Marketing has been around in one form or another as long as one can remember. It likely will never go anywhere, either, but it will continue to change. Marketing before the presence of the Internet looked much different than it does now. Even marketing strategies from a few years ago are becoming less relevant, and new ones are taking their place. In some ways, it is much more about adapting the old ways than replacing them.
The following are some strategies that have adapted and ways in which B2B marketers can use them to remain relevant.
Account-based marketing, or ABM, is a pretty common term these days- and for good reason. Instead of casting a wide net and hoping to catch a few fish, as was once the strategy, businesses now get laser-focused on decision-makers in targeted accounts. This may seem counterproductive since the Internet provides such a wide ocean, but ABM provides much greater results.
In the past, businesses focused on selling a product or service. It was much more about the actual items being sold. That just does not cut it anymore. With so many products out there, B2B marketing strategies need to focus instead on what that product or service provides. For instance, there are numerous virtual assistants available for hire on a daily basis. With so many options, businesses will not just hire the first one they come across because their title is “Virtual Assistant.”
Instead, they will look for the VA that will provide the most benefits for them. What can that VA do for them? How will this particular VA simplify their life or work? Marketing strategies need to focus on the solutions a product or service will provide instead of the product itself. Additionally, putting long-tail SEO to work will help ensure that most of those who find you are those that are actually looking for your solution.
Though much of the younger generation will not believe it, there was a time that you actually had to search for a product you wanted- in person. Consumers would see an advertisement, then have to go into different stores to see if they sold it. If you were lucky, the end of the advertisement would tell you where it could be found. Basically, customers had to come to you.
Nowadays, with the internet full of elements that only require the click of a button to purchase, it is extremely important to go to your customers, instead. This requires making yourself present on every platform that they are on and making yourself known. Social media might pop into your mind first, and it is important, but using influencers, such as podcast hosts and bloggers, is also a very wise move. Your product or service needs to be seen by your client. Jumping in front of them is about the only sure way to make that happen.
Price was once an extremely important factor in marketing strategies. The price had to be competitive while not underselling your product. A price being too high meant that your customer would just go elsewhere. A price too low would not only make a product seem cheap but may also cost a company money. Though the price is still important, the value of an item is even more so. Even if your product price is set high, your B2B clients will often look deeper to know what it can do for them. If the benefits the client receives outweigh the cost, you will likely gain that sell.
The old way of marketing a product was all about advertisement and promotion, but it is just no longer as effective as it once was. And there is a good reason for that. B2B marketers have learned to converse with and educate their clients, and it seems to have much greater results. Why is that?
Have you ever seen a used car commercial where some guy is very loudly talking about his cars and his sales? Most people find those annoying as it seems like he is just yelling at his viewers. You might remember the commercial but probably not a thing he said.
On the other hand, how much attention do you pay to medication commercials? Many people joke about all of the warnings at the end sounding a little ridiculous, but the point is that they pay attention all the way to that part. Though that medication may not apply to them directly, the next time they hear a friend or relative complain about those symptoms, the medication will pop into their heads.
It is hard not to pay attention to those advertisements, as they are both relatable and educational. When B2B marketers begin to have conversations with and educate their clients or potential clients, they will have much greater results. This is another area where influencer marketing can come into play, especially popular podcasts. However, creating your own videos and audio recordings can be very effective, too. Lastly, providing long-form educational content, such as infographics, often place you as more of an authority in your field.
The Journey is No Longer a Straight Line
Where a customer journey was once a very linear approach, that is no longer the case. Different customers will respond in different ways, so a one size fits all approach is not effective. Instead of bemoaning this fact, marketers should view it as an opportunity to really “speak” to their clients. By setting up marketing automation for different responses, you are making each customer journey a personalized one.
As time goes on, many things change yet many stay the same. Though marketing strategies have always revolved around consumers in some way, how that happens constantly changes. For a business to remain relevant and competitive, it must adapt to new ways. Consider your current marketing strategy: how relevant is it in today’s world? Determine what needs to change and what should stay the same, and put your new strategy into play.
Want to know what the new B2B marketing world looks like? Let Bython Media take you on a journey. Contact us today.