Marketing your products or services to other businesses offers many different challenges that marketing directly to consumers. Here are some steps to help you optimize your B2B marketing efforts.
Understand your target market. Make sure you clearly identify your audience and customers. Find out who are the key decision makers. You can waste a lot of time and effort by trying to sell to those who do not have the power to make buying decisions. Maximize your resources by targeting the true decisions makers. If you are not talking directly to the decision maker ensure that all information and collateral stands on its own with a clear message. The decision makers may only see your summary so make sure it communicates your message clearly.
Make sure your marketing plan is aligned with your strategic business plan. It sounds simple but in many organizations this does not happen. Marketing plans may get reorganized on a near daily basis due to reductions in budget, re-focusing of ideas, or changes in sales initiatives. By keeping in touch with your strategic business plan you will reduce your risk and also make better decisions. This will help you to deliver your marketing communications with maximum impact.
Almost all B2B websites are not utilized to their maximum potential. Rather than thinking of it as an on-line catalog see it more as a strategic competitive weapon. It is usually the first view of your company that many people receive. What do they see when they first look at your site? A global leader or another follower?
Today the search engine results page for your company name is the new digital front page for your company. When you do a search for your company’s name in Google what do the first ten search results say about your company? Remember that this is what many potential clients read about you before they even visit your site! There are companies out there whose sole purpose is search engine reputation management. This involves making sure that the top ten results for your name are favorable.
90% of technical buyers use the internet to look for products. So make sure you optimize your business opportunities by being visible in the major search engine results. Optimizing your site to be found in search engine searches is critical in today’s economy. But this is only the first step. Once on your site the visitors have to be converted into leads. Study your web analytics to find out the habits of your visitors. Invest in usability studies. Constantly update the site based on your findings to improve the user experience. This has paid huge dividends for many companies involved in B2B.
Remember that you website is a low cost way to communicate your product and brand to your target markets. Also bear in mind that the same is true for your smaller competitors! It is essential that you stay on the leading edge of the technology and maximize your online potential.
PR is often better than advertising! However PR involves more than just press releases. A larger proportion of your efforts should be spent on case studies, articles and white papers. Successful PR also requires continuous dialogue with media representatives. Frequent contact and relationship building are essential. Aim to make their job easier by reacting quickly and offering full explanations backed up with illustrations and photos. Making the editor’s job easier will reap rewards and generate increased editorial coverage. Optimizing your press releases for search engines is a powerful and cost effective way of getting an instant message to a mass audience. It also increases your chances of being found by a journalist researching your industry in a cost effective and effective manner.
Integration of you marketing efforts is an essential part of your comprehensive marketing strategy. These efforts are not individual tasks but rather linked together with a view to increasing your total business. For example, search engine results are PR, or - your target market determines your web site content. By linking together your marketing efforts you will help build your corporate brand and generate leads. The end result is better return on investment and increase value for your customers.
Copyright © James Peggie
James Peggie is the Director of Marketing for Elixir Systems – a search engine marketing agency located in Scottsdale, Arizona. Their website is located at http://www.elixirsystems.com and their blog is http://searchblog.elixirsystems.com