Whether you work in construction or the tech industry, B2B marketing is it’s own beast. There are a number of different tools companies use to capture their desired portion of the market. Considerable funds are invested in product research and development. Developers strive to make products faster, smaller and more reliable. The company makes differentiation in the marketplace a core focus. Staying aware of the consistent challenges in the market means you have to be flexible and agile enough to stay ahead of your competition.
This approach sounds easy enough to launch and manage, but does it really allow you to differentiate yourself in the market? Most likely, several other companies offer similar products and services you do, or they at least solve the same problems. How do you truly set yourself apart? To succeed in the B2B world, your brand must be your key differentiation. When you work with a strategic marketing company, there are a few things you’ll be required to do to strengthen and reinforce your brand.
Clean up your brand
One of the problems B2B companies face is the sheer amount of competition in the space. It’s a challenge to stand out in the noise and clutter. The market is overflowing with digital content, social media engagement, promotional material and a dizzying array of commoditized features and products. In order to stand out and make an impact, B2B companies must overcome perceived sameness. Your brand should be what customers associate with quality, service and even style, ensuring they will get more than the average experience. If you succeed here, potential clients will know working with you isn’t a risk. On the contrary, hiring you brand means consistent, satisfactory results.
Play up the emotion
Even in a B2B environment, people still buy from people. This means the emotion that goes into the typical consumer purchase can also be present in a business purchase. Decision makers focus on the benefits they receive from a choice made for the betterment of the business. They aren’t just looking to solve a pain point; they are also looking for ways to improve their own positioning internally. Irrational impulse plays a major part in decision-making. You can either use that to your advantage or allow the competition to have the edge by simply staying stiff, classic “B2B.” Understand how the emotion connects with your brand and really dig into it.
What is your brand promise?
Tapping into the emotional side of the buyer’s reaction to your brand is important, but buyers also want reliability. You need to foster relationships with buyer teams and purchase influencers. A brand promise can strengthen this. In openly declaring a promise, you create accountability to your consumers. A strategic marketing company can help you craft a brand promise if you are short on internal marketing resources. A successful brand promise should result in binding relationships with professionals who are ready to deal with your brand exclusively. If you deliver on the promise of a unified, consistent and satisfying experience, your brand will be rewarded with repeat business and long-term revenue opportunities.
Don’t rely on cold, B2B logic alone
It’s very common in the B2B environment for purchasing managers to focus on the cold logic associated with products and services instead of brands. These decision makers are looking at specifications, pricing, product performance, and metrics to name a few data points. You have to have hard, proven numbers to gain their attention, but then blend in a sense of emotional connection to the purchaser and the brand promise to ensure accountability. It’s not enough to simply meet a solitary need; a strategic approach to long-term satisfaction will be much more rewarding for both you and your client.
Don’t get caught in the illusion that there is a generic approach to B2B purchases. It will only hurt your company to approach marketing without playing on the emotion of a decision maker. If you stay staunch and stiff (like a lot of the B2B marketing out there) you’ll miss key opportunities for new growth. Pay attention to the value offered by your strategic marketing company, if you work with one, and how you can tie performance to your brand. If that performance is consistent, adds value and taps into the emotion of business buyers, the return on investment for your branding efforts will not be far behind.