The Secret to B2B Marketing Success is Finding the Right Partners
When it comes to marketing success, there really is no secret. The information is out there being shouted from every business guru and consultant on the web. You can’t go online without running into a slideshow declaring “The 10 Best-kept Marketing Secrets Revealed”. With everyone revealing them, they can hardly be considered secrets, now can they.
When it comes to marketing, the best “secret” is probably the oldest aphorism in the book: It is not about what you know, but who you know. Like so many things in life, great marketing depends on great partners. Even if you are a master of marketing, you are not a master of everything it takes to pull a good marketing strategy together. There are just too many moving parts.
Here are a few suggestions for great marketing partners that will help your B2B ambitions:
The Right Partner for Printed Marketing Material
One of the first partners you are going to want to find is one that still knows the ways of paper and ink. Make no mistake about it; paper is not going anywhere in our lifetimes. Look over at your garbage can. See what it’s filled with? That’s right. It is full of paper. Your fax machine, copier, and printer are all loaded with paper. Your mail slot is stuffed with, you guessed it, paper.
One of the members of your marketing team should be an expert on paper. You need business cards, and don’t even talk about bumping cellphones. That is an excellent way to lose a potential client. It doesn’t matter how good your website is. If you are talking to someone on a show floor, or in an elevator pitching for your life, you need a brochure that they can physically handle and flip through on the spot when a computer or tablet with internet connection is not handy.
Sure, you could go to your nearest FedEx Office if you just don't give a care about your presentation. Or you could take the time to do a little research online for the best place to print your custom business cards. Do your homework and take printed materials seriously. Next to the clothes you’re wearing, it is the first impression your potential client will have of your business. And we all know how difficult those can be to change.
The Right Partner for Online Advertising.
If AdWords is the only name you know in digital marketing, you seriously need to learn a few more names. There is so much more to successful marketing than search engine optimization. For the most part, SEO is a black box filled with voodoo and fever dreams. You can try to tame it. But you can never be fully successful. Google is constantly tweaking their algorithms, and they are not sharing the secret sauce with you, or your SEO guru of choice.
What you need is a real partner who specializes in digital advertising. That would be someone who knows advertising, not just digital. The ability to speak Klingon in binary does not qualify your neighbor’s kid to come anywhere near the marketing department of your business. You might peruse this list featuring 100 of the top 5,000 advertising and marketing companies.
The Right Mass-media Marketing Partner
Big is different from small. Television is different from the Internet. When it is time to go big with a mass-market campaign over traditional media, you are going to have to add marketing team members that specialize in big marketing.
It is not that one type of marketing is right while the other is wrong. It is a matter of choosing the one best suited for your particular needs at the time. You will probably even want to run both concurrently as they have different benefits. According to this article from the small business section of chron.com:
While online advertising does have some specific advantages over traditional mass media, many businesses still rely on mass media to get the job done. This is because it is sometimes more effective at creating a brand image. Online behaviors are not the same as they are while watching a TV show or listening to the radio. Because of this, they produce different results. Many businesses should use a combination of both types of advertising for best results.
Even if you run a one-person shop, marketing is not a one-person job. It may not take a village, but it most certainly takes a team.