In this post from Marketing Profs by Russell Glass, a number of essential B2B marketing strategies were outlined. These strategies show the change in the buying process driven by digital channels. Buyers today need more information before making a buying decision.
Business to business buyers today are under increased pressure to find the right solution with limited time and resources. They’re conducting extensive research before they engage with a sales person. That creates a new level of challenges for the B2B marketer. This article explodes old assumptions with new research. We have chosen two key points to discuss.
Branding is essential to support a long buying process
Here’s why: The B2B buyer’s journey has changed in the last decade, resulting in a B2B buying process that is long and complex, and it often involves multiple decision-makers. Up to 90% of the process is done before a prospect ever engages a sales person, according to Forrester.
Against that backdrop, creating awareness through branding may be more critical in B2B than it is in B2C marketing. Yet, many B2B marketers often fall into the trap of investing only in lower-funnel lead-gen marketing programs, such as SEO, PPC and email marketing. Those channels reach only the small portion of target audiences that are ready to engage today…
We see a gap between SEO strategies based on an audit of a current website instead of the company’s brand messages. Often the current website doesn’t reflect what’s unique about the company, or what it stands for. When standard industry terms blend with descriptive, long-tail keywords, the company can be found more quickly. And messages reflect what is unique and desirable about what’s offered.
B2B marketing strategies rely on the visual and verbal brand
Of course building the brand context–both visual and verbal–when a searcher finds the website is essential. This is where traditional manufacturers often miss the opportunity to grab a visitor in a blink and build their brand message. B2B marketing strategies today must appeal to buyers with short attention spans and little time to wade through complex information.
Repeat, restate and reinforce the visual and verbal brand to find success. Content designed to engage at multiple levels of the funnel reinforces the context of the brand to the prospect who is still considering other options.
Business to business buyers are people too, with 24/7 technology
Although the target audiences in a business to business process are also business people, their life doesn’t stop when the office hours are over. People are still people with 24/7 lives and the technology to be in touch all of the time. Those B2B targets have a bigger workload. The smartphone in the pocket or tablet on the home network frequently becomes the office away from the office. They’re connected all the time.
More than 80% of people check their work emails after they’ve left the office and 64% of businesspeople spend time on sites unrelated to their work while they’re in the office. The lines are blurred, so marketers need to be able to deliver the right message, synching it with wherever their prospects are online and wherever they happen to be in the purchase cycle—and engaging those that come to their websites, landing pages, and social channels.
Marketers also need to ensure not only that their B2B programs reach target audiences wherever they’re consuming information online but also that those programs be a well-integrated part of the overall marketing effort. Doing so requires massive scale and integration with existing programs and the systems that support them—to really unlock the value of your broader program.
We frame B2B marketing strategies on these key factors:
- Content and keywords (for good SEO) are chosen to reflect industry search terms and what the company offers that’s unique
- The visual system synchronizes the offline and online brand, so buyers recognize the company at a glance
- Communicate with buyers where they choose to look for information–any day of the week
- Connect with B2B buyers as people who want help, and don’t want to be sold. Provide helpful information when they’re trying to solve a problem to make a customer for life
Deliver a bigger response with an optimized B2B brand
We’ve designed our brand optimization methodology after thirty years of seeing what works. Centered on identifying the critical “point of choice,” we cover targeting your audiences, creating messages that resonate, and aligning the visual and verbal brand wherever your audiences can connect. This e-book will show you the tactics to boost response to your marketing.