B2B Marketing - the way it should sound

Ed Marsh | Sep 18, 2012

Your website is only a tool

Remember last week we played out the dialog that accompanies a typical prospect visit to your website.  It didn’t go so well, did it?

When you get someone in your booth at a trade show you can sell them.  You have passion and knowledge.  You exude confidence.  Prospects intuit your ability to satisfy their needs – and probably to even help them define their needs.

But on-line?  Excuse the French, but your site sucks.

So let’s replay that dialog and see how it could work if...
  • you were easy to find when someone needed you
  • you provided credibility boosting, helpful content
  • you realized this was a process to nurture
  • you understood how this could be so much better for a customer
In other words, how would it work if you were effectively "inbound marketing" or if you updated your customer acquisition tools - evolving from those that were cutting edge in a bygone era.

The interaction customers expect...and rarely experience!

Visitor – (via Google search) “I wish I could do XXXXX faster/differently/cheaper”

You – (via content that you have created and published appearing as a number of results in the Google search listings) “You know, that’s an important question.  We actually have particular expertise in helping people trying to solve that problem.  In fact, you may be interested in our video on the common root causes of it.  Or maybe you’ll find our article from last week interesting.  We wrote about the other cascading effects of that problem on operations.  And if you want to dive in deeper, we’d be happy to share our whitepaper with you that identifies the 7 most important factors to consider when you look for a solution to that problem.  And to save you trouble trying to find them through our home page, here are links directly to this info that we think might be of interest.

Prospect (not jsut a visitor anymore!) – Wow!  I’m glad I found you.  I didn’t realize anyone knew this much about my issue.  I was afraid I was going to have to solve it on my own.  I was getting worried – everyone else just had technical gobbledygook!  This is good.  I don’t have time to read it all now, but when I’m ready to dig into this I know where to go.  In the meantime I want to download this whitepaper to read this weekend.  It looks worthwhile so I’m willing to give you my name nd email address in exchange.

You – thanks for letting us share our information with you

A week later

You – (by automated follow up email) Dear customer, hope you found the whitepaper helpful.  We know you’re up to your kneck in alligators so instead of harassing you we’ll give you a quick call in the next couple days, but in the meantime we thought you might be interested in watching the webinar that we ran recently that outlined the best practices for implementing a solution like this to avoid any disruption to your operation.

Prospect – Shoot!  I’d almost forgotten to get back to working on that problem.  I’ll check this out later today to see what I should be planning for.  This could save me a ton of hassle.

You – we’re happy to share it.  If you don’t mind we’d like to update our records with your title, company and telephone number too.

Prospect – sure.  No problem.

A week later

You – (again by automated follow up email) Dear customer – folks have told us that our webinar was a grat planning tool.  Here’s the checklist that we mentioned being a good guide.  By the way – you may not be ready to undertake this project immediately, but can you give us an idea of how soon you might?  And we’d like to understand your requirements more, so we’d be willing to have one of our engineers spend a half hour with you talking about your challenge to make sure we have a solution that fits.

Lead (not just a prospect any more!) – you guys are the cat’s meow.  That sounds awesome.  We should be ready to go with this in a couple months.  I was worried I’d have to figure it out on my own, but you may be just the answer.  I’d love to schedule that call.

Creating a dialog without conversation

Did you realize that purchasing cycles have become far more elongated and that the typical buyer now only interacts with a sales person when they are 60-70% through their analysis?

You challenge is to build a relationship with folks that are intent on avoiding you - and have the tools at their disposal to do so.  And studies show that buyers increasingly form their opinion of vendors by the quality of content they find during their research.

The point is that inbound marketing works.  It takes work, time, patience and empathy.  It also takes a little money (but inbound leads have been shown to cost only 1/3 traditional leads.)

Want to explore how inbound marketing could be adapted to your business?  Contact Consilium Global Business Advisors to discuss it.

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