Successful business to business marketing involves a tricky balance that even major business conglomerates can struggle with. To stay ahead of competitors, it’s important to constantly revisit your marketing campaign, analyzing your goals, revenue and client market. Whether you are revamping your B2B marketing strategy or just getting started, the following five keys to successful B2B marketing can help you on your way.
1) Define Your Brand
Before you can begin to market your brand, you need to have a strong brand definition. What can your product do that others can’t? What makes you stand out? What gives you an edge over the competition? Before pitching your brand to potential clients, you must be able to answer all of these questions, and answer them with confidence. Whether you’re selling paper towels or high end jewelry, if you can’t define your product’s personality in five words or less, then you need to tighten your marketing pitch. Statistics show that the average consumer attention span is now just eight seconds, that’s lower than the attention span of a goldfish. To capture the attention of the modern consumer, ensure that your branding is concise, snappy, and has a voice of its own.
2) Hire Your Focus Group
As you prepare your pitch for your B2B sales venture, include members of your focus group in the decision-making process. For example, if your product is aimed at women between the ages of 25-34, your entire marketing team should not be made up of men between the ages of 45-54. If hiring your focus group is impractical (if your product is aimed at six year olds, for instance), then test the effectiveness of your pitch through your social media platforms (here we’re assuming that parents will liaise on behalf of their children). As you introduce your product to the wide world of social media, you’ll begin to receive the kind of consumer feedback that should play an integral part in the creation of your pitch.
3) Identify Your Client
Successful B2B marketing is not about selling to the first client who will buy your product, it’s about finding the best client for your product. Before pitching your product, identify your niche. Who do you want to sell to, and why? Remember picking essay titles in high school? The narrower the focus, the better the results. You can’t market to everyone, everywhere, or your pitch will lack the spice of individuality that attracts high end B2B buyers. Before choosing your buyers, do as much research as possible on their B2B reputation, the products that interest them, and the demographics to which they cater. The better you understand your client, the more easily you can convince them that your product is exactly what they’ve been looking for.
4) Ready Your Pitch
Your buyers don’t know how great your product is, and your pitch is your only chance to convince them that it’s marvelous, flawless, and indispensable. Remember that B2B buyers have not just their own interests in mind, but the interests of their customers as well. Your pitch is the first step in a complex decision making process, so be ready to answer any questions that your buyer might throw at you. B2B buyers are more rational, careful and calculated than the average consumer, so flashy gimmicks are not necessarily going to work. It’s not enough to make your buyer want your product, they have to need it.
5) Cultivate Positive Client Relationships
As you build your marketing success, keep in mind the importance of cultivating and maintaining positive client relationships. Once you’ve made a successful sale, ensure that your product delivers as promised, and keep lines of communication open between your business and your buyer. Always think of the value-add. What can you offer your customers, that others aren’t offering? What pain points can you solve for your target audience to improve brand loyalty? Shopify, for example, offers templates, such as a Bill of Lading template, to facilitate the business needs of their customers. You don’t have to be a large e-commerce platform to offer these widgets – in many cases simple apps and tools can go a long way in creating customer loyalty. For any growing business, B2B referrals are crucial, and you won’t get them if you miss deadlines, fail to communicate with your clients, or deliver misleading pitches. As tempting as it may be to cut corners early on to optimize your ROI, it won’t help you in your end game. Offer fair prices, maintain a positive attitude, stick to your integrity, and your B2B relationships will not fail to flourish.
Nick Rojas is a business consultant and writer who lives in Los Angeles and Chicago. He has consulted small and medium-sized enterprises for over twenty years. You can follow him on Twitter @NickARojas.