The former marketing era of pushy, compulsive selling is long gone today. It has come to be replaced by Inbound Marketing that works on the thumb rule that a well-informed, educated and entertained consumer is more likely to make a purchase. In fact, New Age Marketers are increasingly looking at Inbound Marketing Techniques for long-term trust building, which is the key to high lead conversions.
The Vital Question
With the complexity and volume of transactions involved, one often tends to wonder if the principles of Inbound Marketing (that have literally redefined the concept of New Age Marketing), are equally applicable for B2B Marketing as well. The answer of course is a resounding yes, owing to the simple fact that in their efforts to reach out to businesses, B2B Marketers are eventually reaching out to people, who display consumer behaviour marked by the 5 universal human truths:
I want to be understood.
I want to belong.
I want to feel special.
I want to have control.
I want to reach my potential.
In the words of Marketing Strategist Valeria Maltoni, “Your writing doesn’t have to be boring just because it’s for other businesses. Businesses have people who read stuff.” Whether it is Content Marketing, SEO or Social Media Marketing, Inbound Marketing Techniques that are in line with the psyche of the New Age Consumer can work wonders for your B2B Business.
YOUR WRITING DOESN'T HAVE TO BE BORING JUST BECAUSE IT'S FOR OTHER BUSINESSES. BUSINESSES HAVE PEOPLE WHO READ STUFF.
– Marketing Strategist Valeria Maltoni
Facts and Insights
To start with, let us take a closer look at the marketing strategies of successful B2B Giants like Atlas Copco, General Electric, Flowcrete, Trelleborg and Zendesk. All of them have been harnessing the power of Inbound Marketing Techniques to steer their marketing campaigns on a phenomenal scale. If we consider the case of Flowcrete that specializes in manufacturing resin flooring technology for industrial and commercial purposes, they actively use Pinterest and Twitter to engage their potential buyers and have extremely insightful and attractive looking blog posts that invoke the interest of anybody who visits their site.
WHILE A SIZEBLE 69 PERCENT OF B2B MARKETERS HAVE SHIFTED THEIR BUDGETS TOWARDS WEBSITE DESIGN, MANAGEMENT AND OPTIMIZATION AND SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING, 60 PERCENT ARE INCREASING THEIR INVESTMENTS ON SEO AND ORGANIZING WEBINARS.
In fact, more and more B2B Marketers today are realizing the importance of Inbound Marketing Techniques to achieve their objectives. While a sizeable 69 percent of them have shifted their budgets towards Website Design, Management and Optimization and Social Media Marketing, 60 percent are increasing their investments on SEO and organizing Webinars.
WITH OVER 41 PERCENT OF B2B COMPANIES THAT HAVE ACQUIRED CUSTOMERS THROUGH FACEBOOK AND TWITTER, ALMOST 57 PERCENT HAVE ACHIEVED CLIENTS OWING TO THEIR BLOG POSTS.
The New-Age B2B Sales Funnel
The B2B Sales Funnel is an end to end description of the B2B Sales Process. As a B2B Marketer, one must know that the new-age sales funnel entails respecting the prospective buyers, and allowing them to frame their own purchase decisions. The role of the marketer has transformed from that of being an obtrusive salesperson, to a friendly figure, one who wants to inform, educate and entertain the buyer, foster a gradual process of trust-building and finally offering your products or services without being too pushy about it. This might sound like a tedious process, but it truly represents a more holistic and long-term marketing approach.
B2B INBOUND MARKETING FOSTERS A GRADUAL PROCESS OF TRUST-BUILDING AND FINALLY OFFERING YOUR PRODUCTS OR SERVICES WITHOUT BEING TOO PUSHY ABOUT IT. THIS MIGHT SOUND LIKE A TEDIOUS PROCESS, BUT IT TRULY REPRESENTS A MORE HOLISTIC AND LONG-TERM MARKETING APPROACH.
Building Trust over Time
Since the contracts in B2B businesses are generally long-term and voluminous in nature, the element of trust plays a major role in determining who bags the contract in the end. Inbound Marketing techniques that focus on nurturing leads with useful information go a long way in portraying your credibility, resourcefulness and ability to cater to their requirements on a long-term basis.
Reaching out to the Right People
While Outbound Marketing techniques like Print Advertisements and Cold Calling reach out to all, inbound marketing is projected towards a defined radius of people with a higher probability of purchasing your products or services. Since your leads are already interested in knowing more about you, your lead conversion rates automatically increase. As a B2B Company, inbound marketing is the best way to streamline your marketing efforts, and save a considerable amount of time and money by having a marketing campaign that focuses on relevant, high potential leads from the very beginning.
Social Media Marketing
In terms of its multiple platforms, massive reach, low investment requirements and ample scope of projecting your ideal brand image, social media marketing is hottest trend amongst new-age B2B marketers today. A certain amount of hesitation is still prevalent amongst those who feel that social media cannot be used to derive measured results, but this is bound to fade away soon, owing to the increasing number of platform- centric metrics and analytics being developed today.
Taking the First Step
As a B2B company, exploring the opportunities of Inbound Marketing can be an exciting, yet challenging task. Taking the first step is always difficult, but once you take the plunge, a lot of opportunities awaits you.