As summertime ends, I thought I would write a post that adapts the back-to-school spirit to the topic of B2b marketing. So whether you are back into work-mode or not, get your hand on your buzzer and take this refresher as you think about for your fall marketing plans.
No matter what you make, try to design with the end-user in mind
Just as most farmers don’t know who is eventually going to be eating their produce, B2B products are integrated and bundled until it (or its products) are consumed by customers. If you’re a tech company that sits way up the chain, you still need to think about the end-user, just as a farmer needs to consider how to make his produce appealing so it ends up on someone’s kitchen table. The reason you need to do this is because the end-user is on your client’s (or your client’s client’s) mind. By building in features that matter to the end-user, you secure the interest of every channel partner, whose business relies on pleasing those further down the chain. If you do this, you also benefit by understanding the true value of your offering to the end-client, which can allow you to build more margin into your price. Many times, those who make widgets with no specific use, sell it at a commodity price to resellers who mark it up because they understand its value to the end-user. Avoid this mistake and you will maximize your profit.
Tailor your writing towards who you’re writing for
If you deal with decision makers, influencers and gatekeepers, you need to give each audience their own distinct marketing message.
A headline like “Download [insert your chosen product] to achieve 20% higher ROI” works on decision makers because they build-in the presumption that action should be taken. Decision makers want to act on rather than study issues; you can convert them by appealing to them this way. Note that influencers are the opposite, so a headline like “How your CEO sees [insert your chosen product] – see our survey results on what they value” will work better on them, as it can give them ammunition. Gatekeepers respond best to messaging that’s simple yet arresting, such as “Hear from leading analysts why more companies are using [insert your chosen product].” These messages convince gatekeepers that they should make their decision makers aware of the need to act.
It’s important that you know who buys your product. Your message to a technical buyer will include details on how the product is made – that’s what they care about. Your message to a non-technical buyer will be different, since they only care about the economic value your product offers. If you’re not sure who your real buyer is, you can derive it by asking for titles on your contact form. If your product is sold by a direct sales force, they should ask prospects which function they’re in so they can message appropriately.
Final Jeopardy Question
In summary, I hope I have provided some pieces of wisdom to help you reach your market. Continue to look for answers on how to best get your message out there – as they say on the TV show, “please phrase your response in the form of a question.” By continually questioning how your technology is marketed, you’ll find out how to beat the competition.