Most B2B companies these days have had one thought: get the information out there about the bells and whistles of their products and service, and worry about the rest for later. According to Forrester, this type of marketing has little lasting effects. Instead, B2B organizations need a way of presenting to their business customers that their products and services will have lasting benefits.
According to Business Marketing Association Chair Steve Liguori, “The majority of marketers find producing content that engages buyers to be a major challenge, and that’s for good reason. Our survey results show that the majority of B2B content practices focus too narrowly on early-stage buyer acquisition — which fails to engage buyers throughout their lifetime.”
What this means is – many B2B businesses sell products and services and spend a great deal of traditional and social marketing on merely mentioning the features of the product or service. While this is fine for customers who are not familiar with the brand, if B2Bs want their customers to keep coming back, they must make a shift in their thinking. Instead of the product-only approach – they must look at a lifecycle business approach that illustrates to customers what their products have that can last a lifetime.
In a survey entitled “Compare Your B2B Content Marketing Maturity” the following was found:
1. Many B2Bs fail to highlight how a product can help their businesses customers become successful. This is the “why” category. Why is a product useful and how can it grow or scale over time?
2. Many businesses do not put forward thinking insights or thought-leaders that can help buyers. Using research results and thought leadership can be helpful when promoting products. Proving that your service/product is better or more long lasting from third party research, can help with sales.
3. Many B2Bs do not focus on closing a deal (which if you think about it, is important for every sector of marketing). But while all businesses strive for acquisition, they often fail at long term loyalty. Forrester says that “While more than three-quarters of respondents say they frequently communicate to their customer base, only 5% make this a priority, proving that marketers are too focused on acquisition rather than long-term loyalty.”
It is important to gain trust from your B2B customers. They need to be able to count on you just as much as you count on their business. Communicating with business owners in a way that makes them feel part of a network can help you on your way to a lasting relationship. Customer service still applies in a social marketing platform and the competition for the best customer service is very high. Make sure employees and staff are highly educated on the products and/or services you provide and that everyone is on the same page about your companies standards on or offline.