A successful 'customer focused' B2B communication strategy will offer as many opportunities (as resources will allow) to build awareness, educate and increase engagement (‘Call to Action’) with these customers.
A communications strategy is holistic in nature having internal and external stakeholders 'on the same page', and it is integrated using both digital and traditional to support effective communication.
You want your customers to be happy customers!
B2B organizations have a very important goal: To acquire customers (have them invest in their company through the purchase of product and/or services) and build relationships with these customers with a continued positive outcome in the form of testimonials and/or returned purchasing.
Happy with your company so they will return for more, and/or tell others what a wonderful experience they had/having. You need to meet their expectations and communicate with them effectively. That means you need to be listening and responding with the right information at the right time, in the right place - to acquire new customers and keep the ones you have happy.
A B2B 'customer focused' communication strategy will build awareness, education and engage.
- Let them know who you are as a company (brand awareness) – what are your values, your mission, competitive differentiation, etc.
- Let them know that you understand their business challenge(s)
- You are able to provide a product or service to meet their needs
- You will be there to support their needs: short-term and long-term.
- Are you out there to be found? Know where your customers are spending time (talking, researching, etc.) and make sure you are there.
- Provide them with the right information, at the right part of their buying cycle, to help with their buying decision(s)
- Once your customers invest in your product/service, what do they need for long-term satisfaction? (i.e. user manuals, training, customer service, upgrades)
- Can you be a resource of information to support their business goals? Help them be successful and they will be more receptive to other products or services you may have for them in the future.
Engage (‘Call to Action’)
1. Information – you don’t want to have everything out on the internet for your customer to have access to, but make sure you give them enough to want to ask for more. Certain information can be available by registering an email address. Information that requires a discussion should always
be request for a meeting.
B2B companies searching for product/service will most likely spend more time researching online before contacting a company for a discussion opportunity. If you don’t give them enough information to give them the confidence to contact you, they will move on to your competitor. No one likes a pushy sales person, but if they think what you have to offer is worth it, they will call. Give them the opportunity to find out enough about you to give them the confidence that you are worth the time and risk to take the chance in calling you for more
2. Purchase – Sometimes you can cut down the sales cycle and go right to purchase. Isn’t this every company’s dream? This is why inbound marketing has become so popular, especially among B2B companies.
Make sure all your online sites (website and social media) have easily found ‘call to action’ buttons to meet the goals of your campaign: For purchasing, your button could say ‘BUY NOW’.
3. Customer service – if there is a problem, make sure your customer can easily contact you and get the help they need. Many companies still think a 1-800 number is the only way to offer customer support. Social Media and websites all need to be considered a customer service point of contact. Your customers are on many platforms themselves – personally and for business – and they expect you to be there listening and responding as well.
- Content Rules - Book by Ann Handley & CC Chapman