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Within B2B marketing, there has been a paradigm shift in the way we sell and market today, especially in the B2B business world.
Because all B2B companies do a search to understand which company may have the best solution for them, your marketing needs to be exceptionally strong and relevant, to grow and even survive. In many respects, it has to be stronger than your sales group.
That’s why I believe B2B marketing is more important than sales in today’s B2B business world.
And I say this as someone who started as a salesman, and had no real marketing for many of the 40+ years in my business career.
I was the marketing and sales department, by cold calling for leads.
So, let’s delve further into why I believe B2B marketing is more important than sales in today’s B2B business world.
But before we do, I must show you this great pic about how much revenue you will get without any effort.
B2B marketing and sales take work. There are no magic pills or easy buttons.
That is why I put the following below all of my emails, as a disclaimer.
Please don’t interpret any of this email as some sort of promise or implication of your future earnings. My results aren’t even remotely typical. I’ve been at this for many years, and naturally have a bit of an advantage as a result. Also, the average person who reads and/or buys any “business building” material (or something similar) rarely gets any results at all. Kind of like how the average person who buys home exercise equipment rarely ends up looking like the person in the commercials. I don’t know why that is, but I think it’s safe to say it’s true across the board. Here’s the bottom line: THIS STUFF IS ALL HARD. And it takes WORK and RISK. On top of that, almost nothing ever works right the first time. At least not for me, anyway. You’ve got to stick with it. Think about it. If business was easy, everybody would be rich. So if you’re looking for a “magic pill” or an “easy button” that’ll make you money, I’m not your guy. Better you know that now, than be disappointed later. However, if you do want to succeed, then I am your guy for getting coached on how to get 25% to 100% increase in revenues in one year, over predicted revenues.
To repeat a very important point; “THIS STUFF IS ALL HARD. And it takes WORK and RISK.”
You must realize that B2B marketing & selling are sophisticated processes, and if you are not willing to work hard at it, then you are in the wrong business.
BUT, when you do work hard & smart, you will get compensated far better than you ever will in most other business professions.
So what exactly is B2B Marketing?
You will see from the graphic that David Packard, co founder of Hewlett Packard with Bill Hewlett. The company is better known to most people simply as HP.
“Marketing is too important to be left to the marketing department”.
This is not a flippant remark, BTW. I am sure he felt the same way about marketing as I do.
I have always believed marketing is a combination of many factors, as represented in the following diagram.
B2B marketing consists of all of these items listed in the graphic.
Let‘s look at few of them for a better explanation.
Marketing is the overall function of bringing your products and services to market, along with all of the functions that requires your company to do that.
You will see that B2B marketing consists of Marcom, or marketing communication, which is what most people define as marketing.
It also consists of sales, as selling comes after marketing to close the business and implement the product or service.
Your website, and all of its content is all marketing.
All of your social platforms are there so you can market your products and services. I believe the best social media platforms, besides your website, for B2B marketing are; LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, Facebook company pages, YouTube and Vimeo. Ezine articles, Pinterest, and other sites are also good for showing your content to the world.
But you can get bogged down if you use too many platforms, so you need to decide which three or four suit your company’s needs the best.
The one B2B marketing platform, of course, that has real power is email marketing. You need to be capturing email addresses on your website, or wherever you can, so that you can nurture these leads until they are ready to buy from you.
Getting in the B2B Door
So then, how do you gain entrance to your B2B prospects and clients?
Before I get into that fully, I want you to forget three myths that are permeating the B2B business world right now. These three myths are:
• B2B buyers are 67% through their buying process before they contact a vendor,
• B2B sales’ people are becoming extinct,
• You shouldn’t contact a prospect first.
I don’t know how Forrester got that 67% statistic, unless there was a multiple of one hundred companies answering or a ratio of that.
This might happen if you your company strictly relies on people finding you, without you reaching out to them.
Anyway, I believe it is a ridiculous statistic.
To me, B2B sales’ people are only becoming extinct in one area.
That area is if you sell a commodity product or service that can bought right off your website. The best way to see if a company sells a commodity product is if they put their prices on their website.
So, if your company does sell a commodity product, and you are a sales person in that company, I do believe that sooner or later, your job will become extinct.
However, there should still be a need for marcom people in that company, as well as client support personnel.
Issues You Will Run Up Against
Another way to see if your company will become extinct is to see how many of these issues you run up against when selling to your potential clients.
If you are running into a multiple of these issues, then there is a good chance you sell one or both of a value added product and/or service.
How To Become Unique
The two real keys to becoming a value added company are;
1. You have a unique differentiation with your products/services,
2. You can show your prospects and clients the value your products/services bring is unique to your company.
You can show this by having a unique product/service, which is almost impossible these days, or the value you bring outweighs the actual product or service itself.
You can do this quite easily by delivering services, as a value add, that other companies do not deliver, or by some unique product feature that others do not have. Although, they probably all will have that feature within six months.
There are also ways you can show uniqueness by delivering other services your competitors do not have, or presenting in unique ways that show your prospects and clients how you will collaborate with them on improving their business.
These improvements should come in one or more of these three areas. You will help your prospect and clients;
1. Get more revenue,
2. Get more profit, usually by cutting costs,
3. Become more productive.
If your products or services perform any of these benefits, then you will have an excellent chance of becoming a long term supplier to these companies, as well as climbing the relationship ladder as outlined here.
And by developing closer relationships, you could eventually become a Strategic Business Advisor to your best clients.
I have other articles on my website that discuss how to develop stronger B2B business relationships.
The B2B Buyer’s Journey
The real crux of building relationships is to ensure you are top of mind when prospects believe they need your products and/or services.
You do this by becoming the first company they think of when a trigger event happens within their company, as shown in the following graphic.
Before the Internet became so prevalent in our businesses, we used to find leads when the buyer contacted us to get more information about our products/services, or we would cold call. See the sales journey in the graphic.
And we would be one company, out of two or three others, they would contact.
Now of course, your prospects can search the Internet and get hundreds of leads without calling anybody.
As you can see from the above graphic, the buyer still needs to become aware that they need a solution to a problem before they start their buyer’s journey.
When they do become aware, then obviously you want to be the first company they call, before they start down that journey.
How do you do that?
You must start contacting them long before they realize they have a problem, and therefore need a solution to that problem.
The way you do that is by sending them information that will show them you can help them when they do need a solution.
You can show how you can help them, by helping them.
Isn’t that a unique idea!
You do this by delivering content that actually helps them solve issues now.
You also want to agitate the problem, so that they will see that they should solve the problem before it gets worse, and really affects their business.
You can do this by showing their COI or Cost of Inaction. I have three articles on my website that show you how to agitate their COI so that they will act soon.
The real key here is for your company to be there before that trigger event happens, because if they are not aware of your company before that trigger event, then you will be just one of many companies juggling for their business.
You also need to know, through research, what market you want to go after, who are your ideal companies, and the people within those companies who will become your best clients.
All of this is part of what I teach and coach B2B companies that want to grow their revenues at a much faster and more effective pace than they are doing now.
In order to develop the best content marketing strategy, I have written a short eBook for you. You can get your free copy here. 15 Reasons B2B Content Marketing Fails.
Thanks for reading, and please leave your comments below, and contact me if you want to see how you can grow your business faster than ever before.
Ian Dainty’s Email
Author of the Book – Grow Your B2B Business With Strategic Account Management
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