5 Ways To Make B2B Communications More Effective

 five quick tips for making your communications more powerfulWhat is your one competitive advantage – smarter? faster? cheaper? – or the most service-driven player in the field? You need to find it and communicate it. Because being all things to all people went out with floppy disks and slide projectors.

This insight comes from Bill Faust, managing partner at Ologie. I’m sharing his original article combined with an updated version from the Ologie site: Think B2B doesn’t apply to you? Think again.

Use these 5 tips to power up your B2B marketing

5 Tips fopr making B2B communications more powerfulCommunicating with a business audience is very different from talking to consumers. And this is important because just about organization has to do both.

Here are five quick tips for making your communications more powerful, B2B or not.

1. Simplify the complex

Channel Marketing Can Help You Through The Customer MazeDon’t hide behind your jargon. Every potential client or prospect wants the plain truth – straight talk, simple terms and no-nonsense explanations.

Regardless of how complex the product or service, avoid the temptation of using complicated explanations and overly technical copy to make your selling point. You understand it, your customers might not.

Break it down into simple chunks and focus on the benefits. Skip the laundry list and focus on the relevant results. Walk step by step through your business. It’s complex information. Show them that you’re smart enough to keep it simple.

 2. Focus on the benefits

In any industry, it’s easy to get caught up in who you are and what you do: your products, your services, your offers, your approach, and your capabilities. But your clients would rather hear about what’s in it for them. As you communicate, stay focused on the benefits—what you will do for clients. You’re bound to make more connections that way.

3. Consistency, consistency, consistency

Consistency Consistency ConsistencyIn real estate, it’s location, in B2B it’s consistency. Consistent execution. Consistent branding. Consistent focus.

This is especially true for communications. From your website to collateral to PowerPoint presentations, show a clear and consistent image with a single, powerful voice. One-eyed branding. There’s too much competition out there already – don’t add to that by looking like two companies instead of one.

4. Make the intangible tangible

confused-manNo matter what you’re selling, from legal advice to IT consulting to business insurance, there are ways to make intangible products and services tangible.

Use narratives, metaphors, analogies, and case studies. Lean on video, photography, and infographics. Make what you do more tangible, and you’ll quickly transform your communications.

Remember; just because you get it doesn’t mean your customers do. You live it, every day. And, believe it or not, that can be a disadvantage.

So think like your prospect.  Get in their head. Step back and ask the dumb questions. The same questions your customer is probably asking all the time. After all, a little naivete can go a long way.

5. Be bold and behold

keep-calm-and-be-boldB2B doesn’t mean your marketing has to be like watching paint dry. Differentiate your company and your offer by being bold and taking some chances. Stand out in the crowd. Use your communications to get noticed and get your message to cut through in a crowded marketplace.

Many marketers assume that they have to be emotionless, or they won’t be taken seriously. Nonsense. Most B2B marketing requires communicating with senior management. Don’t underestimate them. They’re educated, sophisticated and well-traveled. They get humor and subtle messaging. They appreciate the unexpected. They look for out-of-the-box thinking. Show all of that in your communications.

Use your communications to stand out in the crowd, and you’ll get your message across. The safe road isn’t always the one leading to prosperity.

Good Selling!

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19 Social Media Marketing Facts You Need To Know

Every now and then you come across some stats that tell a story better than any how to article ever could. These fast facts will arm you for those corporate arguments that generally start with “why are you spending time on social media” and end with the boss asking for “what’s the ROI?”

  1. $8.3 billion will be spent only on social media advertising in the upcoming year.
  2. Integration of social media with retail businesses will increase the number of people who share products on their personal profiles for up to 60%.
  3. 96% – 89% – 84% The percentage of social media advertisers that measure fans, traffic and mentions.
  4. Almost 46% of the people who want to buy a product will check out the social media page of the company or product they’re trying to buy.
  5. 67% – 78% marks the increase of companies that have specialized social media teams compared to 2012 stats.
  6. 66% internet marketers believe that social media affects their business, but only 9% of them actually know how to measure this impact in their revenue statement.
  7. The total amount of social media marketing budgets will increase its value by 100% over the span of five years from now.
  8. Consumer comments are important because the customers is on the first place after all, but only 20% of those comments get a response and the average time that companies spend in figuring out that response is 11 hours.
  9. 17% of bloggers and internet marketeers plan to improve their podcast or introduce them to their online business.
  10. B2B entities need to improve their social media exposure because 85% of buyers in this sector think that these companies should present their info pack on the social grid.
  11. Facebook stands as the number one influencer when it comes to online purchases in the US. Over 47% of American say that they check the validity of the product on Facebook.
  12. Facebook has a usage rate of over 94% in the B2C sector when it comes to social media platforms.
  13. Two thirds of the marketers that are active on Facebook claim how they’ve gained new customers using paid advertising.
  14. The same number stands for a post engagement in its first 5 hours after publishing.
  15. On the other hand only 34% of marketeers use Twitter to create a list of leads.
  16. 28% of the retweets you see on tweeter happen due to the fact that many marketeers include the “please RT” phrase in their posts.
  17. Google+ is a lonely rider on the Internet, but this is due to change because 19% of online marketeers plan to increase their activity on this social platform.
  18. 40% – 70% – 67% is the number of marketeers that use, want to learn more, plan to increase their activities on Google+.
  19. Users still spend four times more time on Tumblr and Pinterist rather than on Twitter

The original post was written by Aleksandar Spasevski and can be found at 19 Social Media Marketing Facts You Haven’t Known About.

Good Selling!

Image credit: Twin Design | Shutterstock

Active Search Results (ASR) is an independent Internet Search Engine using a proprietary page ranking technology with Millions of popular Web sites indexed.

How To Tell If It’s Time To Fire Your Ad Agency

Should You Fire Your Ad AgencyGoing through an ad agency review for a is both difficult and energizing. Every meeting brings new insights. You see opportunities, solid creative and begin to see how this could help bridge some of your sales gaps.

Make no mistake, the effort involved is overwhelming in identifying and selecting a new marketing communications firm. Programs are on hold and the team is making do because the compelling new marketing theme/tagline/look is just around the corner. That’s the hope anyway.

Is it time to fire your ad agency?

Is It Time To Fire Your Ad AgencyMark Mitchell and I discuss this topic in length in his recent blog Is it Time to Fire Your Agency? posted on Whizard Strategy.

While there are a few good B2B client/agency relationships, Mark has seen over and over that find the majority of them are not very strong.  The result is that the client doesn’t get the results they should.

We explore 10 key situations that undermine a strong relationship.

  1. They don’t understand your business
  2. Purchase motivations are more complicated and nuanced than, “The customer will make more money selling your product”
  3. They don’t ask why
  4. They think increased spending is the only way to succeed
  5. You don’t have access to the leaders
  6. Constant turnover of your team
  7. What is their measure of success?
  8. A focus on creativity over strategy
  9. You feel taken for granted
  10. You can’t imagine the agency leaving you

More importantly, we provided you an actionable Ask Yourself tip to each one to help you better understand if that might be your situation.

There are a lot of agencies who do a good job of servicing their clients. Mark notes, “In my experience, there are a lot more who make a number of these mistakes. It’s like any good relationship, you have to work at it and not just take things for granted.”

What if the problem is you?

Time To Fire Your Ad AAgencyMark and I also see a lot of good agencies who can’t do a good job because their client gets in the way.  I know – I’ve been that client. Here are some ways this happens.

  1. Thinking that you are the creative person
  2. You hold back information
  3. You are cheap

Agency client relationships are the best when both groups are open and honest about the issues the business is facing and what it will take to overcome them. When these relationships are true partnerships, both companies will ultimately succeed and grow.

Good Selling!

About The Authors: Mark Mitchell is a Sales and Marketing Consultant who specializes in helping business owners and senior executives in the building materials industry overcome difficult sales problems. Using his extensive hands-on experience, he shows them how to creative effective strategies to identify and eliminate blind spots that allow them to get past the roadblocks that keep them from realizing their revenue goals. Click here to learn more about his one-day workshop “Selling Today’s Building Materials Prospect.” Or sign up for his monthly building material marketing newsletter here. 

Greg Bonsib gives his perspective from the client side. Greg has extensive experience in working with agencies in his marketing leadership positions at ODL, Owens Corning, Rubbermaid, Sentry Safe and Zenith Products. Greg also publishes an industry leading blog on Channel Marketing.

Active Search Results (ASR) is an independent Internet Search Engine using a proprietary page ranking technology with Millions of popular Web sites indexed.