Why B2B Marketing Takes Months to Deliver Results
There are 2 reasons why a marketing campaign takes a couple of quarters to start showing results:
People understand Sales Cycles: From the moment someone raises their hand and says “I want to talk to sales” (ie. they become a lead) to the moment they become a paying customer, it can often take many months, especially in B2B.
Now, the Marketing Cycle happens before the Sales Sycle: It’s the period of time from the moment someone *first* hears about you – they see your *first* ever LinkedIn video, they read your *first* blog post, see your an ad from you for the *first* time – to the moment they raise their hand and say “I want to talk to sales”.
This cycle also takes time because they need to:
- understand your product,
- know what you do and how you do,
- recognize the problem you solve within their own business,
- compare you to competitors,
- talk to some of their colleagues what they think about you.
And they need to build trust in you and start seeing you as an expert in what you do, because what’s the point in exploring your solution if you’re not an expert?
In today’s world, people do all of this before they ever raise their hand and say “I want to talk to sales”.
Why? Because they wanna show up to the sales conversation prepared. They wanna have good questions. They wanna be able to say “But your competitor is charging this much, do you give discounts?” or “My colleague had a bad experience using your product, what do say to that?”
And again, if you’re in B2B and your product is complex, then the Marketing Cycle can also take multiple months.
The Marketing Cycle kicks in once you have messages that resonate with your audience: you know what topics they care about and you know how to communicate your expertise.
But before that, depending on where you are, you might first need to do iteration to *learn* how to:
- communicate what you do,
- frame the problem that you’re solving in a way that your customers recognize,
- share your expertise with a unique perspective
And that takes time because you need to iterate: no one knows the perfect thing to say when they first start creating content.
This process might take a couple of weeks, or it might take a couple of months – depending on how long you’ve been in business, how many conversations you’ve had with prospects, how deeply you’ve identified their pain points, etc.
So in B2B, when marketers say it takes a couple of quarters for results to show up, it is because:
1. There are Marketing Cycles that happen before your Sales Cycles
2. You need to iterate on your messaging to find what resonates
Or because they don’t know what they’re doing and running the wrong marketing activities, more on that later. 😁