B2B is different

B2B Marketing is Different, Part 2

Dana Ray | Thinking | February 20, 2017

This month, we’re considering what makes B2B different. Marketing is not a one-size-fits-all practice. 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? It’s a challenge we love to tackle. If you haven’t read Part 1, please check it out.

Storytelling Matters

Before you get to technical knowledge, B2B marketing is about people. And people like stories. In fact, people need stories. We make decisions based on stories. The mind is not a purely rational space; so if you have the best solution, then someone will realize it only through story. That’s why we often look to creative, high impact video work–to get the story across.

You’re selling to a small, specific set of people. They have specific needs. You have to know those needs and tell them the story of why they should trust you and how you can help.

Differentiation Wins the Game

To succeed as a B2B company, you have to be different. You cannot effectively meet everyone’s needs. What is your specific niche? How are you uniquely addressing a unique problem? You want your audience to look at your work and think, “Wow. They really get our challenges.” And that can’t happen if you are trying to solve all challenges. If you claim your solution is for everyone, then it’s for no one.

Marketing can help throw some clarity on the process. It’s where you are forced to tell a clear story about who you are and what you’re doing. Mammoth differentiated themselves both in their services and in their visual identity. It made all the difference in their visibility.

It’s About Trust

Trust is critical. Every decision in B2B marketing takes conscious, thoughtful trust on the part of the client. It’s a decision with risk, and you better believe your clients will be doing risk analysis when they consider partnering with you. Buying a new type of window cleaner for your home is a low-risk purchase for yourself. There’s a whole different pressure when you are spending money for your company, in ways that you don’t really have room to mess up.

Here are some things that DON’T build trust: lazy advertising, an unsupported sales process or salesperson, and sitting solely on your historic reputation.

So how do you build trust? How do you develop new trust with new clients?

It’s about giving people an accurate view into who you are and how you do things. You want people to know they’ve got hold of the real thing, a true partner.

Here are some things that do build trust: clear messaging; addressing someone’s real needs; creating work that feels professional and industry-specific; differentiation; and great content and thought leadership.

What next?

These are just a few of the things that are unique about B2B marketing. The application of these ideas is specific to each situation and takes a thorough knowledge of who you are, what you’re about and who’s on the other side listening and engaging with you.

We raise a glass to you, B2B companies. You’ve got a lot of thinking and doing ahead of you!

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