While every company devotes time to marketing strategies, it's important to keep in mind that there are crucial differences between business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketing.
Using the wrong approach can harm your business prospects, apart from wasting time and money.
This article will identify five of the most common mistakes in B2B marketing and how to avoid making them.
1. Producing Brochure-Type Generic Content
Brochures and similar pamphlets are flooding most people's mailboxes, and the recipients tend to set them aside or toss them out as obvious, unwanted solicitation. Brochures are boring.
That's why generic approaches are to be avoided.
You must create content that is meaningful and desirable to the prospect. It has to be engaging, interesting, and impart valuable information.
Think in terms of how-to articles, downloadable free content like e-guides and videos. Always end with a call-to-action to motivate the viewer.
All of this should be organized and structured so that prospects can easily and clearly see the advantages of buying your product or service.
Source Don't be shy about your experiences, philosophy, or credentials. You prompt interest by establishing value, but encourage trust by earning client confidence.
2. Sticking with What's Comfortable
The days when a company could rely on a single good product to bring in revenue are gone.
There's are a lot of competitors, innovations, and technological changes going on.
Source You need to update your products and services, and branch out into new sources of income if you want to see year after year continued growth.
Spotting trends or anticipating needs will ensure that your marketing is on the right track.
Odds are that your competitors are always looking to improve their offerings, and even your loyal B2B clients may switch to them if they can see additional benefits.
It pays to keep track of your rivals and see what areas or ideas they aren't exploring.
Innovation in business also means looking for new markets for existing products or services. Think about possible new applications, demands, or geographical areas you could satisfy to create extra or even major revenue streams.
3. Using the Wrong Social Networks
If you aren't marketing on social channels, you're missing out on one of the most powerful marketing mediums in use today.
These platforms have been traditionally used by B2C companies to engage consumers, but it's important to remember that most of these users are also employees or leaders of other businesses.
Social networks are a powerful marketing tool for any company.
Source However, the efforts to keep coming up with fresh, interesting content while also holding conversations can be time-consuming.
It's essential that from the beginning you learn which social sites are frequented by your target market so you aren't wasting your efforts.
Establish who the influencers are in your market or industry and find out which platforms they spend their time on.
4. Ignore the Needs of Customers
One of the great selling opportunities today is the personalization of service.
Creating simple, generic packages is an outdated tactic. Particularly for B2B companies, your clients will have a variety of expectations, and you'll get more customers if you can tailor your offering to specific needs.
This is where B2B marketing resembles B2C sales.
By offering each customer a personalized approach, you create a stronger connection, more value, and a level of satisfaction that will drive future growth.
Generalized, rigid business plans leave clients feeling alienated and unappreciated.
Getting to know your customers shouldn't be something that's practiced only by marketing researchers and sales staff.
Even the most dollar-conscious company prefers to do business with people they know and trust.
Everyone on your staff should understand the value of empathy, emotional intelligence, and honest and open communication.
Customer care must be part of your daily practices before it can be part of your brand. This will generate the positive feedback that takes your marketing to the next level.
Particularly with B2B operations, your customers are keenly aware of what best benefits them. You have to care about the same things to form strong business relationships.
The more information and insights you can gain into client operations, the better you can identify opportunities.
5. Not Establishing a Value Proposition
Even the most appealing marketing content won't perform well if you don't include a value proposition.
Your B2B clients must be clear on how doing business with you, specifically, can improve their own outlook.
Putting together an effective value proposition is crucial to transition prospect to client.
Your proposition states the chief benefit you provide, for whom, and how your company does this in a way that sets your business apart.
This tells the prospect unequivocally the problem you solve, who you can help, and why you do it better.
Before you create your value propositions, define whether this is a problem that your target market considers vital.
If it's not a, they won't feel compelled to find a solution.
Then evaluate your company strengths to establish what it is that you can offer. It should be something that no competitor can match. Then build your processes around living up to it.
Although B2B marketing differs from B2C strategies, they both have a few things in common.
That includes understanding who your customers are, how to reach them, and what they're looking for.
If you can define these, and avoid the five mistakes listed above, your company should see steady expansion.
What are the most common B2B Marketing Mistakes?
- Producing Brochure-Type Generic Content
- Sticking with What's Comfortable
- Using the Wrong Social Networks
- Ignore the Needs of Customers
- Not Establishing a Value Proposition
About the Author: Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer, marketing consultant and an ultimate tech enthusiast. You can find the longest content he’s ever written here. Feel free to contact him @bmorepeters