You’ve spent endless hours researching companies to find the best business partner for your product, then weeks collaborating on advertising and executing the perfect campaign. Yet, when the time comes, your campaign flops.
Unlike business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing, which centers around the customer, business-to-business (B2B) marketing occurs when a company’s productivity is measured through the products and services of another individual or entity. In simple terms—the success of both parties relies on each other and how they work together. However, if a campaign or partnership does not pan out as intended, both parties end up wasting time, energy, and money.
So, how can you prevent this and instead, find success in your B2B marketing? Well, it all starts by understanding the audiences involved, identifying contemporary marketing prospects, and then tailoring a quality, emotional message that aligns all parties.
KEEP IT PERSONAL
You could be a B2B pro, but when it comes to skillfully marketing a product, look to your B2C counterparts for guidance, writes Elizabeth Mott in her report, “How to Stand Out As A B2B Marketer” for Chron magazine. Center your business partner and think about what they would potentially like or dislike about your product. Instead of listing takeaways for a customer to consume, propose key ideas on why they would need a specific product or service to be successful. Not only will this be more useful to your prospect, but it can position your company as a client-focused organization that recognizes these challenges, rather than one that chooses to ignore them.
INFLUENCE WITH INFLUENCERS
Nowadays, influencers hold more power in swaying a product or service to consumers, and especially more so than any Big-Box business or brand. Research and partner with a public figure that aligns themselves with your industry, and you can expect to see consumers coming. The reason why influencers are so successful is that they connect with audiences outside of traditional means, and offer new opportunities to market a product, service, or even a whole brand, writes Sideqik, a marketing agency that works exclusively with influencers
Additionally, working with influencers can be a simpler, cost-effective strategy compared to traditional marketing or advertising processes. The influencer already recognizes and understands their audience and why a specific campaign would work for them, has their engagement readily available for companies to measure, and has likely already produced quality content. Adding all of this up, companies are more likely to have a better return-on-investment (ROI) than if they went with a traditional route.
GET IN TOUCH WITH YOUR FEELINGS
As a LinkedIn marketing blog wrote, “The most effective B2B marketers pair logic with emotion.” Emotion is so effective that even a Forbes article deemed it the “superweapon of marketing and advertising.”
Think about it: In such a hectic, active marketing environment, how can you ensure your company is standing out from competitors? What would make a partner—or a consumer—want to align themselves with your company? Well, by the way they feel. Emotion is the leading driver behind buying decisions and can be your best tool in steering the wheel.
Instead of telling a partner or a consumer why your product or service is a good fit, write a story that connects back to them. A Les Binet and Peter Field study on emotional advertising found that the top method to allocate a B2B marketing budget is by devoting 46% on building brands in the long-term and 54% on activation marketing that stimulates immediate action and supports sales directly. Emotion building stems from the latter.
But how do you find these emotions? Research and identify motivators. Survey a group of people to build and tie a story to. Put yourself in your client’s or customer’s shoes. Once you grasp this, use this insight to build a marketing strategy based on making emotional connections, from product launches and sales to marketing and service, writes Valentin Saitarli, a Managing Director at Exclusive PR Solutions, overseeing Brand Strategy and Marketing, in the Forbes article.
B2B doesn’t need to be purely transactional to be powerful. Utilizing these three key steps, along with the use of storytelling, is vital to creating a stellar, storytelling marketing campaign.