Professional services and companies that make or offer products and services to other businesses are often bewildered about how they can use the internet and in particular their websites more effectively and interactively to market their offering and to get leads. The use of technologies such as blogs, email, webinar, ebooks, online discussion forums are making it easy for B2B companies to innovatively communicate with their customers and leads. Whether you are a heavy machinery manufacturer, a Corporate law firm, a company that makes computer chips, your website and the internet can be an effective interactive marketing tool for your business.
Educate your prospective customers
If you can help your customers feel like experts, they are more likely to buy from your company. Business professionals want to feel smart, competent and in charge of their transactions. They like to collect all the data to make informed decisions So if the prospect feels like they are being pushed, they are likely to walk away, because they view a purchase as a rational decision based on information. Make sure that you educate your customers via a regular blog or online newsletter that explains your products and how these are able to solve their challenges or make their companies more profitable.
Create a New Framework for marketing your products
Good marketing doesn’t merely attempt to influence what people think about a particular company’s product or service. Good marketing instead focuses on creating a favourable framework through which people can evaluate your product or service. The traditional approach to selling a product or service is to focus on the particular features and benefits of the solution, and why it is better/faster/cheaper than the competition. Instead, create a new framework for business professionals to apply their specific industry experience, customer feedback and financial analysis to your solution. Rather than focus on price, your conceptual framework should allow prospective clients to better understand the forces that shape their business and how your solution is an integral part of their success.
Create opportunities to communicate
When you first meet a potential customer, you typically ask for a business card and try to learn more about their company. Implied in the exchange of business cards is the opportunity to follow-up with more information. Likewise, in internet marketing , create reasons to communicate high-value ideas and information to your business prospects, and balance persistence against overload. Create industry-specific email and blog distribution lists and forward relevant articles and upcoming events to both your clients and prospects. Reinforce through this communication that part of the ‘value-add’ of purchasing from your company is the added attention you will bring to the relationship.
Speak Their Language
When it comes to communicating to prospects that have different functional positions, a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work. The Finance Director of a company will often focus on price, capital expenditures and measurable return on investment (ROI) Your email message to the should speak to what she is most concerned about, ie costs and profit. Likewise, your communication to the CEO, the Purchasing manager etc, should also focus on their concerns.
Email Training Series
One of the best ways to educate your prospects and stay top-of mind is with an email-based training series. Allow the experts within your company the opportunity to help prospects and customers learn more about your industry. When prospects sign up to receive emails from you via your website, they receive a series of email messages at a regular interval. Inside the email is a mini-summary of the individual topic and a short case study that examines the practical application of your solution. A quiz after each lesson can provide immediate feedback on what they’ve learned.
Product Discussion List
An effective way to get feedback on your product or service is to engage your customers in the product development process by using an email discussion list or online surveys. Allow your engineers, designers and customer service representatives to interact with your customers in a discussion forum. After all, your customers are the ones who are using your solution to accomplish their business goals and have a vested effort in shaping the future of your offering.
Additional Information by Email
Give your prospects a way to receive additional information from your company. Give prospects access to a password protected area of your website where they can select what documents they would like to receive via email. An email based approach can work better than simply giving prospects access to an online directory of files, because many professionals use their email inbox to organize their content. Instead of relying on prospects to open a document from your website only to print it and forget it, email is a way to reach out to prospect’s inbox and deliver the information directly to them. Plus, you’ve just created an additional reason to contact them with a personalized message.
Web Meetings & Presentations
A web meeting consists of an audio conference call and a PowerPoint presentation that the recipient views by going to a special website and signing in with a username and password. Use web meetings to communicate product-specific information. Plane tickets are expensive, but if your prospects have access to the internet, you don’t have to leave your office or your country to present to them.
Teach the Gatekeeper, Too!
Many hard-to-reach business prospects have excellent administrative assistants that don’t always see the value of your offering. One way to break through to these ‘gatekeepers’ is to demonstrate how one facet of your product or service can help them do their job better. Because gatekeepers are frequently interrupted, avoid using scheduled web seminars. Instead, use an email training series delivered right to their email inbox.
is like dating: “It turns strangers into friends and friends into lifetime customers.” Develop a series of sequenced communications, designed to inform, educate and convert prospects into paying customers. If a prospect downloads a whitepaper, for example, have your system automatically send a personalized email message a couple of days later, asking if they have any additional questions or need further information.
For tailor-made digital marketing training and consulting, contact Chipo at email@example.com