What does it take to run a successful business-to-business marketing campaign when
you are dealing with highly technical products? Manufacturers’ Monthly reports.
When you have a business that has unique and high-quality products or services to offer and skilled team to back it up, the only thing that can keep you from reaching your target audience is a poor marketing strategy.
Marketing, like so many other aspects of doing business – and perhaps more than any other business function – has been transformed by the digital age and the shift in the power from the business to the consumer.
As consumers continue to have a more complete data set in purchasing decisions, forging a trust-based relationship with the customers is more important than ever. The challenge for many business marketers is to understand the value of brand, according to a study by Deloitte in Australia.
A Deloitte/Facebook study last year showed that only 17 per cent of senior Australian marketers believe their most important role is building brand. For most, short-term selling is their main focus, or in most cases the expectation of their organisation.
Rene Rose, a managing partner at Positiv PR and marketing services, and a finalist at the Women in Industry Awards 2018, offers external marketing services to a range of customers in Australia.
She believes what differentiates companies from their competitors is often the values that run throughout the company and reflect in their marketing campaigns.
“I’m a very firm believer of the values of a company.
“Whenever I talk to a customer, I always try to find out what the company’s values and aspirations are and how they want to be seen. Those are the basic building blocks that determine what their whole marketing strategy will look like. Those values are the golden thread that runs through the company’s marketing campaign and often the very thing that differentiates them from their competitors.”
When it comes to business-to-business marketing, technical experts and product specialists can overstress the technical details of their products while forgetting who their audience are, said Rose.
“In industries such as manufacturing, the products are often very technical and complicated. Some companies make the mistake of speaking about the products in engineering terms, like talking about part numbers, the products’ benefits and features. But you need to remember that the people that you are talking to are not product experts,” she said.
“It’s important that you make the communication simple. When it’s complex, you can use tools like infographics to relay a lot of different information instead of writing paragraphs and paragraphs aboutsomething.”
The power of storytelling
Rose said storytelling is another important aspect of any successful marketing campaign.
“You need to tell a story about your company. It can be a story about your company, your values, your people, your products, or your case studies – which show that you have a proven record.
“This is obviously where consulting a public relations team is very valuable. You need to build a relationship with the media to help you tell your story. A company can also have its own newsletters, email and social media. What’s important is that your brand gets a personality and that the story of your company is told,” she said.
Having a clear business objective goes hand-in-hand with a successful marketing strategy, Rose said.
“One mistake that companies can make is to spend a lot of money on their marketing material, without having identified their business objectives. But if you don’t know what you are trying to achieve with the marketing, it all goes to waste,” she said.
“It’s not only about presenting a pretty picture. There has to be a rationale and a strategy behind everything that you do. Every piece of communication has to have a reason. You have to keep in mind who your customers are and how they like to receive information.” One thing to keep in mind while devising a marketing strategy, she said, is to focus on the value the product delivers to customers rather than talking only about the product.
“It’s always about understanding the customers. Every customer must feel that their unique needs are being met. You need to build that relationship by getting to know the customer and finding out what their needs are and not necessarily what it is that you offer,” she said.
“The customers don’t care so much about your products. They just need their problem to be solved. So, your marketing shouldn’t focus on how wonderful you or your products are. You need to show the customer the values that your products give to them.”
Rose was a runner-up for the Business Development Manager of the Year award at the Women in Industry Awards 2018, held in Sydney in June.
The award recognises women who are driving change in their respective industries. Nominations for Women in Industry Awards 2019 are now open.
To nominate someone go to www.womeninindustry.com.au.