How to Hack B2B Marketing In A Digital Era
What is B2B marketing and how can it save your business?
by: Tony Bonilla
B2B (Business to Business) marketing requires you to build a relationship between you and your potential customers. Consider shifting your business focus from closing the deal immediately towards informing your customers and building trust.
This strategy may be difficult to comprehend or implement because most marketing is based on B2C (Business to Consumer) marketing. B2C purchases are more impulsive, while B2B transactions often require the approval of several decision makers. These decisions can affect an entire organization and usually cost more than your typical B2C transaction. This begs the question: Is utilizing B2C techniques ideal for B2B marketing? Let’s discuss some options.
Building Trust with Customers
Now, I’m not saying disregard sales when marketing to potential clients. However, there should be a long-term goal of building trust amongst clients and turning them into lifelong customers. Having buttons that demand your customers to “buy now” or “click here” are effective techniques when customers are an easy sell. But truth is, this may come off as very pushy and can alienate potential clients.
A lady redesigning her 1,300 square foot real estate office won’t purchase your carpeting after spending just 3 minutes on your website. One has to read about the material, durability (wear and tear), texture, and safety disclaimer if applicable. Will your carpeting impact her liability insurance? How often does it need to be vacuumed, which is an added expense to consider?
Or, a gentleman downloading an app for his property management business needs to know how it’ll make his mobile operations more efficient. A clever tag line on a website isn’t enough to close the deal with him, because (just like the lady) business decisions affect the bottom line. Don’t lose potential business deals over half-assed marketing attempts.
Making Customers Feel Smart
B2B firms should consider reworking their call-to-action (CTA). Instead of pressuring clients into buying now or clicking here, B2B companies should focus on providing information. Therefore, an effective CTA for B2B companies would be to inform clients and prospective buyers. Adding sections such as “Learn More”, “See What Makes Us Different” or “Get More Information” are more appealing to clients, without having them feel pressured into making a purchase.
Providing content and information can result in giving your customers a reason to spend more time on your site. They will have the chance to learn about company values and your point of differentiation. Customers are always comparing different companies and looking for the best fit to their business needs; your abundance of information provided should help them mentally check off all the right boxes. Also, feel free to mention your competitors; comparison charts are very effective at showing customers what sets you apart from your competition.
Referring back to differentiation, point out your product’s features and how they differ from the rest of the market. Your goal isn’t to get the client to purchase without looking at other alternatives (they’ll do that anyway, so you can’t really stop them), but rather give them the information they need to make an educated decision. As Jon Cherenov states, “… Great marketing makes the customer feel smart.”
Selling More than an Idea
B2B marketing doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself. You can still reach out to consumers by providing them the information they desire before making a purchase. Take away their pressure of feeling obligated to buy something, and instead enlighten them with knowledge that makes your company the expert in the field. Trust and communication can go a long way in acquiring new customers and retaining your current ones as well.
This article originally published on GREY Journal.
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