Marketing for B2B, as many know is a different monster than marketing for a B2C business. We can take advantage of the way consumers shop in the B2C market.
I need to tackle finding marketing options for a B2B client of mine; my first thoughts were organic traffic, site rank, keywords, and some sort of “bull marketing” campaign in select demographics. I am not a marketing expert.
So I decided to sit down with a friend who is a marketing expert and get his advice on this wide-ranging topic. What we came down to is relationships, you have to build relationships in the B2B space.
One way to build those relationships is to give your new potential clients something they can hold in their hands, something that makes them think of your company. A good example is three-dimensional mailers. Three-dimensional mailers are something like a box they have to unpack; it is a great place to start. No one ever throws away a box sent to them in the mail. They open them to see what is inside. The moment they open that box is your first chance to make an impression on this new potential client. You can put anything you want in this box, but a small 4X6 card discussing their struggles and how you are a solution to them is an excellent place to start. Follow that up with some sort of tangible object they can take out of the box, and I am not talking about a coffee mug. At that point, you are well on your way.
When I worked at Classy Llama, we did this with stuffed llama’s and anyone who has seen them at a trade show knows how big of a hit they are. Sending a Llama box to someone is a way to make them smile, to remember the company, and they are intrigued to read more. It is one of the more brilliant ideas that Kurt and his team thought up over the years.
I admit the idea of doing a mailer escaped me; as I said, I am not a marketing expert. So a thirty-minute call later, and I am writing up a document to the client about what we are going to do for this mail campaign. The ideas start to flow, and soon we have an inspired design that will leave the recipient, saying, “I see what you did there.”
Once a new potential client has this box in their hand, your sales team can go to work. They can get on the phone and call to follow up to see if the box arrived, any good salesperson will tell you all they need is one foot in the door, and we gave them that in a little package. Now you have a chance to build a relationship, to get a conversation going.
In the B2B world, where purchases can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, you want your new clients to see you as a valuable resource. Somewhere they are confident they can spend their dollars and see success. If you’re going to get a company to part with a hundred thousand dollars, they need to trust you and that trust starts with a conversation.
The mailer we settled on will contain a 4X6 card of the challenges facing businesses in the manufacturing world who need pigments, dyes, and additives. We will be focusing on reaching out to product managers and purchase managers to start building those relationships. This process is a new approach in an industry that is traditionally averse to working through the web.
As you think about how to expand or market your B2B company or market your own client’s you may not be able to send out super soft plush Llama’s, or impressive foam hammers to throw at people, but the brand you represent, the people you work with all have value. Somewhere in every organization is something special, find that something special, and find a way to tell a story about it to a new client. Storytelling is the cornerstone of excellent communication; anyone who can tell a riveting story will be memorable. If your company is telling a good story, others will pay attention to it.