The difference in promoting B2C and B2C companies on the Internet is fundamental. It would be a mistake to hire marketers who only have experience with online shopping. Also, a SEO specialist and a contextologist will not be able to cope with a large-scale project, which requires an understanding of the specifics of concluding large transactions.
How do conventional marketing agencies work? Website development, landing pages, seo-promotion and contextual advertising. This chain of action brings fast and reliable results, proven by many years of practice.
However, if such an algorithm is applied to industrial and manufacturing companies, there will be no result. Even with high advertising and promotion costs, getting targeted traffic in the b2b industry is much more difficult than in regular B2C sales. What factors will affect the conversion and conclusion of contracts, we will consider in this article.
B2B marketer is a rare profession
First of all, don’t be in a hurry to rejoice if a digital agency promises you quick results and sales. Be careful when planning your strategy, as marketers with experience in B2C often do not understand the specifics of working with large industrial facilities and equipment. Completely different processes will take place on your website, which are different from ordinary purchases in small and medium-sized businesses.
The first reason why it is difficult to promote b2b projects is the inability of marketers to work with such a scale of transactions. Now there are hundreds of targetologists and contextologists on the labor market who have completed a training course in 1-2 months and are ready to take orders for advertising at a low cost. However, they have neither the experience nor the knowledge to consistently implement the strategy, and they do not know how to develop the strategy itself. They are taught only the simplest steps – how to create an ad, choose keywords and set bids. These are just basic concepts that are clearly not enough for work.
The B2B talent market needs an experienced workforce capable of handling long transaction cycles and the complex needs of the target audience. Selling a crane or setting up a shampoo ad is a completely different level of thinking and employee scale. Considering that unique products are promoted in B2B, it would be a mistake to require even a very good marketer to understand the production processes and use of your equipment. Here you need to spend time and effort on education and training of personnel who will be involved in advertising and promotion.
The marketer and sales leader must have enough patience to get online promotion results. The transaction cycle can drag on for months, and this anticipation and uncertainty diminishes employee motivation. Understanding all the negotiation and decision-making processes will help you withstand this waiting period.
All the time while the client is studying your products, you need to contact him. Working out objections in a timely manner will help speed up decision-making, and “heating up” interest will keep the interest alive. It should be borne in mind that it is very difficult to measure conversion during long negotiations, this will affect the prompt adjustment of the strategy and the introduction of changes.
Features of working with a target audience in B2B
Manufacturing can have a wide target audience, each segment of which has its own characteristics. For example, a simple example would be the implementation of information security systems for the banking sector. It is all clear here who the target audience is – these are banks, and you need to work with them. And if we are talking about construction equipment and special equipment, then there are already many consumers, each group of which has its own needs and interests. Selling siding in bulk will be even more difficult to promote, since the target audience branches out into dealers, builders, architects. At the same time, it is necessary to speak the language of their business with each group of consumers in order to establish long-term cooperation. Here it will be difficult not only to organize communications, but also to build an advertising strategy. Technologists and engineers should come to the aid of marketers in such a project, who will prompt the right “pains” for each category of consumers.
In b2b, decisions are made by a group of people, so all information is carefully analyzed and studied by specialists. The opinion of financiers, engineers, technologists will be taken into account, but each of them is guided by their own requirements. Multilevel approvals, preliminary negotiations – all this needs to be passed before getting an appointment with the head of the company. Not every manager or salesperson is able to withstand such a lengthy selection process.
Where does B2B promotion begin?
Let’s note the differences that characterize the strategy of organizing the promotion of b2b goods and services. The basis should be the goals of the enterprise and the goals of the project, to which all actions of the advertising and marketing department (or contractors) will consistently lead you. Depending on what stage of development your company is at, the sequence of steps will differ.
Promotion actions will be completely different if you set different goals. Compare:
Creation of a recognizable brand,
Strengthening the brand,
Expansion of dealer networks,
Increasing market share,
Launching a new product on the market,
Customer retention and repeat sales,
Market capacity research.
This is a short list of goals that need to be realized in the b2b field at different times and at different stages. It is important to understand that the role of the Internet is much broader than just a sales and advertising channel.
How to best promote complex high-value products and services
If you want to save money, then try to understand logically – where it makes sense. For example, selling a crane or luxury real estate on a one-page website is unwise. Such a site does not inspire confidence, does not carry enough information and looks undignified. Typically, single page sites are used to quickly sell inexpensive goods, and not for large properties for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In the b2b field, examples of finished projects and official customer reviews should be mandatory. Moreover, all this data must be carefully executed so that they do not look like fake. In addition, be sure to use professional articles and expert reviews of your company, which will be published in specialized media (online and offline).
No matter how complex decision-making algorithms are present in your business, real people are still participants in the negotiations. That is why now such great importance is attached to the communication skills of employees who communicate with customers. All the efforts of marketers, the right strategies, big advertising budgets will be wasted if the sales manager does not answer calls and customer inquiries on time. It will be useful to organize wiretapping, which will allow you to track your work efficiency. This can be done using IP telephony or SRM systems.
Website for a B2B company – what it should be
The primary question when developing a site should be the TASK that needs to be solved. That is, you need to start developing a site from the goal we strive for. Only in this case will the result be achieved. The mistake will be a pretentious site design and a large amount of animation. These excesses are plagued by young developers who are passionate about gaming. Calm colors, restrained design, easy navigation, accurate presentation of technical information, high-quality photos, current price lists, professional descriptions of the characteristics and properties of goods – this is an absolute advantage for a large company website.
Show production workshops, equipment, warehouses. Photos of company executives and TOP-managers will show the “human” face of your business, and contacts of each department will simplify communication with clients. The site looks stupid with 1 contact phone number and 1 office e-mail. This is uncomfortable for clients, since there are quite specific communication needs in the B2B sphere. Going through the entire chain of switching of a corporate PBX will be tiresome, especially if a large client or company manager is on the line.
How is the effectiveness of promoting a B2B company measured?
In assessing the results of website and project promotion in B2B, other approaches are used. We cannot measure the results in terms of the number of requests from the site or calls from customers. Positions in search engines also do not give a complete picture to achieve goals.
What do we have in B2B business:
Long chain of sales contacts.
Long terms of approvals.
The set of people involved in the decision.
Lack of direct sales.
Difficulty tracking traffic sources.
Impossibility to quickly assess the effectiveness of advertising channels
Great uncertainty in achieving the results of the negotiations.
Since the results are delayed in time, the analytics will lag behind. Each project needs to define its own evaluation criteria, and they must be sufficiently objective and adequate. It would be a mistake to require the conclusion of a contract within 2 weeks after the launch of the advertisement if the transaction cycle is 5-6 months. The marketer is not able to speed up the process of negotiations and approvals, so it is important to take into account the specifics of the business. A business consultant who is able to organize effective communications at a high level of strategy complexity can come to help in these matters.