The secret sauce in marketing is to give prospects what they do want, and stop giving them what they don’t want. Easy enough to say but how do you accomplish this. First, the top three things that you should start doing, or do more of if you are already doing these things:
- Resolve to become a “branded authority”. A branded authority is an individual or company that is known and commonly accepted as an expert on a particular B2B topic or service area. Branded authorities are able to command premium prices because they offer a unique differentiation and compelling benefit(s). In fact, in the B2B services area, a branded authority can often command rats that are two to three times that of commodity providers.
- Create quality content. If content isn’t the king of marketing, it is certainly the crown prince, particularly when it comes to your website. Quality content is a magnet to attract customers, prospects and partners. But make sure the content you create is fresh and relevant. Also make sure that it serves the needs to the human audience (website visitors) and the search engine algorithms.
- Put a lead generation plan in place with firm goals like: number of inquiries, number of qualified B2B leads, cost per lead, and sales conversion ratios. Many companies can’t answer the simple question: How many leads to you need to achieve your sales targets? If you need to calculate this, read this article: How Many Sales Leads do You Need?
So what should you stop doing? Here are three ideas to get started:
- Stop doing what doesn’t work. I know this sounds simplistic but sometimes the simple things are the most effective things. Inertia is a powerful force and we all have a tendency to continue on our present course of action, even if it is not getting us the desired results. Do yourself a favor and fight this tendency.
- Stop wasting your valuable leads. By this I mean that if you are going to generate leads, make sure you get full value for them. Have a specific follow-up plan for contacting all inquiries within 48 hours using a defined methodology and qualification process. And if you fail to do this, consider this sobering thought: many of the leads you neglect will either buy from you or a competitor. Why in the world would you let the business go to a competitor?
- Stop changing your message/positioning every five minutes. Okay, I know I am exaggerating about the five minutes part but many companies change their messages too often. This is one of those areas where consistency is more importance than brilliance. For example, when we develop a brand promise and positioning platform for a client, it is always with the thought that it will consist of messaging that has relevance two to three years from now as well as today. Ask yourself “What are we becoming as a company?” and create your brand promise and positioning statements accordingly. And once you do so, relentlessly stick to the message.
I hope this gives you some good ideas on what to do, and what not to do, to be more successful in your B2B marketing efforts. As always, your question s and feedback are welcome.