The age-old B2B concepts have evolved progressively in this fast-approaching world. However, a set of unwritten rules adopted by B2B marketers is still making noise all over the internet. Over the years, these rules have never bought desired outcomes for the organizations. Instead, it resulted in the identical-looking brands that lacked life and personality and failed to evoke emotional reactions among customers.
This article highlights such rules that are impacting the health of B2B brands unknowingly.
1. All Your Initial Investment Should Go To Demand Generation
Most of the businesses keep aside the initial budget of their company for demand generation procedures. They believe it brings in some new businesses, and they can focus on building a brand later, once they gain enough money.
As an experienced marketer, I would like to say that you will not get a fair chance to raise money and build a brand later if you don’t start it in the early stage. It is proven that demand generation and brand building have an interdependent affiliation.
To speak the truth, people don’t care about your products until they trust your brand.
Image Source: Business 2 Community
Your brand tells them why they should care, and building it in an emotion-driven way will turn all your leads into loyal customers. Hence marketers need to do a better job at building the brand along with generating leads for their business.
2. Old School Tactics Does Not Get Result in B2B
The new-age tactics, like social media promotion and digital marketing strategies, work best for B2B brands. But, at the same time, let’s not overlook the traditional techniques that have stood the test of time. And, not to forget, many of the latest tactics are merely the revised versions of the old methods but modernized for today’s generation.
For instance, the webinars of today closely resemble the brochure or research paper. In the same way, the present-day social media campaigns work surprisingly similar to that of age-old tradeshows.
So, do not give up on traditional B2B strategies. The ideal approach here is to follow both – embrace the latest methods alongside your traditional ones.
3. B2B Brands Should Always Sound and Act Seriously
Many B2B marketers force themselves to direct their marketing approaches in a formal, robust way to appear “professional.” However, present-day decision-makers are increasingly looking for who you really are. If you can deliver valuable information in a way that excites or entertains them, then you are a winner today.
Tim Washer, former senior marketing manager of social media at Cisco, says, “When I can’t find a compelling statistic to support my argument, I invent one: 73 percent of people who read B2B blogs are people.”
Check out this example from Cisco:
So, no matter if you are a B2B or B2C marketer, be witty. Entertain them if you want visitors to stay on your site. Make them think, “Why is there a cat on your home page?”
But at the same time, you don’t have to be overwhelmingly super-duper crazy kind-of funny. You need to discover the right amount of fun for your segment or business.
4. Overlooking the Effectiveness of Social Media Campaigns
Social media is an indispensable component of the sales process. However, most of the B2B organizations believe that customers don’t use social media for business reasons. And if you are one among them, you are throwing away one of the most valuable opportunities to form new connections and gain useful insight into your customers.
In today’s commercial space, B2B buyers research on social media before they buy. According to Social Buying Study from International Data Corporation (IDC), 84% of C-level and VP-level buyers are influenced by social media posts while making purchase decisions.
This study point out that social media marketing enhances decision-making confidence by offering easy access to any executive’s professional social network.
Image Source: IDC
Michael Fauscette, the former Group Vice President of Software Business Solutions, says business wire, “As the use of social networks expands, the gap between companies that use social networks for buying and selling and those that do not will widen, creating a significant disadvantage for companies that lag.”
5. Constantly Monitoring Competitors to Become Better Than Them
It isn’t surprising to know that most of the marketers look at what others are doing to figure out better strategies and win the game. But, to truly get noticed among your target audience, you have to be much better, say 10x more than the competitors, which is generally hard to accomplish.
So, I advise you to come up with a different strategy than a modified one. Being different in the market makes you irreplaceable as well. To put it simply, look at what others are doing in your segment and then curate a strategy that no one has done or dared to do yet. This makes you the best at what you are doing, instead of fighting to be better than someone else.
It could be your company logo or website design, forget the dull blues and grays. As an alternative, use a different design or bright colors like yellow or orange. Use animated images or GIFs originally designed by your team.
These bold choices convey your confidence. Making a cat as the mascot of your B2B brand takes bravery, which, therefore, drives responsiveness.
To Sum It Up
These unwritten rules of B2B branding are by no means meant to be followed. Break them, and you are already ahead of your competitors in the market. But, it goes without saying that take the help of your team to stray from the norm and create strategies that are not just attention-grabbing but unique and adapted.
Robert Duke is a Marketing Manager and Spokesperson of Blue Mail Media.