According to Gartner, B2B companies need to take a different approach when it comes to their marketing efforts. They need to focus on each buyer's journey for them to get things right. How does that impact your B2B marketing plan?
Marketing to businesses
Marketing to other companies (B2B) is different from marketing to consumers (B2C). One of the most important differences is addressing the need to pay for products or services. A consumer may need to discuss large purchases with a spouse, but can frequently make buying decisions alone. Not so for the business buyer. Usually, the person who is seeking a solution will need to build a business case for the solution, identify the amount of funding needed (and possibly, where that funding will come from) and then convince many people (a board of directors or management) of the need to purchase the solution. This essential difference means that in order to sell to businesses, you must understand and partner with the purchaser to make this journey as pain-free as possible.
Understanding the buyer's journey
The B2B buyer's journey is not a straight path, but rather a winding trail. Gartner has identified six essential tasks that are part of this journey: problem identification, solution exploration, requirements building, supplier selection, validation and consensus creation. These tasks highlight the types of content and assistance that businesses need from your company to help them complete a purchase. In addition, B2B buyers typically utilize a combination of both digital resources and human representatives at any given stage of this journey. This makes it critical for marketing teams, sales reps and digital content to all be on the same page when it comes to moving the purchaser further along the sales funnel.
Creating an effective marketing plan
Because the B2B buyer's journey is so complex, it makes sense to develop a marketing plan with these challenges in mind. While every business will have a different marketing plan, there are some tips that can help you build a successful strategy.
- Define clear objectives: Think carefully about who you are targeting and what goals you want to accomplish. Business buyers are people who have a job they need to perform, so your goals should encompass how you can help them complete those jobs.
- Update your website: Business buyers should feel that your site is credible, professional and answers some of their most important questions. The site itself should be easy to navigate and customer-centric.
- Evaluate your content: How does the information on your site address buyers' needs? Content should be curated to ensure that it is appropriate and not overwhelming. Is the content written in a professional, friendly tone?
- Appraise your social media presence: How is your social media presence being perceived? Does the content available on social media support your goals? How does it address the different aspects of the buyers' journey?
The right marketing plan means
Your company's specific marketing plan will look different from that of other companies. Your company has its own strengths, target customers and challenges that make it unique. W. O'Donnell Consulting's veteran team has helped many businesses and organizations understand their particular situation and prepare a marketing plan that is a perfect fit. Drop us a line today to learn more about how we can help your marketing plan shine. (Want a quick peek at how your competition is doing? Visit our website and try our free competitor analysis.)