When providing services as a business to another business, marketing strategies only differ in scale from the approach used for business to consumer advertising. However, that scale is one requiring greater precision in delivery and client support. Fortunately, today’s landscape, replete with internet and intranet technologies, allows many support businesses the advantage to standardize their offerings without compromising the specific needs of each client. Because the reach is toward business executives and purchasing agents, the pitch needs to consider three areas that will guide the marketing perspective and experience. Think about the generally shared habits of entrepreneurs, what the target market engages in regionally, and particular preferences of specific, local clients.
A Visual Reference
To set a visual for discourse on this topic of business to business (B2B) marketing, I’m reminded of the brilliant strategy employed by Erma Bombeck to secure a position as a columnist for a nationally syndicated publication. She’d lost her husband unexpectedly and was left with several children to raise alone after his passing. Upon hearing of the editor’s favorite lunch location, she made it a point to visit there regularly, especially when she would likely encounter him. Permitting that restaurant’s regular patrons and workers to get to know her on a non-demanding basis prior to approaching him directly with her quest for a prominent post at his paper was key to her success. Filling the canvas with glimpses of her persona outside of her projected role helped him, and those close to him as indicated by his sharing time with them over lunch, to have the capability to more readily wrap his head around the idea of her joining their team as a columnist for his publication.
The B2B Marketing Approach
Similarly, every successful B2B marketing campaign will, first, ensure that its potential clients will have sufficient exposure to their offerings as related to their own office and shop management, or product and service delivery. Secondly, the campaign will aim to encounter relevant decision makers when they’re more likely in a relaxed state versus engaged in some company crisis. Lastly, all persons involved in the sales aspect will mindfully use their time, energy, and presence to access certain business executives face to face (think 60 second elevator spiel preparation).
Marrying the Approach to Campaign Specs
We can surmise certain givens regarding the behaviors of desired business executives, i.e. those who will experience growing success enabling them to pay their bills and require more business. They’re the early bird (as related to their industry). They constantly review the landscape of the economy and laws that may influence their industry, etc. They reason well and welcome relevant discourse and contemplation that may enhance their business success. They employ the perspective of their colleagues and co-leaders when making impactful decisions. They work out regularly. They eat well and consciously. They travel, etc. You get the idea. Make it a point to present snippets of what your business provides in places where these winners will see and remember the prospect. Use vignettes that succinct and clearly share the advantageous impact your technology brings.
Along those same lines, take the time to analyze the regional interests of potential clients. Is it the golf course, anymore? How about a cooking or barbecue class? Are the relevant business executives and purchasing agents leaning toward craft beers or local wines? Is the cigar lounge in play or the vaping room? Has a common source of additional, personal household income developed? What are some of the needs of their family members at this stage in their home life? Are they cruising about or flying, private jet or business commercial with V.P. lounge membership? Many of these places may already have or be amenable to the presence of l.e.d. advertising, the cost of which can be shared with like rank business offerings that aren’t direct competitors.
Accordingly, brainstorm and research the access points of your target market. Maximize word of mouth for your offerings by closely engaging local, potential clients. Utilize social media that caters to congruent or specific market interests and ensure advertising appears there, as well. Take advantage of the key difference between marketing to reach consumers versus businesses. Fellow business executives actively seek out opportunities to improve business management and productivity concerns. They do not mind ‘being sold,’ as long as marketing strategies address areas of significant potential for growth or savings. They will appreciate the marketing efforts. Recognize that potential business clients scrutinize whether they will want to deal with you as a dynamic team member, albeit indirect, on a long-term basis.