Like all relationships between people, B2B relationships require trust and credibility to work.
In fact, we could liken a prospective B2B buyer to a sophisticated partner who is well-educated, has high expectations and is generally intolerant of mistakes. And like in all relationships, there are certain behaviours that strengthen bonds, and critical mistakes that turn people off.
Take your website, for example. In B2B, missteps can sow enough seeds of doubt in the minds of potential or existing customers to make them lose faith in your brand, question your professionalism, or simply click away from your site. Once you lose that credibility, it can be as hard to get back as convincing a cheated-on lover to trust you again. And the result of lost credibility? Lost sales.
So what can you do to make sure you hang onto B2B prospects?
Are you confusing your customers with second-rate English? For example, did your company recently win a price? Are your people competent, and (by implication) not skilled? Are your writers to your webpage loosing you credibility with spelling misstakes, joiningwordstogether and split ting others, or not using all the write words – making the text that little bit to hard too read?
We all make mistakes sometimes. Especially if we’re writing in a second language. But if your organization has put blood, sweat and tears into creating an innovative product or service that stands head and shoulders above anything else on the market, doesn’t it deserve high-quality promotion? Shouldn’t messaging about what you stand for and what you offer be communicated clearly and professionally? Continue reading
There’s nothing like being forced out of your comfort zone to give you new ideas and inspiration. And what better way than rapid immersion in not just another business environment, but another culture?
This was the opportunity I was given on a recent visit to South Africa together with a group of business leaders from Denmark. Just a few hours after stepping off the long flight from Europe, we were released into Durban’s Central Business District. It’s a far cry from the sterile, grayscale business district of a northern European city. Colors and sounds line the pavements. People swarm over intersections, dodging the taxi vans, busses and occasional car. It’s an eclectic mix of cultures where urban dwellers dominate, but there are still plenty of people with obviously strong tribal roots.
For the next few hours, we explored the district, interacting with people to learn about their businesses and lives as best we could, sometimes in English, sometimes through an interpreter, and almost always with wild hand gestures. Continue reading
Choosing which channels to bet on is something that, quite literally, keeps many marketing and communication professionals awake at night. US-based Software Advice, an online marketing software broker with access to thousands of B2B buyers around the world, has recently published its annual B2B Demand Generation Benchmark report. The report surveyed 200 business-to-business (B2B) marketing professionals in order to understand which channels, offers, content types and technologies they were using to fuel their demand generation programs—and which they found most effective. Continue reading
Marketing technology firm Software Advice has released a new report on online B2B buyer behavior, detailing business implications for inside sales professionals in 2014 and beyond. The folks at Software Advice run a highly tuned sales machine where fast phone followups are part of the model, so they know what they’re talking about when it comes to getting visitors to move down the conversion funnel. And for the hungry B2B marketer, there are a few pointers worth noticing.
Surprising advice by Stuart Symington, CEO of Perishable Products Export Control Board (PPECB) in South Africa. What’s he getting at? Something deeper than just peace and quiet in his daily life, I’m sure.
How many business meetings or professional discussions have you had where you’re left feeling frustrated at being talked at the entire time without the opportunity for discussion or reflection? How many times have you yourself done that to other people? Continue reading
I recently read an interesting Harvard Business Review blog post “Marketing is Dead” exploring the views of CEOs on Marketing and business credibility. In the post, author Bill Lee states: “…. CEOs have lost all patience. In a devastating 2011 study of 600 CEOs and decision makers by the London-based Fournaise Marketing Group the result was that:
- 73% of them said that CMOs lack business credibility and the ability to generate sufficient business growth
- 72% are tired of being asked for money without explaining how it will generate increased business
- 77% have had it with all the talk about brand equity that can’t be linked to actual firm equity or any other recognized financial metric….” Continue reading
As a CMO, have you ever had to stand by and witness a smaller, more aggressive competitor win the marketing race against your own, market-leading company? And yet be able to do little about it?
Toward the end of 2013, I met the CMO of a medium-sized company at a conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. He was (figuratively) pulling his hair out over being caught, as he saw it, in a competitive situation that he and his team were almost powerless to influence. And he was having difficulty seeing a solution that could support top management’s strategic objectives. Continue reading
It can difficult to view any type of advertising strategy as being affordable or cost-effective when your company is behind on bills and is struggling to stay in business. However, if profits are low and you’re not generating enough income to keep up with financial obligations then attracting new clients/customers may be the fastest way to get out of debt and facilitate a turnaround.
While many business owners are under the erroneous impression that internet marketing is an expensive, high-tech luxury, the truth is that online outreach is a surprisingly easy way to spread awareness and generate quality leads. Furthermore, there are many ways to appeal to a targeted audience on the web with little to no monetary investment required, especially if you operate in a business-to-business industry.
Here are 5 internet marketing methods that can be used to keep your company afloat, even if you have nothing to invest but your own time: Continue reading
With exhibits to design and logistics to plan, it’s easy to see why so many trade show marketers neglect social media. Budgetary concerns and tough sales targets make it easy to write off social media marketing as an ‘optional extra’ for a trade show.
Social media and trade shows, however, can work together very well. With the right strategy, the right tactics, and the right best practices, your business can turn every trade show into a lucrative sales opportunity using social media marketing. Continue reading