With the digital explosion, most marketers will tell you that you need to focus on your web presence to get anywhere with B2B marketing. For example, this article from Entrepreneur suggests that you focus on your website, web content, SEO and social media presence so that you can be seen and noticed by potential customers.
However, other marketing experts such as this writer from Huffington Post emphasize the human element by telling you to customize your services for your clients and get involved with your community.
Which of these approaches works best when it comes to B2B marketing? And do you necessarily have to sacrifice one in order to adopt another? Can’t you use the internet revolution to actually reach out to real people rather than trying to appeal to some faceless consumer whom you’ve never met? Coming up with a profile of your customer will help you to maintain the human element in B2B marketing.
You’ve heard of it on crime shows on TV but did you know that profiling can be used for B2B marketing? You must know what types of clients are most attracted to your business or your product. For example, if you’re leasing or selling office space to businesses, you must have some idea of what kind of office space will appeal to which business. Here are a few questions you might like to ask yourself when you’re trying to lease or sell an office space:
- Amount of Space. How big is this office space? What types of businesses generally need this particular amount of space?
- Other Firms in the Area. What other types of businesses are located in this area? Are they law firms, import-export firms, non-profits, financial firms etc.? Is this office space likely to appeal to the same types of firms that are already located here?
- Complementary Businesses.Rather than appealing to the same types of firms that are already located here, is it possible for this office space to appeal to complementary firms? For example, it makes sense for fashion and jewelry firms to be located in the same area because their businesses complement each other.
- Is it possible that the area is already glutted with too many firms of the same type? Would this office space be better for someone who is in a different business altogether, so that they don’t have to face as much competition?
By asking yourself questions of this sort, you can come up with some type of profile of the exact type of business that might be interested in the office space you are trying to lease or sell. And once you have a profile, you can market the office space to that type of business.
The above was just an example in the real estate field but the process is likely to work in any field. No matter what business you’re trying to target, you can ask yourself the appropriate questions to learn more about your customer’s profile.
Targeting a Particular Profile
Having a customer profile is just the first step towards B2B marketing. Once you have a profile, you need to ask yourself what type of approach would work best for that customer. You need to tailor your approach based on your customer’s interests.
- Coming Up with a Profile. Let’s assume, once again, that you’re trying to lease office space. You’ve asked yourself a few questions and you’ve come up with a basic profile of your customer. You think that the office space you’re trying to lease is most likely to appeal to a small fashion business with ten or less employees. Basically, an up-and-coming fashion designer would be able to make the best use of that space.
- Adding Details to Your Profile. If you study how fashion designers work, you may find that those who are just starting out prefer to work out of their garages and may not hire more than a couple of people. However, after they’ve been around for a couple of years, they may get some lucrative contracts and decide to expand their operations. So they’ll need to get more employees, get bookkeeping services and find a bigger base of operations. This is where your piece of real estate comes into play.
- Reaching Out to this Profile via Your Website. Now that you have this detailed profile of the type of business that is most likely to rent or buy the space you have in mind, you can reach out to them via your website, blog, social media etc. When putting up a description of the space on your website, you can mention that there are many fashion/jewelry businesses close by. You can also specifically state that this space would be perfect for an up-and-coming fashion designer.
- Reaching Out to this Profile via Your Blog. In your blog, you can go even further and put up some blog posts with tips or subject matter that will appeal to fashion designers. Consider blog posts with titles like, “Balancing Creativity with Practicality in the Fashion Field,” “Up-and-Coming Fashion Designers Love the – Area” or “Fashion Events in the – Area Attract Interest.”
- Reaching Out to this Profile via Social Media. Your social media pages can also be updated to reflect that you are trying to appeal to this type of customer. Put up information about fashion customers you may have had in the past and what they’re doing right now. Change the aesthetic of the page to reflect an interest in fashion design. You can do this with fashion-related images, keywords, news etc.
By profiling your customer, you get a better idea of the type of business you need to reach out to. This way, you can tailor your B2B marketing efforts with greater accuracy.
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