into a revenue driver?

Would you like to join us in one of those highly successful webinars we mentioned? Check out our upcoming webinars here and sign up!

And if you have any further questions, do not hesitate to contact us! Let’s talk about your marketing and what you’d like to achieve with it.