We recently completed a day long sales and marketing session with a Sydney IT Distributor. The session seemed to be very successful in showing medium sized IT businesses how their marketing can work, how it can be targetted, achieve results and give value for money. If you want to grab an outline of the presentation, you can click the image above. Here are some of the things we covered.
Why is “Marketing” so important?
“The Aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous”
Peter F. Drucker
Marketing isn’t just advertising and junk mail. It is about getting a targeted message to your potential customers.
- 16,000+ users of LinkedIn 15,000+ users of Facebook are Australian Sys Admins, IT Managers, Directors, CIOs
- (cost to reach them is ~50c per click)
- (not everyone reads BRW any more)
- 9000+ searches online for “Managed IT Services”
- <1000 searches for “IT Systems Integrator”
- < 73 for “IT Solution Provider”
- (the customer uses different language to the provider)
- On Amazon eBooks outsold traditional books last year.
- Largest category = Tutorials 66,000 books
The marketing landscape has changed, there are ways to use a direct marketing approach to cost effectively reach a large number of people, in a very specific way.
Key B2B Marketing steps
- Which markets are the most lucrative?
- Who are your competitors? (across markets)
- Who are is the key purchaser(s)/decision makers?
- What do you know about them
- How to engage their trust
- What is your message
- What problem are you solving for the customer
- What complete solution can you offer them?
- How to reach the target cost-effectively
- How to repeat and reinforce the message
- How to encourage them to take action
Working through the above steps will give you a clear idea of how you approach your marketing. The key two things here are engaging their trust and solving a problem for them.
Here are some low cost/low commitment ways to get good information about your target market.
- Use Facebook and LinkedIn advertising platforms
- (to find the right targets, people, places)
- Use Google Keyword Tool
- (to see how many searches there are and what the cost of marketing to them is)
- Look for company lists, Dunn and Bradstreet, Listbank.com.au
- (to compare industry sizes)
Finding the right market and the right target is a long process. It depends on your own internal processes and your own profit margins. There are some tools out there you can use to find the right markets and the right target people.
Who and what do you know?
- Customer profiling (name, age, sex, likes dislikes, family, footy team?)
- What do they read, where do they read?
- Where do they live, where do they work?
- Alexa and Compete.com list websites people visit together.
- Google has a demographic targeting tool.
Harvey McKay has a book called Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive. In it he talks about profiling the customer using 72 questions on your current customers.
What is your message
- How does (how do you want) your prospect describe the product/service?
- What does (what do you want) your image and your product conjure up in the prospect’s mind?
- What “job” does your product do, and how does that benefit your clients directly?
- Avoid technical language and “BizSpeak”
- Use Google Keyword tool to find out what people are searching for.
Refining your message is the key to marketing. Using Google Keyword tool is an important part of that as it can help you see what other people are searching for, and what words will help you reach the most people.
B2B marketing process
- Anchoring in emotion, creating personality
- Building a profile in the market
- Building an identity
- Being top of mind
- Case Studies = Industry Framework
- Using T&Cs to differentiate
- Using expertise/experience
B2B Marketing Process
- Product/Service Placement
- Call to action
- Above the line – Advertising, visible marketing
- Below the line – PR, Word of Mouth,
You have to focus on repetition and reinforcement. You need to make sure that your brand, and your product offerings, stay top of mind for the customer.
B2B Above the line
- Using the keywords you have identified
- H1, Title Tag, Description
- Links from authority pages
- Building/participating in a community
- Forums, seminars, Q+A
- Google, Facebook, LinkedIn
- Industry Mags (with caution/more than just an ad.)
B2B Above the line
- Local sports teams with a big following
- (Gladesville Hornsby Football Association has 50 clubs x 30 teams x 15 parents = >22500 people)
- Corporate events
- Joint Marketing initiatives
- Allied business partners (vertical and horizontal)
- Using your customer
- Testimonials (video or written)
B2B Above the line
- Direct Marketing
- Individual, Targeted
- Original, Creative
- Solution focussed
- Cost effective
B2B below the line
- Events (self managed and trade shows)
- Become an industry leader
- Educate your market
- Online Webinars
- Breakfast sessions
B2B below the line
- Articles/white papers
- Write about trends
- Answer questions
- Build a community
- Offer specialist expert advice
- Easy to make, cheap, good for web traffic and branding
- Word of Mouth
- The ultimate goal of good marketing
Conversions + Analysis
Easy conversion measurement:
- Separate 1300/1800 number (for web or marketing)
- Web contact form
- Specific white paper
- Specific discount/free consultation worth $xxx
- Google analytics, Page views(Clicks) /Contact
- New customer Calls/total cost of marketing
- New customers/Old business
- Total lifetime gross profitability of a customer