Modern B2B Marketing Strategy: Integrating Human Face and Digital Brain.
Business-to-business (B2B) marketing hasn't evolved as quickly as business-to-consumer (B2C). But it’s catching up. Today, we are finally using many of the same modern tools to generate B2B prospects that we use in the B2C market. It hasn’t been easy getting here, though. B2B marketers have long insisted that their best marketing includes strong relationships and networking over a rubber chicken lunch.
To be fair, B2B sales are typically larger, and they take longer to close. The sales cycle is longer because there's a whole lot more at stake. So B2B marketers take time to build trust. Not just in the brand, but in the person or team who's making the sale. Legacy B2B marketers have a point – to an extent. The biggest difference in B2B and B2C marketing is indeed the human difference.
In this great age of digital marketing, we must be careful to realize that every prospective customer is human. We have valuable data, research analysts, strategists, and tool after tool that allow us to reach prospects with the right message at the right time. We are using these tools very effectively in B2B marketing to generate leads — or what we call "top of the funnel" prospects. Through smart digital strategies, we can make exponentially more introductions to the brand than a commercial loan officer can make at their lunch club.
But it still takes a human to turn those leads into big-ticket customers. So the modern B2B marketer should use online tactics to create more offline relationships — all of which leads to closing more deals.
There are many ways to develop human relationships where both parties win. Sponsor an event where you get the spotlight. This makes you a host and gives you the right to talk to everyone.
Better yet, create your own event. It can educate the audience on specific subject matter, or it can be all about fun. Either way, make it appeal to the same crowd, and many of the same prospects will attend.
Develop a webinar series. It’s not face-to-face, but it’s human-to-human.
Get booked as a speaker at an industry event. Who doesn’t want to shake hands with the speaker? Or have a beverage afterwards?
Bring in a renowned speaker. The VIP reception is hosted by you because you brought them in.
In the grand marketing landscape, B2B is a late bloomer. But increasingly, successful marketers have learned to generate leads through digital marketing. That doesn’t mean everything about B2B should change. Customers are ultimately won over on trust. And the easiest way to build it is eye-to-eye, face-to-face, chicken wing-to-chicken wing.
Read more blogs from VI President, Tim Berney here.