B2B Marketing Strategy to Drive Success

B2B Marketing Strategy to Drive Success

Marketing is one of the business disciplines where everyone has a view. From which social media platform will work best to which exhibitions or events to attend, colleagues will fight their corner without marketing training or experience to draw on. A random list of marketing tactics is unlikely to bring the best results, so it is worthwhile spending the time to develop a clear B2B marketing strategy upfront, utilising some of the well-known tools and approaches. Market Driven Management Many companies are driven by the views of top management and the organisation’s internal capabilities. A market-driven approach starts with the external world of customers and competitors and works back into your company, operating across all business functions. It focuses on understanding the needs of customers, the capabilities of competitors and the gaps in the market place, with the overall aim of serving customers profitably. Market SegmentationOnce we are focused on an ‘outside-in’ process we can build a deep understanding of different market segments, using the 6 Cs: Customers, Competitors, Capabilities, Cost-Profits, Continual Improvement, Cross-functional Teams. Understanding the needs of segments, their size and attractiveness, and the match with the company’s capabilities allows prioritisation of market targets and key customers. Five Forces Analysis, developed in the mid-1970s by Michael Porter of Harvard Business School, provides a rigorous structure for analysing the forces that affect profitability in any industry in which a company competes. Value PropositionYour value proposition allows you to succinctly communicate to customers and prospects: – What you do. – Why you do it. – How you do it uniquely well.How you bring value, and how your offer is...
Facilities Management Marketing Top Tips

Facilities Management Marketing Top Tips

The New Year is a great time to plan business growth campaigns and facilities management marketing is likely to play an important part in delivering results. Traditional and online marketing are both great ways to build the profile of your facilities management business, helping to raise brand awareness, generate leads and establish your position as experts in your field. These marketing tips may help you to prioritise and ensure your activities generate the greatest return. LinkedIn Social media is a cost effective way to communicate, reach influencers and network on line and LinkedIn is a great platform for B2B Services. It’s important to remember that it is about engaging with people and sharing interesting and useful information over a period of time, not jumping in and trying to sell! Carefully planned, well researched content, written by someone who understands your industry, and who can get inside the head of your intended audience, should attract interest. It’s key that the topics add value and that you create a compelling article which gets your messages across. Remember to ensure that your LinkedIn Personal Profile and Company Page are completed and showcase what you do in an interesting way. If you are linking to your website to drive traffic check that additional information is easy to find. Posting varied content often works well, as different topics appeal to different people, and a content plan covering at least a year will help ensure consistency and that your approach continues. Facilities Management PR PR is an important element of most facilities management marketing strategies. Look for newsworthy stories within your business, which you could...
Running a B2B Marketing Business

Running a B2B Marketing Business

I’m often asked about my experience of running a B2B marketing business and how it compares to my previous corporate career. As a firm believer in reviewing achievements, as a platform for the next phase, here are some of the things that I have learnt as the past five years have flown by. Variety is the spice of life I love working part-time for a number of different clients, with diverse B2B marketing needs and personalities, as it brings huge variety and there is rarely a dull day! I have always relished new challenges, and my best employers realised this and made sure that new opportunities regularly appeared on my plate. In the last 5 years, I have been lucky enough to support businesses ranging from start-ups to multi-million pound companies, from a retirement village and a technology inventor to facilities management companies. Birch Marketing’s flexible services have enabled me to help a number of businesses improve their marketing, communications and sales, which I find hugely rewarding. People are great One of the best things about running Birch Marketing has been that people have been amazing! The support of friends and family was brilliant in my start-up period, when I wasn’t completely sure that I was doing the right thing, nor whether I was going to be able to gain enough business.My clients have been lovely and appreciative, and we have built long term relationships based on mutual respect and trust. Being thanked for work carried out (a rare event in my corporate life!), sent flowers and being invited to join them at events have been the icing on...
Startup Marketing

Startup Marketing

Starting a business is exciting. Unfortunately, the “build it and they will come” theory is unlikely to work and those overnight success stories that you hear about are often the result of years of hard work behind the scenes. Getting your startup marketing right is a challenge, particularly as resources are likely to be limited, whether it’s time, money or talent. You have to be sure every effort, no matter how small, is well-planned and executed. With the buzz around social media, there can be a temptation to rush into action and start communicating. However, as with building a house, you need to start with solid foundations, so before you jump into marketing your startup, make sure you have the following covered: 1. What is your value proposition? This is similar to an elevator pitch and should articulate in a concise and compelling way, why your business exists, what you do and how you do it uniquely well.  Developing this may take a bit of time and you should have your target customers and market sectors at the front of your mind. You are aiming to communicate why you are different and make it memorable. 2. Which are your target markets and specific target customers? What job functions will be the decision makers? 3. What benefits do you bring to each of your target markets and what pain points do you help customers in these markets to overcome? Working through this should enable you to create the external messages for your business, which will form the basis of your startup marketing on your website, social media and in the...
Marketing Plan 2019

Marketing Plan 2019

Do you have a 2019 Marketing Plan? The start of the New Year is a good time to review the results of your previous year’s marketing plan and activities, and to decide on any changes for the period ahead. Taking time out of a busy schedule also allows you to assess how the business is doing overall, whether the strategy you have in place is correct, and if any modifications are needed. Your objectives – did you achieve these in 2018 and do you have stretch targets in place for 2019? If not, do you understand the reasons why they weren’t achieved and have you put appropriate changes in place? Your value proposition – does this need refining in any way, or a modified version created for a different market sector? Are you confident that you and your team are communicating what you offer in a clear, compelling and consistent way? Your target audience – has this changed at all? Perhaps as your business has grown you have tapped into a new market or audience, and need to review how you are communicating with them? Your marketing plan – are the various activities working as you anticipated? If not, it will be valuable to analyse them in detail, and consider whether alternative methods may be more suited to the needs of your business. Certain marketing communications methods and techniques will be better suited to some businesses than others, and whilst social media is much talked about, it is unlikely to be the panacea for everyone. Creating a content plan for the year can help you communicate valuable, relevant and...
Building your Personal Brand

Building your Personal Brand

Everyone is familiar with business brands, but today your personal brand is becoming almost as important. You may be employed by a business that works with other businesses, but it is people working with people that makes business relationships valuable. Creating a vision for your future and developing your personal brand can lead to a better job, better contacts and clients for your company, and industry recognition. As with developing a business brand, a strong value proposition is key. In a few sentences this should include: Why you do what you do. What you do. How you do it. You will want to capture why you are special, your unique skills and talents, why you are different from others and the reasons someone would want to work with you. This may require some soul searching and it may be useful to ask for feedback from others. Making your value proposition succinct and memorable will create a long lasting connection with your audience. However, there are some differences between personal branding and business branding. Companies or products may be positioned to take advantage of specific market requirements or niches, which may require changes to the brand personality or approach. I think it goes without saying that if you or I started to change our personality or way of doing things, to fulfil a personal branding agenda, we would quickly be seen as inauthentic. Your value proposition needs to be genuine as it’s based on what’s real and true about you, but don’t be afraid to stand out and reveal why you are different from others. Once you have your value...