With ever more tools and technologies to help you reach customers, it can be easy to lose focus on what is most important in B2B marketing. Check out these B2B marketing myths and make sure your marketing activities are based on fact not fiction.
1. Myth: The endpoint of marketing is a sale.
Fact: It costs more money and takes more time to get a new customer than keep an existing one. Some studies suggest the cost is about 5 times higher. This means that marketing has to continue throughout the customer relationship, which makes customer service a critical marketing tool. You might have won the first sale – but the customer still has a choice for next time.
Tip: Focus your message on existing as well as new customers.
2. Myth: B2B marketing is about uncovering hidden needs.
Fact: The average business buyer knows exactly what they are looking for. They have enough problems to solve without you trying to find new ones for them. Listening to what customers have to say and showing how your product or service can help is by far the most effective way to market what you offer.
Tip: Use your marketing message to prompt with questions.
3. Myth: It’s essential to spend lots of money on branding.
Fact: A strong B2B brand isn’t created by expensive branding. It comes out of having a great product or service and delivering it in a way that gives customers a positive experience of your company. Research suggests word of mouth is overwhelmingly the most powerful method of marketing in the B2B environment. This means that if you get the customer experience right, you’ll create enthusiastic advocates for your business who will spread the word through their network of contacts.
Tip: Your number one Marketing strategy should be to deliver excellent products and services.
4. Myth: The best customers are those who need your product.
Fact: The best customers are those who WANT your product. These are the people who will be enthusiastic about working with you, who will understand the value in what you do and who have the potential to be good customers in the long term.
Tip: Use testimonials to let your existing customer describe what you are like to do business with
5. Myth: To be good at marketing you need to have lots of creative ideas.
Fact: Whilst a healthy dose of creative thinking will come in handy – as in any business role – successful B2B marketing is about product, processes, people, and persistence. Offer a product or service for which there is demand, create a process that takes account of the customer buying cycle, listen to what customers want, keep communicating, and remember that B2B business is rarely a quick win.
Tip: Marketing the products and services that you are most successful with will give a better return with lower risk.
6. Myth: You should always show a PowerPoint presentation when meeting new prospects.
Fact: Prospective customers are interested in what you can do for them, not in what you have to say about your business. Use a few slides if you have something very visual to show; otherwise, go for interactive methods that allow you to engage with the people in the room. Use a whiteboard (the old-fashioned sort, with real pens), draw mind maps, or simply hold a conversation around the table, listen to what the customer wants, and take notes to show you are interested.
Tip: Prepare yourself for the first meeting by considering what questions to ask to get to know your prospect better
7. Myth: Social media isn’t relevant for B2B marketing.
Fact: Social media is online word of mouth. And as mentioned in Myth Number Three, word of mouth is the number one way in which business get new leads. Not only will your customers spread the word and advocate for you, you can be part of the conversation. In addition, LinkedIn and other business-focused tools are great both for identifying and connecting with the people you need to speak to, and for putting potential customers in touch with people already using your product or service.
Tip: As for all good marketing, do social media updates little and often, expect long term results.
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