While consumer confidence has always been a fragile thing, at the time of writing business to business organisations appear to be slightly more confident. In fact, a recent poll by Marketing Week1 found that 19% of respondents say B2B marketing campaigns are still continuing as planned, compared to just 11% of consumer campaigns. This may reflect consumers cutting back on ‘non-essential’ spending; something that is much less of a factor in the criteria-based, approval-driven realm of B2B purchasing.
To prepare here are four things you can do right away…
Give them what they need
Ok so customers may not be buying right now, but in such times B2B audiences have been shown to spend more time seeking out quality, accurate background information to build greater confidence in the purchasing decisions they’ll eventually make. Support potential customers performing online research by providing helpful digital resources: how-to guides and infographics, calculators, comparison tables, downloadable tools – anything that can help them decide.
Email is a good platform to keep up your brand presence by sharing updates and changes to strengthen relationships.
Reach out and ask
Staff may not be in the office, but people are still opening work email* – perhaps in a bid to impose familiar structure on their day after an increasing amount of time spent working from home. With a captive audience it’s a good medium to quickly poll customers on what they value most about your existing offer. The results may help you create revised service branding that addresses any new priorities they may have more visibly, or to put together a strategically themed portfolio of products.
* Sent out one week into the UK lockdown, we noted that the click-to-open rate of our last email campaign was more than 10% above the industry benchmark for a subscribed database.
Social distancing and self-isolation have given many of us the time to re-evaluate; to focus on what’s important, which relationships matter, to take stock of our physical and mental health, while restrictions on movement force us to consider how we spend our valuable time. It’s likely that B2B customers are looking at their professional lives through this new lens too. If ever there was a time for organisations to use branding to highlight the deeper purpose beyond the profits and to communicate on a more human level, then this is it.
Build a bridge
You may not be able to diversify your business activities, but repositioning your brand can help by building a conceptual ‘bridge’ between what your organisation currently says and does, versus what prospect companies may be looking for in the future. Will your new position be an evolution? Can you combine things in a new way? The positioning process is also an excellent opportunity to validate any revisions to your business strategy and provide additional clarity.
Remember, it’s what’s happening in the world around us that ultimately defines the value of a product or service to potential customers. So make sure that context forms a key part of your new positioning. And to help you get started you can download our free positioning canvas here: https://www.emberson-brand.com/positioningcanvas/
Whether you’d like an audit of your existing messaging based on a quarter of a century spent in B2B marketing, an online workshop, or if you’d just like to reach out to someone, contact the team today on firstname.lastname@example.org