Wouldn’t it be good to know all the reasons business customers choose their preferred supplier? Imagine how much easier it would be to market your products and services. Is business to business sales your thing? Are you good at it? How do you judge? Do you have a strategy to maintain and improve your business relationships? Are you happy with your business volume, or do you have a plan to generate new leads and increase the value of your existing clients? Do you have a team working for you to provide you with important, up-to-date marketing information that guides your business direction? If you’re reading this you’ve already made a decision about your need to step up your marketing.
The big question is what do you want to do about it? There are a lot of things you can do, and I’ll touch on them in part below, but if you need some help, if you don’t have the time or the team to take care of this for you, your next step forward is to talk to us. We’ll show you there are no real mysteries to being good at B2B. To find and reach your potential you may need an objective appraisal of your existing systems, or it may be as simple as adding a few new techniques and processes. It depends on where you are, and where you want to be. If you want to be your best, we want to work with you.
But first; the latest B2B data gathered from Green Hat’s 2016 Marketing Outlook Report shows some interesting trends in how B2B marketing is evolving. Here I’ll list what I consider the top three:
- The continuing move towards mobile friendly content indicates how important phones and tablets are becoming to buyers constantly on the move. It’s no longer enough to just send emails that are PC ready and expect the recipient to be waiting at their desk when it arrives. People check and delete their emails all through the day, from various machines. To stay relevant and take advantage of this we only need to format sales material to translate effectively across the range of operating systems.
- Personalizing content, or targeting marketing more specifically to actual people in your campaigns, is raising response rates. Not surprising really; most of us would prefer our mail addressed to us by name, and to contain information that’s useful to us. And as email content in our inboxes continues to grow, and the the number of emails that are deleted without being read increases, response rates are key to getting your sales messages out.
- There is also a statistical trend towards auto-response marketing, which has proved to increase ROI. Auto-responders are an accepted and very cost-effective add-on we already use with email campaigns as a follow up to sales or list sign-ups. The important part of their use as a lead generator though is how you follow up the lead. When we set-up your email campaign, we’ll explain how they work, and what needs to happen for them to work as sales machines and lead generators. If necessary we can discuss with you and your team the importance of the integration of purpose of your sales and marketing activities.
All of these are relatively simple tactics to incorporate into your marketing mix, and we can help you with that. Your overall strategy in trading with other businesses though, and your success in doing so, is defined by and depends on these key areas:
- Your trading partners’ need for your products or services.
- Your ability to provide those products and services on time, with quality and reliability, and at the right price.
- The trust and relationships you’ve built through good communication and client service.
Dedication to continuously improving and expanding these relationships, and creating new ones, is what B2B marketing is all about. Broadly speaking, B2B marketing campaigns are about fundamentally improving your systems.
You may consider how you deliver sales information as the most important part of your marketing strategy, and we’re not going to argue; it’s the element we can help you with most directly. It is how your business presents and is viewed externally. There are other factors though that need to be assessed and incorporated into a comprehensive marketing plan. The ultimate goal is to offer benefits to your clients and stimulating your trading activity. We can help you do this, and would approach it through a variety of individual but connected steps, like:
- Reviewing and auditing existing market strategies. Do you track your marketing effectiveness? Are you sure your current marketing tactics are bringing in the business? What programs do you have in place to generate leads and nurture existing client relationships? We can show you how to be sure, and recommend ways to become a lot more effective.
- Raising awareness of, and/or identifying what your marketing priorities should be. Is your marketing budget used to your best advantage? Does it allow you to generalize, or would you be better off focussing on your best chance at a big ROI? It may not always be the new product, or your biggest seller, that has the biggest upside potential. We can give you an objective analysis of your options and tell you what our research of the market suggests is your best opportunity.
- Pinpointing areas of system strength or weakness and developing strategies to improve and exploit them. What are you really good at? Is it manufacturing, supply, service? Can you do it better? Is there something else maybe holding your business back? Are your marketing and sales teams working together? Have your competitors improved more than you knew? Is your website doing a good job at actually selling your stuff? Is your admin system keeping up with your business as you grow? With our marketing skills we can help you break it all down and find out where you can get better.
- Identifying specific opportunities for maximum product ROI and implementing plans to take advantage. Have you fully explored the available business markets for your products or services? What are the most cost effective marketing platforms today; email campaigns; trade shows; TV? There are plenty of options to increase the value of your existing clients, and we can show you some really good value ways to bring in new business too.
Strengthening your internal systems and business practices will make it easier to add value to your existing B2B relationships. Your business will benefit by:
- Making you better at what you do. Any and all improvements you can make give you marketable advantages, which can then be leveraged against competitors, or passed on to your clients. We’ll tell them about the changes you’ve made, and how it’ll benefit them directly. We’ll also sell your new-found competitive advantages to new prospects and continue to build your lists.
- Recognizing and respecting your clients through well researched and written sales material. Compared to individual consumers, business clients are a different prospect to market to. Well informed and rational buyers, they are also often accountable to bosses and budgets. They demand concise, technical, to-the-point information, so the accompanying marketing material needs to be delivered subtly and respectfully, but most importantly, effectively. This is something we specialize and take pride in.
- Developing regular e-newsletter campaigns keeps you on their radar. Scheduled e-newsletters not only demonstrate your pro-active business activity to your clients and provide a low-cost platform to promote your products, they can also be used to attract new business through referrals from your existing clients. Bonus! We can help build your campaign, from simple, budget, stand-alone e-newsletters right through to the full packages including detailed testing plans, a variety of e-newsletters and associated landing pages to appeal to and identify cross-sections of your market, integrated sales pages and auto-responders.
- Utilizing your client databases. Are you using your existing mailing lists or databases to target new sales possibilities? A mailing list is a powerful tool we can use to great advantage in bumping up your sales numbers. If you don’t have one yet, we can show you how to build one. We can also discuss the benefits of hiring or buying lists from third parties, and using them to bring in new business.
If you think there may be an opportunity to improve how you currently market to businesses, it’s an easy thing to call us or email us to talk about it. We’ll have a look at where you can improve and help you become your effective best. To find out how to apply these B2B ideas to the growth of your business, contact us for a free consultation!