Question: What is your best marketing tip that specifically applies to B2B marketing?
When speaking to and building a relationship with another business, ask how you can serve them. Then do it. One way you can always help another business grow is by introducing them to other potential customers, vendors, partners and team members. When you make a connection that serves and lasts well for them, they will remember who did it. The favor always comes back to you tenfold.
Reaching the right decision maker in a B2B sale is often the first hurdle. Figuring out how to either bypass the gatekeeper or impact them so greatly that they pass the information along is key. You may need to spend some time on the gatekeeper before you can access the actual decision maker.
When it comes to B2B marketing and relationships, nothing beats in-person connections. Attend as many industry conferences as possible and make meaningful connections with people in your field. These relationships can take time to develop, but they will pay dividends for the long run for your company. It’s well worth the investment.
It’s probable that this will change, but for now content is the king. And if you create interesting and well-done content for the sector you’re targeting, the decision makers you’re trying to reach might be interested in what you write and know your brand. Keep it very pertinent. Put yourself in their place and think what kind of information (especially insights) they’d like to know about.
B2B marketing is about education. Start by identifying your target market. Zero in and be as specific as possible. Once you know the demographic, you can create content that will educate them and help them make better informed decisions. Make sure to capture their information so that you can keep marketing to them and keep adding value.
When starting my business, my marketing messaging revolved around why people should do business with my company. I thought that the what was intuitive. It turns out, I was wrong. After describing what I did, to my dismay, potential customers would respond by asking me, “So what is it exactly that you do?” When I tailored my messaging to customer feedback, the result was a five-times revenue boost.
Enterprise sales are driven in large part by relationships. Instead of cold calling companies, we invest our time building relationships with strong distributors. Convince them of your value proposition, and they’ll tell your story to their clients for you. Sure, your margin will be a bit lower. But the marketing impact of a credible source will deliver great bang for the buck.
It’s important to build buyer personas. Once you define the personas, you can look at how they move the seven stages of sales cycle and the questions they’re asking as they move from a visitor on your website to a paying customer.
The dirty little secret around sales optimization is leveraging outsourced work (oDesk, etc.), data sources and technology to rapidly build your target market and reach them en masse and creatively through new channels. If you had the Facebook page of every U.S. plumber, could you better reach them? If you had the emails of all the partners of a competitor, could it help? It’s cheaper than you think.
Nearly every business owner is always on the lookout for useful and helpful information. They might not be immediately ready for your product or service, but they will happily take your free advice. Do this simply by building a mailing list of potential prospects. Your brand will not only become more authoritative in your niche, but create the perfect elements for an extremely loyal customer base.
It is likely that the reason a client will choose to work with your company is because of a specific aspect that sets you apart from your competition. When marketing to these clients, make your company’s point of differentiation clear and concise. If you offer a cheaper solution than most, make it known — often. If you specialize in bundling services to make your client’s life easier, vocalize it!
These answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.