B2B relationships are important for the success of the B2B brands and often their customers. As such, B2B marketing takes on many dimensions. When your customers are other businesses, you can expect a more educated consumer and possibly more demanding consumers. It is the strength and effectiveness of your marketing campaign that will set you apart from competitors and gain customers.
What is the goal of B2B marketing?
Your B2B campaign should be crafted to draw in and retain potential and existing customers. You need to understand who you want to target and why. Through careful research, you must establish a well defined audience.
Defining your target audience
The first step to understanding your target audience is understanding your company and your offerings. Understanding the products you sell, what makes these products useful or even essential to customers, and the brand behind the product will allow you to gain some insight into the customer’s motives. With existing information collected from past customers, your business can develop a profile or a buyer persona of your target audience from your best customers.
Buyer personas are modeled representations (based on research) of customers, their motives, goals, where they buy and thought and buying processes. Age, gender, income, and other relevant information gleaned from your research is used to create a basic profile. You can go even deeper by collecting information on how customers’ attitudes, backgrounds and roles in their organization factor into their decision to buy your product.
After you’ve developed the buyer persona profiles, it is time to develop the content (blog posts, podcasts, ebooks, webinars) and the conversations that will convert members of your target audience. Reach out to your targets through emails, cold calls, or social media. In addition, prospects may discover and contact you. Whatever the case, once you have made the connection, it is up to you to maintain and nurture the relationship.
What happens if your plan fails?
What are the potential consequences for not creating an engaging marketing strategy and targeting the right audience for your B2B campaign? It’s likely that the campaign may underperform or fail altogether. The most obvious indicator of whether your efforts hit the mark or not is your return on investment, ROI.
What does a negative ROI mean?
A negative ROI indicates that your marketing plan is ineffective. You have invested money and resources into marketing. However, you have not engaged enough customers or sold enough product to make your investment truly worthwhile.
For smaller business, a negative ROI can signal bigger problems. Although larger companies may be able to withstand the loss, small businesses may not have the surplus of funds to do so quickly, if at all. A failed marketing plan can be a drain of already tight budgets and won’t meet the goal of gaining new customers and connections. The potential loss of revenue and funds can be dramatic enough to force some small businesses to close.
All of these things make the use of effective marketing techniques in your B2B campaign even more vital. The relationships formed during your campaign enable your business to continually make sales while building the power, reputation, and strength of your brand. This leads to success or failure, so treat it with the attention it deserves.