B2B marketing can be a tricky balancing act, juggling revenue expectations with forward-thinking branding. Marketing directors are often the ones stuck firmly in the middle of this ever-changing, challenging environment. They’re responsible for leading a team of marketing professionals while also planning larger scale campaigns. Pain points have solutions, even if they’re hard to navigate around. Here’s a list of the top challenges B2B marketing directors face, with suggestions on how to solve them.
The budget is, for better or worse, the driving force behind everything marketing teams do. As a marketing director, your role is to manage the budget that’s allocated to your respective team. That’s a challenge in itself and compiled with the fact that you’re unlikely to have much control around how much budget you’re able to access, it’s not an easy feat. However, correctly managing (and maximizing) your marketing budget should be your number one priority.
So, how can you overcome this struggle? Luckily, according to Hubspot research, 2022 has seen marketing budgets increase by around 80%. Correctly managing your budget and making sure it stays within your team can be approached in three ways.
- Risk Assessment
Take a look at what your team needs to fix their daily struggles. Try and come up with a plan of action for each of these challenges and wrap them into one or two budgetary purchases.
- Proactive Campaigns
Is there a way you can make an impact and help increase marketing attribution? Try and come up with a few new options that will use 30-40% of your allocated budget. Proactive campaigns can help build value within what you’re already doing.
- Reactive Campaigns
The last thing you want to do is get stuck in a loop of reactive projects, but that’s probably unavoidable. To ensure their execution is as smooth as possible, look at the previous quarter (or however your budget is dispensed) and see what you can do this time to make improvements.
Corporate Trust Equity
Since the marketing director role often sits at the middle of the management tier, the executive C-suite of your respective company might not be privy to everything your team is doing. Even worse, they might not even trust you yet. The other problem with the standard corporate hierarchy is that, because of your role, you have very little cross-department, executive-level interaction. Therefore, it’s down to you to build trust within your organization.
Easier said than done, right? Trust equity has been a hot topic for the past couple of years as companies try to maintain a consistent feeling of accomplishment across their organizations. There are a few ways you can take a piece of the corporate pie. First, look at the analytics of each campaign you’ve done and create a through line of incremental, impactful results. You can then share those with your CMO, or any other C-suite person you meet with, in conversation. Second, build a personal brand. Anyone can be a marketer, but only you can be yourself. If your work has a unique feel, or stamp of personality that is recognizable as you, then there’s a higher chance it’ll get noticed by your company’s executive leadership.
It’s often said that “branding is fluid.” That’s another way of saying your brand will probably change a lot over time. Marketing directors tend to feel the brunt of these changes as they’re responsible for enacting the shifts across each of their campaigns. The act of rebranding is definitely a challenge when you apply it to multiple projects that may or may not be completed.
There really isn’t a definitive way of overcoming the struggle of rebranding. Most of the time, your company will make these decisions above your pay grade. However, you can help mitigate some of the stress that comes with a full rebrand by using project management software to plan each step of the process. Essentially, you’ll break down the new branding into digestible tasks that tackle a percentage of the larger task. Software like Monday.com is a great place to start.
Marketing Team Management
The most common challenge that marketing directors face is the daily task of managing a team. If your company has spent time creating a director position for you, chances are there will be some level of management under your belt. If that’s the case, it can be challenging to tackle the daily struggles your team will face, as well as taking care of the work you need to do.
Thankfully, there’s action you can take to help manage your team better. First, and this might go without saying for some, try and schedule regular 1:1 meetings. These catchups can be crucial to helping your team overcome any hurdles that have popped up for the week. They also act as a sync, allowing both parties to align on what needs to be done. Second, you can create a regular delivery cadence of projects, allowing for weekly KPIs to be tracked. This makes the conversation of “we’re behind” a lot easier, as you’ve essentially itemized each task to specific team members.
B2B marketing directors have regular challenges they face, but it only takes some creative thinking and simple tweaks to help overcome them. If you’re interested in hearing more about the current landscape of marketing, take a look at our sales and marketing alignment benchmark report. It discusses some of the daily struggles that B2B marketing teams experience and how they overcome them by aligning sales and marketing initiatives.