Leveraging P2P: The New Marketing B2B
When marketing to business customers, too many companies are all-business-all-the-time. Data, product descriptions, and detailed selling points are overused to try and make the case. Too many companies respond to RFP’s and make presentations bursting with cold and impersonal information, leaving the poor prospect struggling to remember anything unique and valued about the companies.
The best branded companies take a different approach. They give their potential customers more than just a list of product specs. They let their potential customers in and allow the prospect to get to know who they are and how their business thinks. In doing so, they help the potential customer decide whether or not the brand, and by extension the brand’s people, seems to be a good fit.
Always remember that people buy… you’ve never had a company purchase from you and you never will. It’s always been a person (or persons) in an organization that chooses your offering over a competitor’s. That makes it your job to engage people at a personal level well beyond bland and boring. For B2B, leading companies know that it’s really about P2P (people-to-people).
Through our experience, we’ve seen the most success when clients bring their company’s personality to the forefront, out from behind a curtain of B2B jargon and a wall of facts and figures. It takes courage and the willingness to stand out, but once their personality is crystallized and their brand story is distilled (yes, B2B companies do have lots of personality and great stories) then it’s shared with their market in a way that engages the individuals within their market audience. What makes up those stories?
- How the company started;
- What the organization believes in;
- The values that the company holds near and dear to it’s heart…
… all presented as a unique personality to come alive in the mind of your market.
Even the CEO of one of the greatest companies of all time has tapped into the P2P approach in marketing industrial products. Although General Electric’s Jeffrey Immelt loves talking about the feeds and speeds of the industrial products produced at GE, he knows that connecting with his market on a personal level and engaging them in the emotional side of their business is leading to great returns on GE’s marketing spend.
These are the things that make a brand perceived as different and memorable. It’s not about the widget or service offered, it’s about how the people who buy from you perceive your product, your service and your company. When they’re comparing you to that list of your competitors, most features will seem similar. When engaging your unique story, they subconsciously connect and see a dramatic difference.
Competitors can copy product features but they can’t duplicate your company’s story. It’s that P2P approach that what makes you… you.
And it’s what makes some of the most successful B2B companies stand out.