The term B2B Marketing should be wiped from “business-speak” altogether.
Who ever heard of a big fat business with buildings and products and “a brand;” actually connecting with another “important business” on a meaningful level?
Businesses don’t make connections and decisions; people do! B2B Marketing Campaigns that forget this are flushing money away.
B2B marketing doesn’t seem to work very well for a lot of companies. Traditional advertising and email marketing can seem like a waste of time and money.
According to Richard Levey of Chief Marketer, “80% of the marketing and sales executives surveyed by Corporate Visions indicate their demand generation programs are ineffective, and poorly constructed sales material is a big reason why.”
So if business people even find their own ads kind of boring, how dull must they seem to their customers?
Pretty eye-opening, don’t you think?
B2B Marketing professionals can be the worst type of navel gazers! Click to tweet!
Most sales copy is all about the benefits and the value the company offers, but it does nothing to address the customer’s pain. In fact, most sales copywriters don’t even pretend to know what the pain really is! The producers of these marketing materials take the very high road and crank out words and pictures that illustrate how they can help solve this or that problem du jour. This makes them feel smart and justifies their paychcecks.
Unfortuantely many times they’re just guessing. They know their own stuff so well they think their customer wants it, even though they don’t — at least not at the moment.
Here’s a simple way to connect and dispel of that extra whiff of stand-offishness B2B marketing materials tend to have.
When you’re are writing copy for a business to communicate with another business you need to remember that there is a person on the other end of that email, blog post, Facebook update, or tweet.
REAL PEOPLE move these businesses and make buying decisions; not abstract entities. (Of course sometimes, you need to get more than one person on board to make a sale.) A company has a culture, a product, and a space in which employees work and socialize, but the people who make decisions have a lot more than that…
They are concerned with the age-old things: “status, security, comfort, fear, convenience, money, and all the other primal preoccupations of our species throughout the centuries” [Quote from Words That Sell, Richard Bayan]
There’s no way to imagine all the possible forces acting on that influencer/ decision-maker you need to reach. Think of the unlimited possibilities, needs and concerns:
- Leading a fired-up team through a new project
- Thinking about a sick mother at home
- Taking a lunch hour to deliver cupcakes to their kid’s school
- Hitting their sales numbers this week
- Pushing a deadline out to the farthest limit (no more wiggle room)
- Buying a new car this week
- Getting through the day unnoticed because they put on two different shoes that morning. (I actually heard this story from one of the most put-together business women I’ve met this year!)
- Meeting with that department head who doesn’t see value in their recent contributions
You’ll never know unless…
You ask them. That’s it…just ask.
You can do that, you know. In spite of your slick, glossy brochures and neatly targeted promotions and packages…you can sometimes show your humanity and simply say you ‘d like to know exactly what they’re going through.
The #1 way to know what’s really on their minds?
Forget the B2B Marketing tactics for a minute. Leave an open door and a way for your customers to voice their concerns. This small gesture goes a long way toward getting a vital champion on your side. Just opening some channels of communication will transport people from “prospect” to “friend.” (And it’s always better doing business with people you like!)
Decision makers are looking for other people to verify that your business is the real deal. Inviting people to a Facebook page or your Twitter stream (with pictures of people — not just your logo!) is a step in the right direction.
The amount of time people spend on social sites during the workday is rising, and they’re not all looking at pictures of their friends’ pets, checking Olympic updates or reading inspirational memes featuring sunsets!
Interaction with businesses on social sites is dramatically changing the way people do business. B2B Marketing that leaves this out will fall way behind in the coming year or two. Don’t let that be you!
Your customers are real people with real concerns. To make real connections, think “person to person.” Not building to a building, product to a product, a brand to a brand. Click to tweet!
Touch the heart of the person behind the business by asking their opinion and showing the real people behind your own business.
Only when you really know who they are, will you be able to drop the phony B2B marketing stuff that isn’t working anyway.
Looking for connections that keep your company within fingertip’s reach of your ideal clients? Stay in their loop, instead of hoping they stay in yours. Click to tweet!
Share your biggest frustration with B2B marketing..I’ll be waiting over on Facebook.