What the World Would Be Like If B2B Marketing Didn’t Exist?
While this title is a little sensationalistic, it serves a good reminder that we as marketers occasionally focus too much on the idea of strategic B2B marketing and how it is supposed to work, instead of looking at the tactics that are actually unsuccessful versus successful, especially in a highly digitalized and mobile world.
Perhaps B2B marketers should become less intent on email blast and mass messaging for their particular audience and turn their attention toward what their customers actually want: campaigns may be more fruitful, regardless of inbound versus outbound focus. Let’s look at the concepts behind a B2B marketing world where the thought of traditional marketing didn’t actually exist, and real connections did.
Real Personalization Would Exist
Personalizing marketing to fit even the most accurate of your target audience can make a major difference. After all, Hubspot shared Janrain & Harris Interactive’s findings that “74% of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content (e.g. offers, ads, promotions) appears that has nothing to do with their interests.” While these findings weren’t specifically targeted toward the B2B sector, it’s a reminder that your target audience are still boiled down to individual consumers. Even though they may carry the purchasing power for an entire company, individuals still have their own opinions and feelings about what they are exposed to online by advertisers and marketers.
Instead of focusing on providing the greatest number of ads to the largest percentage of your target audience, look at how you can reach each person in a personal way. Start small; you don’t need to invest in an enterprise solution at the start.
While it may take more time and attention, the efforts to forge a genuine personal connection through unique emails, thank you cards, or even LinkedIn requests can go a long way, especially because it makes you stand out over everyone else that is throwing their marketing emails out into the mailing list wilderness and hoping they catch something. After all, InsideView found that LinkedIn generates more leads for B2B companies than Facebook, Twitter or blogs individually. Yet only 47% of B2B marketers say they are actively using LinkedIn vs. 90% on Facebook.
We Wouldn’t Have The Same Repeated Messages
Some companies run the same commercial or advertising campaign every year because, for the most part, it works. The example that comes to mind for me is the 20-year-old 1994 Cadbury commercial that appears on our televisions (yes televisions) before Easter every year. But what if Cadbury (or your company) decided to do something different?
Sure, it takes more effort to generate something new and unique, but it is that effort that makes people take interest in what your company has to say. It could be a brand, website, or logo refresh, or a more modern Spring campaign that rewrites the same “Spring into Spring” slogan your company has used every year since you can remember.
We live in a new age, where the power of choice is truly in the hands of the B2B buyer. Organizations that strive to answer the questions of their target audience by telling them how your company can help their business, now and in the future, have a much better chance of success. If you give people genuine hope that you can prove through real-world results and case studies, they are more willing to commit.
Creativity Could Flow Freely
Part of the new when it comes to marketing is the ability to be creative. While the most “boring” of industries could argue that there isn’t anything exciting about what they have to sell, their focus just isn’t in the right place. If the product or service is boring, focus on the outcomes and the personal stories of the people or companies who were affected by what your company has to offer.
Creative B2B marketing doesn’t mean a lot of flashy colors and design that no one but your graphic designer seems to understand. By turning your traditional tactics on their head and looking at how your product has made a difference, you are creatively telling your company’s story in a way that stands out among the dull brochures and over-processed PowerPoint presentations.
As a B2B marketer, it is important to ask yourself how your “world” would be if you didn’t allow the same old marketing tactics to rule your entire strategy. If it’s been done before, doing it over and over again doesn’t guarantee success. It simply wears out your exposure faster, making it impossible to get the attention of your potential customers, especially in today’s rapidly changing online landscape.
photo credit: Haags Uitburo via photopin cc