Posted by IndustryArchive Admin on 02/02/2017 Self Directed Marketing

B2B Sellers 10 Things to Get Great Client Engagement Results

By: Robert Hennessey

B2B Sellers 10 Things to Get Great Client Engagement Results

1. B2B Sellers Allow B2B Buyers to Self-Discover Your Solutions & Company 

B2B Sellers no targeting allowed. A self-directed marketing process ensures total buyer control over researching, learning and acquiring information for making an informed purchase decision with no privacy invasion.

2. Respect B2B Buyers Don't Dissect Them

It may come as a shock to many marketers, but business people do not go to the Web wanting to become victims of targeting and data mining. Likewise, permission marketing is now another advertising scam. It once seemed like a viable approach to protecting all of us from receiving unwanted and annoying advertisements. Providing your name and email is now de facto permission to continue to receive an onslaught of emails every time you view a piece of content.

Self-discovery is the cornerstone to a buyer-centric reality that many have failed to recognize. The fact is that buyers are in charge on the Internet, not the sellers. Give buyers what they want not what you need.

Buyers only want real quality content that helps them solve their business problems. Once sellers understand that buyers will reward them based on quality content, the value of the company's brand and the respect afforded buyers the current practices of dissecting and annoying buyers will stop.

3. Offer Quality, Relevant Content

What gets their attention? B2B buyers seek out product features, how-to and professional reviews about the business solutions and firms that can help them succeed in their job. What it means is you need to be producing and distributing content that will help them learn, compare and find solutions for their business purchases. Your content should be in all forms articles, application stories, market research, and white papers and utilize print and video mediums.

4. Modulate Your Quantity of Content

B2B buyers are also overwhelmed with the ever-increasing deluge of content now targeted at them. The marketing automation revolution is in full swing and is so pervasive to the point of diminishing returns. Many B2B buyers are now thinking twice about completing Web forms that will result in a never-ending stream of email. Many others complain about the poor quality of the content they do receive. The combination of sub-par quality, lack of relevance and the excessive quantity is turning B2B professionals off. Make sure your content serves the needs of your buyers, not you.

An automated email sent in response to content marketing one after another does not support 1-to-1 relationship building. Just the opposite they generate the feeling of alienation. A typical comment from buyers, "If the emails I receive do not specifically address my needs and concerns and are just broad-based fishing expeditions disguised as "insightful content then it means nothing to me."

5. Make Your Content Search Friendly

Internet search is the number one medium for B2B research. "90% of B2B researchers who are online use search specifically to research business purchases." In addition, they are spending more time searching online also. "On average, B2B researchers do 12 searches prior to engaging on a specific brand's site."

Source: The Changing Face of B2B Marketing (https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/articles/the-changing-face-b2b-marketing.html)

Average Searches Conducted Prior to Engagement

"On average, B2B influencers do 12 searches prior to visiting a specific brand's site."

Source: Google/Millward Brown Digital, B2B Path to Purchase Study, 2014


6. Showcase Your Content On Neutral B2B Sites that Aggregate B2B Buyers

The benefit here for B2B sellers is that knowing buyers are searching for relevant, quality content and doing and increasing numbers of searches and spending more time searching means you need to be showcasing your business solutions on a wide variety websites. Neutral B2B platforms that aggregate B2B buyers are a likely destination for buyers seeking solutions without being hassled. Furthermore, neutral B2B platforms because buyers are not beginning their search by brand:

  • "71% of B2B researchers start their research with a generic search." 
     
  • "Research shows that those involved in the B2B buying process are already 57% of the way down the path to a decision before they'll do something on your site."

Source: The Changing Face of B2B Marketing

7. Capitalize on Self-Directed Marketing
Buyers are engaging in a self-directed marketing process when they systematically "target" specific solutions to their everyday business problems. Using the Internet Buyers can quickly find solutions efficiently among many Sellers. Buyers seek content that is relevant, and insightful to help evaluate options and taking note of who is providing these solutions in a way that places the needs of their customer first.

This self-directed marketing process empowers Buyer control over the gathering, learning and acquiring information for making an informed purchase decision with minimal privacy invasion. This process is the foundation of a buyer-centric reality that many have failed to recognize. The fact is that buyers are now in charge on the Internet, not the sellers.

8. Don't Hide Your Content Behind Registration Required Sites

Many marketers think they have the right to obtain your name and email by offering "quality" content in exchange for your contact information. This quid pro quo approach is just outdated thinking. Now more and more websites offer similar content without requiring you to relinquish your privacy. Therefore, like the adage, why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free, sums up the reality that buyers, not sellers are in charge, and the practice of gating content to build contact databases for the sole benefit of B2B sellers will soon disappear. More searches by buyers coupled with increasing amounts of business content will drive the end of gating content only to the benefit of sellers.

9. Control The Placement of Your Content

One thing that can negatively impact your quality content is where it appears on the Internet. Below is a typical example of content winding up next to an unfortunate image and unrelated content. Business content that winds up surrounded by irrelevant, objectionable or inappropriate ads will distract or risk offending potential sales prospects from receiving your message. However, this is often beyond your control.
However, make sure you seek out serious and business-friendly websites that can ensure your content message does not become compromised is important.


10. Establish 1-to-1 Relationships with Your Potential Buyer

B2B professionals do not want to be the object of targeted marketing no matter what you call it. The advent of marketing automation and application of content marketing in combination are driving us all away from the promise of the Internet to develop 1-to-1 business relationships. It seems that we are automating ourselves back to the old ways of 1-to-many in today's marketing communications.

However, no matter what marketers throw at business buyers eventually they figure it out. B2B buyers are not fools. If it smells like a duck and walks like a duck, it is a duck. An automated email sent in response to content marketing one after another does not support 1-to1 relationship building. Just the opposite it generates the feeling of alienation. A typical comment from buyers, "If the emails I receive do not specifically address my needs and concerns and are just broad-based fishing expeditions disguised as "insightful content then it means nothing to me."

Ignoring David "Doc" Searls, observations regarding what he calls the "Intention Economy." Searls said, "The Intention Economy is about buyers finding sellers, not sellers finding (or "capturing") buyers." Unfortunately, this lesson goes unheeded by the Internet media majority.

If you would like to learn more about the power of the Self-Directed Marketing Process and B2B collaborative marketing and how it can benefit your business as either a buyer or a seller, please visit Www.IndustryArchive.Org.

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