B2B start-ups are becoming even more common in modern business. These businesses offer innovative solutions to other businesses that want to improve their operations, productivity and save money.
There are over one million B2B companies worldwide and, combined, these businesses generate trillions in annual revenue.
That’s why it’s vital that they are able to stand out from the crowd and get noticed by other businesses. B2B start-ups need to market themselves to get attention from potential customers.
But how do you attract new customers and increase sales without spending too much time and money? There are several ways to promote your company.
In our latest blog, Sean Farnell, Partner, shares some ideas on creating a successful, cost-effective B2B start-up marketing strategy.
What is a B2B Marketing Strategy?
A B2B marketing strategy is a plan for how a business should market itself to other companies. For example, a B2B marketing strategy would increase sales and revenue. In addition, it includes increasing customer satisfaction, improving employee morale, and reducing costs.
If you’re looking at starting a B2B company, there are a few key questions that you need to first ask yourself:
- What kind of products or services will you provide?
- How can you make sure that you stand out among competitors?
- What’s your unique selling proposition (USP)?
Every business has its USP. Whatever it is, you need to find yours. This is the reason why customers will come to you over your competitors. It could be something within your product and how it offers something that your rivals cannot, or it could be something based around the fundamentals of the business – such as providing better customer service.
Once the business has figured out what its USP is, you’ll be able to develop a marketing strategy that works towards the goal of growing the start-up business.
How does a B2B start-up work?
There are many different types of B2B start-ups. For example, some specialise in software development, while others focus on consulting services. However, all of them share some common characteristics:
B2B start-ups typically offer a subscription model where customers pay a monthly fee in exchange for access to a range of tools and resources.
They also tend to focus on helping businesses improve their productivity through technology.
As mentioned above, B2B start-ups are usually designed to appeal to large organisations rather than individual consumers. As a result, they are often better equipped to handle complex and challenging projects.
However, they still cater to individuals when necessary. Many of them allow users to create customised apps or websites.
Some B2B start-ups even offer free trial periods during which customers can try out their services without committing to a long-term contract.
Fundamentally, the bottom line is that B2B start-ups offer a wide range of benefits to businesses and individuals.
What are the main B2B marketing channels?
When a client approaches us at Burgis & Bullock and want to talk about how they can improve their marketing, the first question we ask is for a profile of their customers.
The channels that will work best for one business, might not be as effective as another. It really depends on what the business is, what it is selling and who it is selling to.
At the very least, every business should have a website/landing page, to have an electronic presence has been essential for more than 20 years. Traditional print and postal marketing can work for some businesses, while for others social media is king.
Social media is particularly a tool for B2C businesses, but the rise and development of LinkedIn has seen social media increase in importance for B2B business too.
Here are some of the main channels that B2B businesses can explore and use to reach out to potential customers:
- Email Marketing
- Social Media Marketing
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- Content Marketing
- Offline Marketing
- Direct Mail Marketing
- Video Marketing
- Online Advertising
- Print Ads
How to do B2B marketing for start-ups?
The most important thing about the B2B start-up marketing strategy is that it should be unique and different from other business strategies.
It must also attract new customers, retain existing ones and keep them engaged with your brand.
To make a successful B2B start-up marketing plan, you need to first understand what makes your product or service stand out from others like yours.
You can do this by looking at how similar/competitor products are marketed and then making sure your product places the spotlight on a certain aspect of it that sets it apart from the competition.
Businesses will also want to consider whether any particular group of people might benefit more than others from using the product or service.
And finally, it’s important to think about how to get your message across effectively. The platforms (as mentioned previously) by which to market through – and how they will help you to reach potential new clients.
How do you write a B2B marketing strategy?
Writing an excellent B2B marketing strategy isn’t easy. But it doesn’t have to be complicated either.
So here are Burgis & Bullock’s top 10 tips on how to write a B2B marketing plan:
1. Start with an executive summary.
The executive summary is where you tell people who read your marketing plan what it’s all about. Keep it short, succinct and easy to understand – there is no need to fill it with jargon and buzzwords. Make sure you cover the following points:
- What is the business
- Why does the business exist
- What is the businesses’ mission statement
2. Explain your value proposition
It is the core of your message. It tells potential customers exactly what you offer and why they should buy from you.
3. List your goals.
These are the things that you want to achieve within a specific timeframe. For example, these goals might include increasing sales, improving customer retention or improving brand visibility.
4. Define your audience.
Who is your marketing strategy trying to target? Is it people who work in specific industries? Are you instead looking a geographic focus, and targeting people who live in a certain area? Or is it a particular demographic you are targeting?
This is one of the most important core aspects of any B2B marketing strategy.
5. Identify your competition.
It’s essential to understand what your competitors are doing to stay competitive. Look for companies similar to yours and see if there are any ways to differentiate yourself.
See what they are doing and what you think they could improve on too – you can then incorporate this into the strategy for your own business.
6. Create a timeline.
Include milestones along the way to show progress towards achieving your goals. This is a useful tool in making the strategy manageable and visualising how hitting smaller goals will lead to the final objective.
7. Outline your budget.
Make sure that you set aside enough money to complete your project. If you don’t, you won’t deliver on time. The marketing budget can, and should, expand with time. For many businesses, the marketing budget is the first thing to be cut in times of trouble – but for any start-up, making an investment in marketing is crucial in giving the business a great platform to build on.
8. Include a call to action.
Tell people what they need to do next.
Have someone else proofread your document before submitting it. There’s nothing worse than having spelling mistakes when you’re trying to convince people to buy from you.
10. Review with your peers or business partner
Now that you’ve written your B2B marketing strategy, review it with your peers. This could be through a set-up such as Burgis & Bullock’s Business Mastermind Group if you are a start-up business without a board.
Your peers, or business partner, will be able to advise on what will work and perhaps also flag what is unrealistic.
Take that feedback into account, amend the plan accordingly and then get the wheels moving on implementing it in the business.
Interested in finding out more about how you can get the most out of a low-cost marketing strategy, read our recent blog: Three low-cost marketing strategies to deliver business growth
For advice on effective marketing strategies for your business, call Burgis & Bullock today on 0345 177 5500.