Small Business B2B Marketing Blog

How to get better B2B Marketing Results…Like Sales

Posted by Robert Hennessey on Tue, Nov, 18, 2014

If you’re like me and know that the days of bombarding sales prospects with your latest sales pitch is over. Then you’ll want to learn more about how B2B sales prospects use the Web today and how we can serve the needs of these business professionals that creates a Win/Win for everybody.
  • Start with relevant, high-quality content that is customer-centric. Avoid sure fire cannot miss sales pitches. Your content must help your potential customers first and last. It is all about serving customers not being self-serving.

  • Find a neutral B2B Web platform to spotlight your content. Your sales prospects know that: 

    • Your website is not a neutral source of information 
    • They will not get multiple points of view regarding their issues
Use B2B marketing collaboration to harness the power of community to:
  • Expand the reach of your marketing messages & brand to a wider audience than just your website 
  • Connect potential customers with your B2B resources 
  • Build customer trust through your participation in the B2B community 
  • Engage your sales prospects in building solutions together 
  • Establish your company’s thought leadership in your B2B community

We believe B2B marketing collaboration is a new common sense social media for businesses that sell to other businesses. The key in the connected world we live in today requires marketing your ideas and solutions rather than your company. Using marketing collaboration and customer-centric messaging done correctly there ultimately is no selling required. The goal is not to sell as in the past; the goal today is to engage and forge mutually beneficial lasting relationships.

Focus on the Content Not the Means to Deliver It

So by now everyone has probably heard of content marketing and inbound marketing. The foundation of these marketing approaches is predicated on the supposition that businesses that offer quality relevant content that increases buyer intelligence will be rewarded with informed sales prospects that will contact them and become loyal customers.

Underlying these beliefs is that 70% of people today go to the Internet first to research potential products and services to find solutions to their problems. This upfront customer research on the Web has had an effect of shortening purchase cycles, so this requires companies to make sure information about their products and services are available on the Internet.

Unfortunately, there has been a greater emphasis on developing software to publish, deliver, or monitor content than on the salient factor of these marketing strategies which is the quality and relevance of content.

Using marketing automation to barrage prospective customers with email and content downloads that they did not ask for is not the answer. The fact that you are targeting them is not different than direct mail marketing. Customers today have been empowered by the Internet, and they now control the buyer/seller relationship. It is not surprising that companies are looking for a way to reverse this situation. They tell themselves, “If I can only target the right customers at the right time with an email I will sell them.”

Today there are many marketing automation and software companies to help then accomplish this task, but it will not work for most B2B companies. Why because buyers are no longer naïve about ads, content or email showing up on their computer tablet or phone screens just because they are researching the issue of concern to them. Marketers call it contextual advertising.

Contextual advertising is where automated software systems deliver content (advertisement, content or email) based on related keywords or web pages you have viewed. Another marketing tool developed and taken from B2C marketing and now being applied to B2B marketing. If you have experienced it and I am sure, you have it is just as annoying as its forerunner the less-targeted banner ad. Now the targeting is better but there still intrusive and annoying ads.

The latest B2B marketing variation to contextual advertising is to use a buyer’s action of downloading a free e-book, article, white paper, etc. Using the type of download made to categorize the buyer as to where they might reside in the sales funnel automated software then kicks into barrage buyers with contextual advertising based on this assessment. It is called predictive marketing. The more I know about you and where you are in the sales funnel I can target you with sales messages that will result in a sale.

There is a couple of problems with predictive marketing you should know.

  1. Predictive marketing requires a ton of data on your prospective customer 
  2. It is very costly 

But again, we think most importantly B2B buyers are not looking to be sold. They want and deserve high-quality relevant content that helps them make informed business decisions, not well-timed sales pitches. Buyers like being in control and using the Internet to sift through the hype and find real information that will help them make better business decisions. Once they have the knowledge to engage intelligently with prospective suppliers, not as “predicted by sellers” they will do so on their terms, not the sellers. 

Bottom Line:
We say stop trying to manipulate buyers and give them what they want high-quality, relevant content that helps the solve business problems and they will find you.

Want to experience this approach to growing your sales with an affordable sales lead platform exclusively for B2B professionals visit IndustryArchive.Org.  


Topics: small business marketing, B2B marketing, b2b sales prospects

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