It can be hard to think simplicity when you’re marketing a highly-engineered communications subsystem for the US military or software that improves the process of process improvement. These types of products have tons of key features, super-niched buyers and are usually offered with customizable options for each customer. Among other factors, this level of complexity makes B2B marketing unique.
Many of our clients have high-complexity products that need a marketing strategy that’s completely the opposite: simple and easy to execute. If you’re dipping your toe into highly complex B2B marketing, this guide is for you. Follow the steps below to get started on the right track.
Consistency is key when you’re dealing with high-complexity products and brands. The last thing you need is a complicated product with different descriptions on your website, brochure and spec sheet. Develop a messaging matrix to ensure that similar language is used for your most important concepts throughout all collateral. And consider developing a MarCom Plan, if you don’t already use one. The structure provided by this kind of plan – which takes all of your marketing activities into account and organizes them chronologically – can relieve your stress and ensure that your e-newsletter really does go out on the first Tuesday of every month.
Evaluate collateral via the sales process
Do you have cardboard boxes of marketing materials gathering dust in your office? Take a hard look at what you’ve actually used and what pieces are effective from a sales perspective vs. what you think you need. Speak with your sales reps and ask what pieces their prospects actually respond to. You can also use this technique to evaluate promotional materials. Did you find 99% of the branded notepads you handed out at that trade show in the trash can? Focus on creating marketing materials that your audience will respond to – and make sure they actually do respond through measurement and evaluation.
While your product may not be particularly visually interesting – most B2B products aren’t – using graphics, diagrams or illustrations in your marketing efforts can make your high-complexity product easier to comprehend. We’ve seen particular success with motion graphic videos for B2B tech products. This approach allows you to tell the story of your process, product or service in a way that captures people’s attention and communicates a clear message far more than a text-heavy website or brochure.
Is your high-complexity B2B marketing throwing you for a loop? Drop us a line. We’ll put our heads together and develop a simple strategy that works.