When you’re researching marketing ideas for your company, you’ll likely come across loads of advice that doesn’t apply to your business model. Most marketing advice is aimed at companies that sell directly to consumers, which usually isn’t relevant to B2B marketing. When you’re a business selling to other businesses, you have a whole new set of rules to follow. Here are some of the best B2B marketing strategy trends that will help your sales shoot through the roof.
1. There’s No Such Thing as “Digital Marketing”
You’ve probably heard the term “digital marketing” many times throughout your career. At one time, digital marketing was a unique concept, completely separate from typical “marketing” because it focused on internet campaigns, social media, etc. In today’s B2B marketing world, digital marketing doesn’t exist because absolutely everyone uses the internet. “Digital marketing” is so ingrained in our lives that the “digital” aspect is understood, and it’s all just “marketing” now. That being said, if you’re not taking advantage of the capabilities of the internet already, do it now. Today’s businesses can’t thrive without a great website — that’s why we’re advocates of growth-driven design.
2. Treat Business Customers as Individuals
It goes against the traditional idea of marketing to businesses, but even your potential B2B customers want to be treated as individuals. In addition to inbound marketing, account-based marketing is an essential function of effective marketing. Account-based marketing means tailoring strategies to go after specific business prospects or accounts. Studies show that today’s executives let their personal preferences influence their business lives, and that includes purchasing decisions. Focus on the customer experience (CX), showing each contact person that you see them as an individual, appreciate their input and value them. This may be the most crucial aspect of your marketing strategy; it’s all about customer perception – and an individual approach gives you an advantage over agencies painting by the numbers.
3. Focus on Sales Enablement
To ensure that each customer interaction with your sales team is a positive one, you’ll need to focus on sales enablement. In short, sales enablement is the process of ensuring that your sales team has all of the resources necessary to interact positively with potential customers – each and every time they make contact. Sales enablement doesn’t follow any certain path. Instead, the correct sales enablement strategy differs from one company to the next. This strategy may include automation, seminars, training, and analysis. Whichever method (or methods) you choose, make sure you have a plan in place before you start marketing.
4. Don’t Forget Advocate Marketing
Once you’ve snagged a happy customer, don’t think your job is done. Your goal is to make that customer as happy as possible. Eventually, you’ll ask them to tell other businesses that they like your product and recommend it. To successfully utilize advocate marketing, you’ll want to identify your top customers – generally the ones with the most connections – and convince them that your product or service is so exceptional that everyone needs to know about it.
B2B marketing is a bit more complex than B2C marketing, but it can be successful with the right strategy. Your first step is to formulate a plan based on the current trends, then share it with your entire sales team – and others within your organization, if necessary. Strive to treat potential customers as individuals from the get-go, tailoring your pitches to their business needs and connecting with them in unique ways. Once they become satisfied customers, go the extra mile to earn their respect, then ask for their support. When this process is completed successfully, your sales will see a huge boost.