BtoB Marketing: It’s Really Not That Complicated


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Economist, professor and author Peter Morikis has gained notoriety by the use of his catch phrase, “it’s really not that complicated.” His use of the phrase even landed him a spot as the spokesmen for Kyocera. While I can’t speak on the topic of economics, I can speak on BtoB marketing, and my experience has led me to believe that most BtoB marketers make things far more complicated than they need to be. At the end of the day, BtoB marketing can be boiled down to three basic concepts – helping customers find your business, finding customers, and engaging with customers over time.

Helping Customers Find Your Business
Buyers today are spending more time self-educating and doing independent research. Before a phone call is made, an email is sent, or an RFP is written, you can bet the buyer has researched your product or service. Therefore, you need to ask yourself two fundamental questions.

1. Have you identified the primary sources of information buyers of your product or service turn to when looking for information?
2. Have you developed a strategy to ensure your company can be found and will stand out from other companies that are competing for the prospects attention?

It’s safe to say that for most BtobB companies, the primary source for information will be internet searches, but there are a host of other places buyers may turn to for information. Places like trade shows, magazines (both print and on-line), industry trade associations, LinkedIn groups, and the like.

So how do you know where your buyers are looking for information? Ask them. A simple survey to your customers and prospects will identify where your customers look for information. You can then use this information to guide you as to what marketing channels you should use to engage them. Don’t just ask them once, repeat the survey annually to identify shifts in buyer behavior and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.

Finding Customers
Finding customers refers to all the proactive marketing initiatives you undertake to reach your prospects and generate leads. Examples include direct mail, email, webinars, landing pages, and so on. What methods you use will be based on budget, expertise, and the effectiveness of each.

Engaging With Customers Over Time
Most new leads are not yet ready to engage with a salesperson. In fact, a Marketo/ report found that only 25% of leads are sales ready. BtoB marketers can’t afford to focus solely on those that are ready to buy today. They must invest in tomorrow by nurturing non-sales ready leads over time through relevant, consistent dialog regardless of their timing to buy. The goal is to cultivate mindshare in a subtle and consistent manner to ensure your business is “top of mind” when a need arises. This can be done through newsletters, case studies, blogs, forwarding relevant research info, writing editorial content in trade journals, contributing to social media, and so on. The key is not to fall into the trap of only talking about yourself and being boring.

David Corr
David Corr is a Marketing Director at Contech Engineered Solutions. He is an experienced marketing executive that helps organizations build awareness, generate leads, and engage their target audience. David has a rich work history that encompasses all aspects of BtoB marketing included sales, sales training, product management, marketing operations, branding, and communications. David holds Bachelor Degrees in Business Administration and Political Science from the University of Rhode Island, and an MBA from the University of Dayton.


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