What hasn’t changed however is today’s intensely competitive environment. Online platforms and digital channels now allow B2B competitors from anywhere in the world to rapidly set up in your space, create some noise, offer your customers attractive deals and walk away with the business.
In fact, in its 2019 survey of Small and Medium Enterprises1, the UK Government found that the single largest obstacle to business growth is now competition in the marketplace reported by 46% of participating organisations. And with stricken economies keen for growth, international competition is only likely to increase.
When it comes to your brand and marketing, inactivity leads to invisibility.
So, until the economy is back firing on all cylinders it’s time to look at where your team can make some quick wins.
1 Reflect their new world
From the largest multinationals to the smallest microbusinesses, organisations across the board currently find themselves navigating a very different landscape. Any sales strategy based on business plans drawn up just a year ago may suddenly seem impractical or unachievable. Potential customers may have reduced capabilities. Holes in their supply chain. To avoid obsolescence, they may even be considering reinventing how they do business.
So rather than marketing yourself as you’d planned, revisit your messaging and make sure what you say now is aligned with their new priorities, themes and directions. Showing empathy in communications means they’re more likely to be well received and will put you in a more favourable position when the time is right.
2 Speak their language
Having worked closely with business-to-business brands for almost a quarter of a century it’s surprising how many times this one still crops up. It’s especially rife in technical fields where acronyms and jargon abound. While this may be fine when used in datasheets, elevating this language to prospect-facing content risks losing its immediacy. It also places an unnecessary cognitive strain on the reader or viewer having to ‘decode’ your content.
Instead use more everyday conversational language. After analysing over 5 million emails Boomerang found that those written using more universally-accessible language had a 36% uplift in open rates2 compared to those taking a more high-brow approach.
So write for real people, not robots. Be sure to use the words ‘you’ and ‘your’ in headlines to help draw readers into your world. And, regardless of how technical the subject matter gets, focus on communicating the emotive end-result that your products and services deliver: the human why behind what you do.
3 Make your valuable visible
With headcounts cut and resources stretched, the days when potential customers had to do all the legwork are long gone. They need to see at a glance not just what you do, but what you can do for their organisation. What makes you the best fit? It’s never been more important to make your brand and its offer relevant to customer businesses.
Think about how you can capture this in a nutshell. Can you put together a new (jargon-free) proposition that sums up your true value to customers in a few well-chosen words? An infographic focused on the right points can add visual impact. Quotes from customers about what you helped them achieve will lend an authenticity. Using the carousel format on a company LinkedIn post is an engaging vehicle for your new, improved content.
Oh, and whatever you create make it easy to share. In our experience if you save potential customers time they’ll thank you for it.
If you’d like to explore these ideas further or you’d just like to reach out, you can always get in touch with our team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org