Why a customer and content centric focus will help you win
For most of us, it has been a long time since we were in school learning our 3 Rs of reading, writing and arithmetic. But in a successful B2B marketing strategy, the Cs are just as important as the Rs. To succeed and be truly noticed in today’s dynamic marketplace you need to be able to create, connect and communicate strongly. But there are many other angles to consider when building your next successful campaign.
As a specialty marketing communications agency, we believe at EMG in the 15 Cs when it comes to a successful industrial technology B2B marketing strategy. Let me explain why they are so important to gain interest and engagement from your audience.
- Customers: It all starts with your target audience: the customer. Ultimately, it is about getting your message across. This means ensuring that your customers’ needs are central to your marketing communications strategy. Just what is it about your company that makes them select you among several industrial technology suppliers? Go back to the fundamentals in your messaging strategy document and think about what challenges your customers are facing; communicate about the solutions you can offer to drive leads and win customers.
- Choice: Even if you are operating in a niche, your customers will likely have several vendor options to choose from. You need to clearly demonstrate what makes you stand out from the available options out there. Is it value? Customer support? Reliability? Innovation? Crafting a comprehensive positioning document that details just what makes you different to your competitors and where your advantage lies is at the heart of a successful and convincing strategy.
- Create: Creativity is key to stimulating the interest of your next major customer. To get your message across, you need the right slogan and tagline, the most vibrant imagery and advertising materials, the most compelling story. Knowing how to bring everything together for optimal success will be central to your strategy going forward and help you truly stand out from the crowd.
- Content: Winning requires great content. The industrial technology B2B space has a rich seam of often untapped stories of innovation and invention. But getting these noticed by the media and your customers requires a specialized content marketing strategy, whereby the different target groups are reached through a customized approach, addressing the trends and opportunities in their specific Industry. Trend reports and your own sales team are excellent sources to build insight into what is on your customer’s mind. Whether through social media channels, video blogs, trade media articles and interviews, or thought leadership pieces, content is king.
- Convince: General information and product properties will not cut it to achieve your customer’s full engagement. You need to convince them through the use of facts, figures and third-party testimonials. Support your communications strategy with data on how the market is evolving and how your solutions fit into the equation. When conducting a social media campaign, highlight the success through data analysis on hits and engagement. In a big data age, quantitative support is key.
- Customer journey: You will want to develop a customer experience tailored to each touch point on your customer’s journey. It goes from research, awareness, interaction and confirmation, all the way through to purchase. As a successful enterprise you are constantly placing yourself within your customers’ shoes in examining where you as a supplier can offer support in product application and development. What are the specific benefits of your product for them? How can they be successfully maximized? Where is your advantage as a product development partner? Pointing this out in commercial case studies is an excellent way to showcase your advantage to existing and future customers.
- Communicate: Think about your key message and how it can be customized to your different target groups. Should you adopt a more serious business tone to highlight your knowledge, experience and expertise, to come across as a true authority on the subject? Is it more appropriate to adopt a more conversational and fun tone to raise a smile and stand out with something that little bit different? It is often down to a varied strategy that ensures that all bases are covered.
- Channels: Are you looking to reach out to traditional trade and online press through your industrial technology campaign? Is your strategy aimed at a new generation of marketing executives who can be targeted with creative social media channels? A comprehensive and in-depth strategy can be developed by building a thought leadership position, through white papers, e-books etc. There are so many different channels that can be employed to a successful marketing strategy. It’s time to carefully assess what would work best where; focusing on an integrated strategy, whereby knowledge of all the latest approaches to marketing is exploited.
- Consistency: Don’t confuse your (potential) customer with variation on a single platform. You need to reinforce the message and ensure that you maintain one true and trusted voice. Likewise, the industry media will also expect you to stay on voice. Mixed messages from within the organization may certainly attract an editor’s interest, but the headlines will rarely ever be beneficial when internal disagreement is assumed.
- Continuity: How comprehensive you wish your strategy to be depends on your initial goals. Are you looking to get your complete story out there to get reams of coverage? The risk is that you become the mere flavor of the month with nothing to tell 3 months down the line. Sometimes less is more and putting out some feelers that attract press interest is all that’s required to begin a long-term innovation narrative. Keep the dialog going so that you gain the badge of being an authority figure in this space moving forward.
- Connections: Your story is great and could truly revolutionize product development within your specialized space. But without the right address book, you will merely be preaching internally. Knowing how to connect with industry influencers to generate a raft of shares and likes is key in today’s social media sphere. But the role for trade media and face to face presentations and word of mouth success remain important. It is about finding the balance and utilizing the connections at your fingertips in the most optimal way.
- Culture: If you are running an international marketing campaign, customization across both global and regional platforms is necessary. You may be performing strongly on LinkedIn and Twitter, but how is your WeChat strategy taking shape in China, where this is the key way to get your message across? Similarly, cultural sensitivities should also be central your ideation sessions to ensure that your message remains on point without causing confusion or offence. You need a marketing communications partner who can think global but act local.
- Conversation: The buzz shouldn’t end with the passing of a successful trade show or single campaign. You need to keep the conversation moving forward to remain relevant. Out of sight is out of mind. How can you ensure that customers and potential customers are still talking about your product several weeks after the event? Post event blogs, social media postings about some of the unsung hero product developers within the company and theme setting industry commentary pieces are just some examples of how you can stay in the conversation.
- Community: Good competition is important but don’t lose sight of the fact that you, your customers and the industry as a whole form a community that is often facing identical challenges. Partnering with other industry influencers on thought leadership pieces that draw attention to the concerns of the day is just one way to balance external communications. But also look to create an internal community within your organization. Communicate with your staff, partners and suppliers in creative and consistent ways. After all, a workplace where open dialog and long-term relationships are welcomed is beneficial to both management and staff.
- Confidence: In business, trust and confidence in your company’s capabilities are important factors to succeed. You have worked hard for years to establish yourself as a reliable partner within your space. This is something that you should harness and remind your (potential) customers about as it inspires confidence. Demonstrating how your company is delivering on your promises helps build and maintain a reputation that can be trusted to come through for its customers.
Your industrial technology marcom partner
At EMG we help you take your industrial technology marketing communications strategy to the next level. Understanding and translating complex technical information into comprehensive and effective communications campaigns is our core business. For over 25 years we have been using our industry knowledge, communications expertise, and international reach to become a trusted partner for our customers. Operating from two main hubs in The Netherlands and China, we can help meet your needs, wherever you are based. To learn more about we can support you, get in touch today.
More on these subjectsStrategy Marketing Communications
Brigitta de Vries
on August 5, 2019