B2B marketers have been leading a slow but steady charge to grow their organizations’ digital footprint for years. Oftentimes, getting top level buy-in felt like pulling teeth, but dollar by dollar, the footprint grew.
Fast forward to 2020. All in-person events — cancelled. Face-to-face meetings? Cancelled. Leaving the house at all? Forget about it. The result in B2B has been a mad dash to digital supremacy, forcing a half decade of adoption into a quarter.
The question for B2B marketers has quickly changed from, “Should we try digital?” to, “How can we stand out?” In a suddenly crowded digital landscape, showing up to the party is no longer enough. To help, we’ve compiled a list of the 5 ways B2B marketers can stand out.
5 Ways B2B Brands Can Stand Out
1. Eye-Catching Creative
Visuals — including video — already mattered, but competition has elevated their role. It’s very hard to grab attention with text the way you can with bold imagery.
Establishing brand identity is more important than ever, and we need to make a great first impression. Tone, messaging, and values are communicated instantly by the visual choices we make. It is said that over 90% of communication is non-verbal, so it’s not something that should be an afterthought.
2. Be Specific
What article would you rather read?
- 5 Data Points Marketers Should Know
- 5 Troubling Data Points B2B CMOs Should See
While article two only appeals to B2B, its specificity means a member of that community is far more inclined to engage. While the first article in theory appeals to a broader audience, its broadness also means it’s easier to ignore. In a crowded field, I’d rather get 100% of attention from a select audience than passed over by a broad one.
3. Don’t Sugar Coat
For the vast majority of businesses in the country, these are hard times.
There is significant risk of a prolonged recession and a quick return to the status quo is likely a pipe dream. That’s a harsh but honest look at the current landscape.
Being empathetic is key, but we also need to be realistic. Treating the situation like a 4-month delay as opposed to a new landscape leads to complacency. Bold testing, ideas, and strategies are critical to surviving the situation, and that’s just as true for our partners as it is for us. Be transparent with your partners so you can come up with workable solutions together.
4. Ask Current Customers
Nobody knows better how prospective clients are being impacted than your current clients.
It’s hard to show empathy in messaging if you don’t understand the problem. Talk to your clients. It will show you care and help strengthen the relationship while also providing the chance to understand how those you can’t talk to are feeling.
One note, don’t treat these conversations as an up-sell opportunity. It’s important that these talks be about hearing client concerns and challenges to come up with solutions. The foundations we strengthen today will lead to bigger and better structures in the long run.
5. Prioritize the Present
Marketers are future centric. We see things changing and we want to be prepared. Annual projections, next year’s trends, etc. We’ll get there, but right now for many companies, the proverbial house is on fire. Our customers are focused on surviving today, and will address tomorrow only once a plan is in place. Address the problems of now first, the future will always still be there.
With some of the tools to win, it still won’t be easy. With time of the essence, it may be wise to consider a strategic partner with the experience to achieve ambitious new goals. If you’re interested in learning more, contact us today.