14 February 2017

B2B Marketing is Different

Marketing is not a one-size-fits-all practice. Design for a children’s toy store is not the same as design for a new biotech product with an international campaign. The specific needs of B2B can be complex and entirely specific to an industry and a company. It takes experience and a keen eye to navigate. And it’s a challenge we love to tackle.

So what does it take to have successful B2B marketing? What are the special factors and skills your marketing plans you need to factor in?

Learning the technical details

The details matter: functionality, process, outcome, ROI… and every industry has its own specialized set of technicalities that matter. A lot.

Not just any marketing will do when you need to sell a high-tech centrifuge or shift your software service company to a product company. It takes knowledge of the context. It takes the ability to learn the lingo, understand the players and be smart about what everyone needs.

Relationships are key

Purchasing decisions are based on relationships. The impersonal business exchange doesn’t exist. Marketing has to be personal and targeted. It’s about conversations and really understanding the client’s needs. Genuine interest and concern is critical. Out of that knowledge, we can develop marketing strategies and tools that help the message come through clearly: you’re there to help when the customer is ready to buy.

There are multiple relationships at work

Relationships are key. But there are often multiple relationships to manage at once. Successful B2B marketing requires relating with all stakeholders throughout the process. You typically have multiple influencers and decision-makers to consider as you have conversations and craft messaging.

And if you don’t have the right list of players, you’ve already lost.

This is where Discovery is key. We go through comprehensive processes with our clients and identify everyone that should be included in the process. Who is involved in the purchasing decision? What are they looking for and where do they expect to find it? How do they evaluate?

Personas are our final expression of discovery. We create character dossiers that help us really step into someone’s shoes and understand how they’d react and respond to a conversation, a postcard, a brochure, a video piece or whatever tool you need to develop.

And these are just the first three distinctions! Read our second post in this series to find a few more ways that B2B marketing is special.