There is nothing, in my opinion, to beat that relationship between a B2B company and it’s loyal customers developed through face to face contact and nurturing; to ensure profitable, repeat business and referrals. However, b2b buyers are changing their approach to sourcing potential suppliers.
70% of B2B marketers believe that their potential buyers use websites as their primary source of information.*
The average B2B buyer looks at websites, videos, online reviews, white papers, content generated and LinkedIn. They are unlikely to make a final decision to purchase at this point but they will make a decision on who to invite for a meeting.
Your typical buyer may have grown up in the digital age and possibly know more about you than you do about them.
Your organisation is likely to be data rich but how often do you use the information or dip into the knowledge bank? When was the last time that you looked at the analytics and really focused on the customer experience, the journey and questioned whether you have you got it right?
Typical buy phases and the stages that you can influence:
- Problem identification – populate your website with relevant content for your target audience. Blogs. Video. Expert profiles
- Problem definition – populate your website with case studies, service outline, clear benefit statements about how you approach problem solving, client testimonials. Your expert profiles. Use LinkedIn discussion groups
- Solution specification – Produce White papers. Opinion pieces. Use references, blogs, LinkedIn discussion groups
- Search – produce good quality online content, develop a strategy for this. Blogs, whitepapers and video, distributed through channels relevant to and used by your target audience. SEO
- Assessment – demonstrate your industry knowledge, your track record. Make the most of your networks, speaker slots, editorial
- Selection – all of the above optimised, searchable, relevant and up to date, distributed on a regular basis
- Agreement/contract – flexibility, adaptability, commitment
- Monitoring – client care, feedback doing what you said you would do
- Customer unhappy with current provider/outgrown – be clear about your proposition, the value added and benefit statements
- More detail, scope possible solutions – think about how you present and how you address the customer need, have you asked the right questions, have you done enough research, do you really know your client’s business and market?
Remember there are different types of purchase
- New Buy – needs all of the decision makers – do you know who they are, are you aware of the strong influencers?
- Straight buy – once you have demonstrated how your service can help, vigorous examination of the phases is not usually required
- Modified buy – sometimes modification of the service is required.
Reaching and engaging with your target audience is all about:
- Building relationships
- Establishing business purpose
- Identifying customer needs
- Providing a solution
Make sure you:
- Know your service
- Know your competitors
- Know your customer/industry.
Technology is only a tool, an enabler to help you reach your desired audience but if you haven’t put a strategy in place then you may not be getting the best ROI.
If you would like to receive our outline on how to develop your strategic marketing plan please contact us using the form below.
*Source b2bmarketing.net in association with Sitecore