How business is done on a day-to-day basis has changed dramatically in the last year, for everyone. The biggest thing to remember in difficult times, however, is that no matter the business climate, there are always some companies who manage to thrive while others struggle. Even more than that, there are companies who turn difficult environments into an opportunity that substantially grows their market share. More than anything, these companies increase the value they offer to their clients and prospective clients (rather than simply decreasing pricing for example) by becoming more human.
Think about it like this: if people are spending less money, they’re pickier about where they spend. Money is still being spent; it’s simply funneling into a smaller number of companies than before. The goal for any business in their professional networking, sales process, and customer service – their outreach to the market – is to become so likable to their prospects and clients that they become the go-to group for their industry. Becoming likable is all about providing the same great value, but with a high-touch approach and establishing trust. Once trust is established, the customer will then feel confident in pursuing purchasing a solution their company needs to grow.
How to Make Your B2B Business More Human Like
“Make your B2B sales more H2H (human to human)” – easy to remember and easy to teach to your organization. Human to human interaction doesn’t have to just be in-person sales and trade shows, though. Across industries, we’ve seen a decrease in face-to-face sales opportunities with limited in-person events. However, just remember that with every change in business climate there's an equivalently-sized opportunity that’s new. Money doesn’t leave the market; it just alters its flow. There are so many ways today to bring prospects highly-personalized content and messaging without in-person marketing, that still makes them feel valued, understood, and appreciated.
Here are some examples of ways that large industries are currently dealing with the changing business environment, and creating new opportunities through highly-personalized (highly human) content:
The New Approach to Manufacturing Marketing
Putting extra time into strengthening existing relationships and building new ones, on a human level. As the world has slowed down a bit on the business level, it allows us to remember that beneath every business relationship is a human one. Even simple emails, reaching out to prospects and existing clients about birthdays, anniversaries, and special occasions help strengthen networking connections. It may sound too easy, but letting people know – even if from a distance – that they’re cared for can lead to more word-of-mouth referrals and potentially large manufacturing projects. Sales people have been using this strategy for all of human history. The great thing with emails, also, is that this process can still be achieved in large scale, and automatically. Our company has the capability to individualize, organize, and send these types of emails without the need for individually creating and sending each through marketing automation technologies.
How Logistics Companies are Shifting their Marketing
Whitepapers and other sales or marketing material aimed at being educational provides extremely high value to prospects. It’s a great sales strategy. Instead of asking for the sale at a time when people are more hesitant about spending, provide them with more information about the industry, for free. These reports can be further personalized before sending out, with each prospects’ business name, the names of the company’s decision makers included, and specific examples for organization plans/ product storage/ and supply chain services relevant to them. All this takes is a little extra effort before sending, and a little research. When personalized, this kind of content strategy turns a whitepaper into a full-on report specially-created for your prospect. It increases the chance that they’ll do business with you.
How Marketing has Changed for Oil and Energy Companies
The same idea can be applied to infographics. Infographics are essentially shorter versions of whitepapers, shown visually. Typically, we create a full-page graphic that walks prospects through the ins-and-outs of the benefits and process of working with an industry – such as oil and energy. Anything can be included in an easy-to-understand way, such as supply of oil and gas reserves, timing, cost, and benefits of drilling, refining, etc. As with creating more humanlike whitepapers, infographics can specifically show each prospect how their company fits into your proposal. People love feeling included, and if they come across a specific mention of their company in a graphic, it shows that they are truly thought of and valued by the company reaching out to them.
The Role of Paid Advertising for IT and Communications Companies
Ads are always useful, no matter the economic environment. IT and communications is needed by virtually every company out there. It’s such an in-demand service, that even ads on Google or other large platforms can be very valuable. Since many companies opt to use ads, however, to stand out, they must also make use of the H2H approach. Ads that bring prospects to landing pages can allow you to retarget those same visitors, later. Segmenting audiences (something we’re happy to explain in more depth, if you’re curious) allows us to send specific ads at people who have... 1) clicked on your ad, 2) visited certain service pages on your website, 3) visited your site multiple times, etc. The more we specifically target prospects based on their actions and responses to your ads, the better results your ads achieve.
What Does This Mean for Your Business?
Regardless of industry, the above tactics are universally applicable. We take a highly personal approach with each and every client. Following extensive research and discovery on potential clients, we are able to identify which tactics make the most sense for their respective industry and target audience(s). To learn more about how we can help you achieve your marketing and sales goals, contact our team today.