Yes, you’ve done all the research. Yes, you’ve spent time and resources on refining development. And, yes, you have a great product. Do you think the tough part of the job is behind you? How will you make your potential buyers aware that your new, specialized solution is ready for them? Without a solid marketing strategy focused on lead generation, sailing from here on will not be all smooth.
In today’s globalized markets, having a great product is just the beginning of an adventurous path towards creating a profit. In the last few years and with incredible speed, a fundamental challenge has shifted the basis of marketing and sales strategies. And it is often here where entrepreneurial scientists, engineers, developers and other technically savvy individuals struggle the most.
While marketing is widely accepted as a good practice for any business, it is not self-evident what constitutes good and effective marketing. The effects of a poorly targeted campaign can be dramatic on the cash flow of any size business. More, resources can also be wasted on executing strategies that work well for business-to-consumer (B2C) businesses yet do very little to increase business-to-business (B2B) lead conversion rates.
To compete and succeed in today’s world, your business must offer something unique. Something that no competitor can offer. Your uniqueness, however, will have a different value according to the B2B niche market you target. While your solution may be the same, you shouldn’t offer it the same way if you are connecting with an audience in the transportation, oil & gas or food industries. While your solution may be the same, the needs, challenges and even language will vary across industries and applications.
How do you drive the attention towards your business?
Your uniqueness and how you present it through your unique value proposition should be adjusted according to the different B2B niche markets your business targets and their needs. Otherwise, how are your prospects going to connect with your offer? You must show them that you understand their challenges and your solution is the best fit for them. You don’t offer a one-size-fits-all type of solution. Your solution is unique, as your expertise and authority in each of the specific niche field you want to reach. This constitutes the foundation of a successful B2B niche marketing strategy.
Limited funds and smart selection of B2B niche channels
Are you part of the small number of businesses that have virtually unlimited funds? If your answer is “no,” it means that you surely have had many thoughts and discussions on how to make the most of your limited marketing budget.
Once the unique value proposition has been determined according to the B2B niche market to target, the use of your marketing funds must be strategic: allocate the money to the channels to which your targeted clients are more attuned. Yeah, I know, you wonder which are those.
There is no room here for guess games. The best way to find this out is through research. Pick up the phone, talk to your clients, and also talk to prospects currently in your sales pipeline. Proper market intelligence will provide your business with the clues you need to find the channels where your niche audience is. Those are the channels you have to target.
B2B companies cannot expect to use the same set of tools and techniques that B2C companies use, and achieve successful results. Is it a good use of marketing dollars, in your case, to buy a full ad in the Saturday local newspaper? I bet the answer is a straight “no”. Much better use of the money could be buying space in a trade journal. How about a full social media campaign with three blog posts per day on Facebook, six on Twitter, one article per week on LInkedIn, and more on Instagram, Snapchat and probably Pinterest?
Today, it’s very easy to get distracted with so many channels that we have around. There are too many marketing channels and tools, and it’s overwhelming even to think about all the options. Can your company place your solutions into the spotlight into on every channel available? We all wish we could. However, that’s impossible. Resources are limited and you need to be smart to find your B2B niche segment. You will have to select.
So how do you select the right marketing channels to achieve a return on the investment?
Selecting the right channels for your B2B niche
When your company sells to specific B2B niche markets, I am a big supporter of focusing efforts rather than diversifying. Select a few, well-targeted channels, and get the most out of each of them.
Your uniqueness, as far as a solution and operating market is concerned, will help you determine the right marketing approach and the channels to select. Agriculture will need some channels; construction will work better with others and same for healthcare. Depending on where your current, past and potential clients are congregated, often enough it requires a significant investment from your marketing budget to make your product visible.
It would be nice if all marketing could be done for free. However, in today’s business world, companies that are serious about reaching a B2B niche need to understand that a realistic budget is required for promotion.
We all know about free or low-cost marketing tools: blogging, social media, affiliate marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), influencers marketing, pay-per-click (PPC), and many other tools to list. It may appear that much can be done with an investment of a few dollars.
However, businesses that target B2B niche markets still should understand that a reasonable budget is required for promotion once you find the right channels. Yes, I know “reasonable” is totally subjective. But a company that is willing to run a professional marketing campaign should make a decision regarding the budget they are willing to allocate. In the case of businesses that provide services and products to global niches, the marketing dollars also influences the company’s ability to survive global competition.
How to make the best use of the selected channels
At the end of the day, the main goal of any marketing initiative is to sell your solutions: you can’t lose focus of this important fact. Regardless of the tactics involved, your expertise and authority in the B2B niche field is the fundamental essence that will attract the targeted leads that your business needs. Your knowledge is the “jewel” that you leave for potential clients to find you. By sharing this knowledge with your current customers, you nurture the relationship.
“Jewels” like white papers, articles, eBooks or free webinars build your authority as an expert in your B2B niche. Having these materials distributed through the right channels significantly builds your reputation while it raises visibility and awareness.
Every channel you select to be part of your promotional strategy should become a funnel to connect specific, potential clients to the solutions that your products and services address. Rather than spending marketing budgets into promotions for “creating awareness” or “branding”, companies that sell to B2B niches should invest into identifying potential buyers.
When addressing a B2B niche market, your website becomes your golden sales rep. It’s your shop, and you need to keep it not only open but also very attractive to new clients. The quality of the information and the unique value your company offers through the website will determine if the anonymous browser decides to share the contact information with you.
There is a multitude of marketing techniques and strategies that industrial manufacturing, ICT and science companies can employ. However, only a number of them will deliver the return on investment that will grow your business. Without a strategic approach to marketing, you are at the risk of underutilizing your marketing resources and jeopardizing your business’ future.
Take the time to connect with NicheMktg. Use our years of experience to your advantage, to better position your business for success.
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