Monday, 22 August 2011

B2B Marketing Fundamentals

A conversation with a friend prompted this blog. He was asking how he should go about developing a marketing strategy for his business as they are due to launch in a new market. We had a long, productive conversation which hopefully put him on the right path; but it struck me during this conversation that maybe other people would benefit from a little help and advice.

So in order to share some of the basics of our collective experience, here are EWA’s B2B marketing fundamentals:

Your Identity & Target

  1. Clearly define and state who you are and what it is you offer (as well as what you’re REALLY good at) – develop a positioning statement you can use across multiple mediums.
  2. Decide on your target market – who do you want to sell your services to, what sort (and size) of businesses are they?
  3. State why businesses should buy from you – what are your USPs? – think about your features and benefits you offer.
  4. Decide on the best people to make contact with at your target companies – which job role would you typically make contact with first? (And who signs the cheques?)
Your Website & Data
  1. Make sure your website is earning its keep – does your site generate enquiries and leads for you, can interested businesses easily find you online?
  2. Track who visits your website – specialist software can give you insight into who visits and what they look at.
  3. Get your data sorted – clean what you have and then buy more if needed and make sure it’s in a proper database, not lurking on a spreadsheet somewhere. B2B campaigns either sink or swim based on the quality of the data used
Your Voice & Interaction
  1. Become thought leaders in your sector – give people a reason to listen to what you have to say – build trust and become a source of information.
  2. Write a blog – share your thoughts, opinions, advice and guidance. It will build trust in your prospective customers (as well as having SEO benefits).
  3. Develop a social media strategy – it’s becoming as important as having a plain old website – make and foster new connections.
  4. Use online business network tools – Make genuine connections and engage in conversations with people looking for your services.
  5. Get help from specialists where you need it – you can’t do everything yourself and engaging the right agencies can make a huge difference (do you know the difference between organic and paid search, how to conduct successful telemarketing, which PR sites to post your stories on??).
Clearly this isn’t an exhaustive list and each point on its own will be discussed in a separate blog post. It’s really just a starting point to bigger conversations so if you consider carefully what marketing you do currently, use the guidance above and make some positive changes, you should join my friend on the right B2B marketing track.

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