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What Is the Secret to B2B Marketing? It’s the Message Stupid

By: Robert Hennessey

What Is the Secret to B2B Marketing? It’s the Message Stupid

Is your b2b marketing message serving your needs or the needs of your potential customer?

The failure to understand the importance of your b2b marketing communications message and poor marketing alignment are the reasons why the majority of b2b marketing efforts fail. One should never underestimate how critical your marketing message is to successful client engagement. It is the single motivating factor by which a prospect will take action to engage with your company.

It’s Not How You Deliver the Message 

Ordinarily, the reaction to a failed marketing campaign is we should have used social media, or email, or held a webinar. If you think this could be you, you need to realize the method you choose to deliver your marketing communications is further down the priority list of what will ensure successful marketing.

Nevertheless, we know, people will tell you they used email marketing and acquire new customers all the time. Sometimes they cite statistics that email marketing is number one with b2b marketers in “lead generation.” That is true, but they don’t understand why it is true.

Have you ever asked yourself why that is? Have you ever received an email and based solely on receiving an email and said I need to call these people? No of course not.

Moreover, if you did call someone, it was the impact of the message in the email not that you received an email. So could it be that email marketing ranks high for generating customer contact for when you send the right message success is likely to follow as a result of all these combined aspects a successful email campaign?

  • A well-crafted customer-centric communications message

  • An opt-in or double opt-in email mailing list of prospects that could benefit from your products or services

  • With the proper message, the ability to generate a faster engagement than other marketing distribution methods.

  • An overall marketing campaign that costs less in time and money

Consequently, are we surprised that marketers think highly of email marketing? Not at all, if you complete the steps correctly, using email as a distribution vehicle is inexpensive to create, deliver and can result in faster engagement.

Unfortunately, we have experienced numerous marketers that say they need some help with email marketing. They have a supplier or will send the emails themselves; they have the “right emails” but they are unhappy with not getting the response they want to achieve and ask how can you help me?

However, when we explain that their lack of success is likely due to having the wrong marketing message they are quick to dismiss this suggestion. Marketers want to focus on everything but the message. They view email marketing as a numbers game, which it is and fail to appreciate that in b2b marketing the message is the crucial element in their campaign.

We suggest you focus on exactly how customer-centric marketing contributes to the understanding of your message thereby creating engagement with your sales prospects. Numerous marketers mistakenly spend too much effort on the delivery of their marketing message and neglect the marketing message itself. There are various ways to distribute your marketing message, but none of them will result in engaging a sales prospect without a meaningful communications message that speaks your customer’s language.

What Is the Right Message? 

Unduly influenced by big business marketing's concern with the quantity, of marketing, not the quality is often the reason b2b marketers fail to grasp the critical part that their communication messages play in attracting new customers. Understanding the importance of your marketing communications message is essential to b2b engagement success.

Marketing campaigns fail for not focusing on the importance of their marketing communications message. This reality, coupled with that fact that 99% of company messages are capacities and capability focused generates a great deal of wasted money that rarely converts to an acceptable return on investment for every marketing dollar spent.

Capacities & Capabilities the Wrong Message 

Capacities and capability marketing are all about telling your prospective customers how great you are and all the fantastic things you can do for them. The problem with this type of message is that your prospects could care less about how great you claim to be and the things you can do for them. This reason is why marketing does not generate the sales results we all seek.

All the communications messages your prospects receive are the same, and so their eyes gloss over. The first principle of effective marketing is to differentiate your brand and to become noticed. However, few people differentiate their company in any meaningful way and do not receive attention by sending the same unresponsive capacities and capability messages as their competitors.

Customer-Centric B2b Marketing the Right Message 

The concern of your prospects is only about their specific business problems. What they want to know is do you understand their problem and do you have a solution that will work for them. Contained in solving these two issues for your customers is the essence of customer-centric marketing.

Create an Effective Marketing Message

A compelling message needs to build at least some initial rapport with a prospective customer that leads to dialogue, not a monologue of, “look at what I want to sell you.” This kind of message is not sufficient and will not work with B2B sales prospects.

Understanding your potential customer is crucial to creating customer-centric marketing messages. So how do you do that? You start by developing empathy for your customer, and you will then end with the ability to create an empathetic messaging needed to spark an engaged conversion.

Let’s take a look at what we mean and how you build an initial rapport on your way to creating a dialogue with your prospects.

How to Create Empathetic, Customer-Centric Marketing Message 

You must put your customer first and not yourself in the communication messages you are delivering to your sales prospects. It is not about your company, its products or services; it is about your potential customers.

The ideal marketing message requires initial rapport building with your prospect based on the realization by your sales prospect that you understand their business problems and you have indicated a willingness and ability to help them solve their problems.

Immerse yourself in the mindset of your target customer, you can begin to outline the insights you need to translate into marketing messages that will motivate conversions.

  • What are the top level outcomes your prospect is responsible for achieving? Do they need to maximize sales, profits, or increase market share?

  • What is your prospect’s key focus? What area of their business responsibilities do they care utmost about and what do they need regarding information for evaluating solutions and what’s their decision time frame?

  • What are the major problems your prospects face every day?

  • What are the specific solutions you have that can drive your prospects outcome and alleviate their anxiety over their highest priority problems?

By answering these questions, you will have the insights necessary to write a customer-centric message that will resonate with your potential customers. How will you know when have achieved the perfect message alignment you seek? When a prospect calls you and says, "I feel as if I already know you and want to meet you as soon as possible," you have achieved perfect alignment.

Bottom Line 

If you are trying to differentiate your business from your competitors, having communication messages that align correctly are critical to your ability to engage your sales prospects and overall marketing success no matter the distribution method you use.

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