If anyone in B2B starts talking about the breadth of their offerings, they may have their latitude confused with their longitude. That’s because it’s so rare for B2B firms not to have a singular focus.
Levi’s may sell pants to any creature with a waist, but a company that makes control valves or sorting systems or enterprise software has a much narrower perspective. Their market is focused, and their marketing should be, too.
B2B firms don’t need to offer a rainbow of colors and a multitude of styles, but they do need to emphasize the characteristics that set their products apart, ensure that the right information is available to the appropriate person at each stage of the buying cycle, and be insightful enough to understand both the type of information and the best way to deliver it. It may be a gradual process, but B2B firms need to have what prospects want when they want it. If the timing’s off, the sale can be lost.
Yet B2B companies have some things in common with B2C brands. Both have to understand their own situation (so they can gauge where they are and where they need to be). They both have to grasp the opportunities and challenges they face in various markets (so they can determine how to leverage the former and overcome the latter). And they both have to determine where they fit in that landscape and how to present what they offer (so that prospects quickly grasp what the benefits are).
It’s what comes next that goes from wide to deep. B2B marketing absolutely must provide details, but they have to be specific. The person who researches what’s available has a limited set of criteria to match. The shortlister will want to know which products meet all or most of the specs. Evaluators will want the most detail, while influencers may require a subset, such as payment terms or mean time to failure or maintenance costs. Recommenders, on the other hand, may need material that synthesizes the concerns and requirements of multiple individuals so that the final decision makers can conveniently review the pros and cons of every option.
Marketers need to address it all… affordably. They need to time it all… accurately. And they need to anticipate expectations and be ready to meet them all… on demand.
For many businesses, this is a genuine challenge, but it’s what we do all the time. Every day. Either in concert with our clients or, like any agency, as an external resource. And because our own focus is exclusively B2B, as the name AcquireB2B suggests, we don’t go wide. We go deep.
Find out how in our complimentary guide Your Prospects Look Good. Get your copy here.