(Guest post written by T. Nugent & Associates COO, Katie Cochrane)
Sure, B2B marketing is no new concept, but things aren’t what they used to be — and in order for your campaign to be successful, strategies need to change, because it ‘isn’t as easy’ as it once was.
But why is it more difficult now?
Whelp, it’s called technology, and in turn, it’s called users. Aka you and me.
Yes, B2B is one business targeting another, but businesses are run by people, and we the people don’t do things the same as we used to. Just yesterday, I was openly sharing with friends that 50% of the new brand awareness that I experience and the purchases I make from new places is attributable to something marketed to me on Instagram. Yes, you read that right: I am the quintessential, tech-savvy, educated, online user.
Did you notice that I said new brand awareness?
Because the truth is, a large part of preexisting or classic companies just weren’t/aren’t prepared to deal with the way marketing is today, and, as outlined in the attached article, a 2015 Bain & Company release states that nearly 90 percent of B2B marketing and sales executives do not feel prepared to sell to the digital-savvy customer — the evolved buyer.
So what does this shift mean for B2B marketers? Adapt in order to survive.
1 - Experimentation
One of the most underrated yet important aspects of marketing is experimentation. So often companies want a silver bullet, but there just isn’t one. Remember, businesses are run by people and people are different. Businesses today need to be willing to try and fail, and then try again. Experimentation helps you understand what works for your brand and what doesn’t.
2 - Listen up
That’s what MBAs call ‘special listening.’ In order to know the person you are targeting better, you gotta spend time with them. Follow your ideal customers on social media, subscribe to their emails, and join their Facebook groups.
3 - Utilize your circle
Co-marketing initiatives by you and a partner attract new business to both brands by amplifying the brands’ reach. Explore partnerships where you can cross-promote. When a company is featured or advertised in a curated email newsletter that targets a similar audience, the purchase rate is higher than it is for other marketing efforts.
Now more than ever, decision-maker positions of companies are increasingly being filled by late-20-to-30-somethings, and with so many channels to utilize, B2B marketing is only going to become more challenging.
How are you doing with meeting the challenge?
T. Nugent & Associates knows what works and we can help you reach your target market.
To find out what we can do for you, contact us.