B2B Marketing Strategy
B2B Marketing Strategy
So what on earth is a B2B Marketing Strategy and why is it so important? Well despite the lack of communication and sometimes darn right hostility between the sales and the marketing department, in our opinion you can’t have one without the other.
Perhaps the origin of this hostility is the perception that one activity is left-brain dominated, in other words, logical, rational and organised, while the other is a right-brain function, which fosters creativity, imagination and artistry. In reality I suggest if sales are good, then sales and marketing get on just fine, if not, one looks to blame the other.
However before we dig into this topic it’s worth understanding what’s meant by ‘strategy’. Personally I love the Miller Heiman definition; “strategy is the planning put in place before the battle, while tactics are the actions that take place on the battle field”. So by extension a B2B Marketing Strategy is the planning you put in place before you attempt to sell anything. Hopefully this post will act as a framework before the ‘battle begins’. I’d be delighted if people could add their own comments and experiences.
Understand What Problem You Solve
No matter what product or service you sell, you are solving a problem for someone, somewhere. This may not be as obvious as it first appears. You can have one product which helps solve completely different problems for different groups of people.
We’ve covered this topic in more detail here https://www.b2bsell.com/4-questions-every-company-needs-answer/
Define a Compelling Value Proposition
Understanding what value you can deliver is a starting point but it’s important to be able to develop a story around your benefits. However make the story as compelling as possible. People relate much better and remember stories more so than facts and figures.
So take the time to develop great stories that really capture people’s imagination and engage them. Just remember every story has a beginning middle and an end. Also don’t forget the best stories have a hero!
Research Your Target Market
The number of times we hear ‘everyone is our potential customer’ and it’s never true. Remember you’re solving problems for people and particular groups will have different problems.
Think of it this way, if you identify a distinct group of people and understand the persona of this group, your message or more appropriately your story will resonate much better with them, than it will with a wider group. Quote, “I really feel they understand our problems!” In other words become the experts in their domain or better again become the expert in their company!
Lead to Your Unique Selling Point
Use the mechanism of storytelling to lead your prospect to your unique selling point or differentiator. This is why your differentiator must be unique to you and no one else.
There’s nothing worse then doing all the hard work, only to then have a prospect put it out to tender, where goodness knows anything can happen.