There are more ways than ever to match your marketing messages to the needs of your customers with more personalized, relevant and actionable information. The more you can customize your content to relate to your best buyers, the more buyers you will attract, and the more conversions you will drive.
Here are five ideas that will improve your B2B marketing content:
1. Segment your customers and develop personas for each group.
A persona is a composite profile of a certain type of buyer. Your target audience is almost as diverse as the inventory you sell. By focusing on the buying characteristics of your top customers, you will see patterns that help divide them into logical groups.
2. Customize the most helpful information you can provide each segment.
Forget all the things you want to say about your company. What do the people you sell to need to know? Are you listening? The more specific you can be with this information, the better. You sell to a tough audience: business decision makers. So stop selling them and start telling them. Tell them the truth, that's all they want to hear. And never stop improving your customer relationship management, the more you know about your customers, the more you can help them.
3. Identify the most effective ways to attract buyers to your content.
Why spend your entire marketing budget trying to find customers when you can now make it so easy for them to find you? That's the beauty of inbound marketing, your audience is looking to buy, and your offers and information are there waiting for them at the right time, in the right place.
All of your marketing (emails, mailers, display ads and auction point-of-sale) should lead back to your website or a dynamic landing page that responds to each visitor uniquely based on the actions they take on the page.
You should be testing your messaging via A-to-B versioning of everything from subject lines to call-to-action triggers, so that your marketing is an ever improving work in progress.
4. Recognize and reward your best customers.
Many retail businesses find creative ways to reward loyal customers. Surely you can do a better job of recognizing and rewarding yours. They buy from you on a regular basis, and that's at least worth a sincere thank-you, isn't it? Now think about how best to demonstrate that thanks in the way of service after the sale. It's not always about financial rewards; sometimes your customers just like to know you know them.
5. Elevate and exceed their expectations.
Make the next business book you read "Delivering Happiness" by Tony Hseih, CEO of Zappos.
His vision for making customer service the most dynamic brand attribute of his company provides valuable lessons for both B-to-C and B-to-B marketers. If Zappos can make ordering and receiving a new pair of shoes a memorable customer experience, surely you can do more for someone buying business products or services from you. Seriously, read the book.
If I make this sound too easy, believe me when I tell you it,s not. I'm part of a creative team that's specialized in B2B marketing for decades, so we understand the challenges quite well. But we also see more opportunity than ever before to do it smarter, more efficiently and more effectively.
What new and different ways can you test and improve your B2B marketing? Think about it.
Billy Mitchell is the president and senior creative director of Atlanta-based B2B marketing firm MLT Creative. Located on the east side of Atlanta, GA, Mitchell co-founded MLT Creative in 1984 along with partner Glenn Taylor.
Known as the Idea Launch Pad for B-to-B marketers, MLT Creative's services include strategic planning, positioning, brand development, advertising and sales promotions for business-to-business clients.