For B2B marketers, the struggle is real. Presenting our products in a fun and sexy way sometimes doesn’t come as easily as it does to B2C products and services. Those Snapchat and Instagram tactics look fun, but they often don’t make sense for B2B companies.
Last week, around 1,000 people attended MarketingProfs’ B2B Marketing Forum, a conference aimed to teach the latest B2B marketing best practices. Here are three key takeaways to help you excel in your business-to-business marketing strategy and implementation.
1. It’s Not the Ink, It’s the Think
“*No personal emotions allowed in B2B!* This is what I hate about B2B, we’re made to think we’re marketing to f*ing robots” – @Avinash #mpb2b
Google’s digital marketing evangelist Avinash Kaushik took the stage and his message was clear – forget the typical sales funnel and start remembering that even though you are selling your product and service to another business, ultimately the decision makers are human beings, so your marketing should reflect that.
— Christopher Penn (@cspenn) October 21, 2015
Kaushik has a mantra for B2B marketers to live by, “It’s not the ink, it’s the think.” Understanding consumer behavior and what emotions and processes drive action is what separates a thriving company from a struggling one.
“The greatest CMOs in the world manifest great ‘think,’” he says.
2. See. Think. Do. Care.
Needles are to nurses as the sales funnel is to marketing and sales professionals. It has been engrained in us and it typically looks like this:Kaushik says the days of the typical sales funnel are over. Instead, every action and strategy we take as marketers should fall within the categories of “See, Think, Do and Care.”
Almost all mediums you choose to get your content across are good for at least one of the four categories, but not all of them. Find out how to leverage multiple mediums so you have all your bases covered.
3. Encourage Your Community to Share Content
According to Mark Schaefer, 85 percent of people who share content understand it better. He says the very act of sharing content creates advocacy. Employees give a face to your brand, allowing customers to interact with you on a more human level.
Companies should not only encourage their employees to share their content, but should create content that their already existing loyal customers and influencers within their industry will be happy to share.
Getting employees, customers and influencers to participate and share your content can have a greater impact on reach and credibility, thus shortening the sales cycle.
Don’t take the “human” element out of marketing from one business to another. At the end of the day, people want authenticity, and the decision makers for companies have the same needs as anyone else. Address those needs, understand consumer behavior and you’ll have great success.