10 Ways to Sharpen Your B2B Marketing Game
B2B marketing has a reputation for complexity. Because B2B transactions occur between two businesses, with diverse groups of people on each side, B2B marketing requires some savviness to get decision-making parties on the same page. Unlike a traditional direct consumer sale, a good B2B marketing campaign will often deploy multiple touches and use multiple channels to communicate a relatively simple message in an effort to unify decision-makers and raise brand awareness.
While B2B marketing will always be a little complicated, there certainly are ways to simplify your marketing efforts and “up your game.” Below are 10 ways you can sharpen you B2B marketing game:
- Educate your buyer. With the invention of the Internet, most B2B buyers and their associate teams are more than halfway through the buying process before your salesperson ever meets with a customer. While a good marketer always wants to have clear calls to action, consider educating your buyer—the new version of B2B marketing “foreplay.” If your team cannot provide useful tips and ideas early in the buying process, the chances of persuading a customer to buy plummet drastically.
- Create open-ended topics or propositions that leave the buyer wanting more. If education is the new version of B2B marketing foreplay, then it follows that something you are saying to a potential buyer needs to generate a thirst for more information. All good sales and marketing teams know that the ultimate goal in a transaction is for the client to start to ask questions. That is where the power shift that leads to a sale occurs. The person asking the questions is usually the party who is more interested in the sale. By offering provocative and intriguing ideas and statements, you can shift the power sooner in the sale.
- Remember that marketing materials should avoid industry slang or jargon. In B2B marketing, you should never forget that the end goal is to simplify your message into something that can be easily shared with a customer’s internal teams. Instead of focusing on information complicated with industry jargon, use language an average eighth-grader can understand. This will help you keep the messaging simple and it will result in a message that can be easily shared.
- Whenever possible, justify your product or sale with use cases. At the end of the day, your job in B2B marketing is to get into the mind of your client. Try to remember that the person researching the new product or service is looking for a way that they can justify the sale to THEIR boss. By providing success stories, you are giving the buyer the tools THEY need to close the sale on their end.
- Use digital marketing methods, but don’t forget to also shake hands and introduce yourself. One of the most common B2B mistakes that people seem to make over and over again is to think that an advertisement is enough to generate a sale. A great B2B marketing team will make room for a human component in their campaigns, remembering that ultimately people buy from other people, not just from advertisements.
- Ask your sales people which customer needs they are hearing about before launching ANY campaign. Think of it this way: good marketing is all about projecting the right message at the right time. How can you possibly understand the B2B marketing message you need to send to prospective clients without speaking to your sales team and gathering all the latest feedback from the front lines?
- Understand the future of your business, but don’t forget to sell to right now. In the technology vertical, a great example of this quandary in B2B marketing was the push for all information to be moved to the cloud. While storing information in the cloud is absolutely the future of the IT industry, most companies were not ready to put all of their sensitive information into an untested space. The advertising teams that remembered to include options accommodating slower growth and change were the most likely to get the phone call for the sale. A client wants to know that you understand the future, but they need to know that you can meet them where they are right now.
- Clearly define your product and service offering. There is something about selling to businesses that inevitably broadens the product and service offering menu. Small wonder, given the complexity of businesses today. A good B2B marketer understands that by presenting too much information and not clearly defining your product or service, you can lose a potential sale.
- Answer inquiries in a timely and efficient manner to keep leads hot. Let’s face it, buyers are fickle. Before a good B2B marketer launches a campaign, they must consider who will be answering product and service inquiries. Often, a B2B client is responsible for asking questions on behalf of their boss, so promptness and timing are crucial.
- Focus on the business benefits of your product or service. Remember, as a B2B marketer the question you are answering is whether or not the product or service will benefit the client reading your pitch on the other end. Steer clear of language that is boastful in favor of emphasizing the business benefits of using your product or service.
While all B2B marketers will constantly be searching for ways to improve their campaigns, some tips will stand the test of time. While you will constantly need to learn and grow, especially in complex industries with multiple variables, it is always a good idea to remember best practices. Sometimes upping your B2B marketing game is as simple as putting your team in check.
For more information on B2B marketing, automation platforms or demand generation services, please contact ZINFI at www.zinfi.com.