Every marketer dreams of that viral hit article that instantly increases sales by crazy amounts and expands brand reach immensely overnight all on a shoestring budget. Problem is, those viral hits are few and far between. When viral isn’t possible, marketers at least want their efforts to be scalable. That means producing a good ROI so that money can be reinvested into ads and everything else.
Problem is, scalable marketing can’t be used to reach every audience. Well-educated, cautious buyers are unlikely to be swayed by many scalable marketing tactics. Put those cautious and educated buyers in a B2B environment, and they are all the more likely to be cautious with the trigger. Instead of seeing that as a challenge, however, you should consider it an opportunity.
So how do you go about approaching that B2B crowd? You head in the opposite direction. Rather than trying to launch scalable marketing efforts, you need to hone in on intimate, irreplicable tactics to target individual customers. B2B customers rarely make impulse purchases.
The CEO of Acme Corporation might download the latest wacky Android game because he saw a flashy ad, but when it comes to buying a major software solution for his company, he’s going to do his due diligence and then some. Your marketing efforts need to take that into account.
Most importantly, you need to prove to a CEO that you’re the real deal. No BS, no empty promises, no underwhelming delivery. You need to deliver cold, hard, credible value and when it comes to marketing, you need to convince your potential customer that you’re going to do just that.
Qualify Before You Pitch
The problem with customized, unscalable marketing is that it’s time-consuming. With scalable marketing, you can mass email 10,000 potential customers within mere minutes. With unscalable email marketing, you have to customize each email and send them manually. Contacting 50 people could easily take a day or more.
That’s why many people eschew unscalable marketing, but that’s a huge mistake because these people are likely missing out on many opportunities. However, how do you solve the time/resource quandary? Effective upfront lead qualification can go a long way, and you should start qualifying leads right from the get-go.
Toss out the “junk” leads, or perhaps put them on a scalable marketing campaign (such as a monthly newsletter). Instead, focus on the most promising leads. How do you find those leads? One way is to build an effective inbound marketing campaign. For example, you can set up a landing page with a gated piece of high-value content.
When visitors go to download that content, you’ll know they are interested in the subject (say: How to Grow Your Mom & Pop Shop). You can also ask them some quick questions such as are you a small business owner? What is your job title? Has your business been established? Are you interested in small business consulting?
This way, your visitors will essentially lead score themselves, allowing you to prioritize leads. If you’re a small business consultant, and a lead is indicating that they are looking for an SME expert, you know you have a high-quality lead on your hand. If they say “no” and relay that they are a marketing consultant, you’ll know the lead is less promising.
To Convince Your Customer You Must Get to Know Your Customer
When it comes to B2B marketing, cultivating an individualized, one-on-one relationship is vital. Yes, doing so takes a lot of time. However, with B2B contracts the amount of money on the line is often quite substantial, which makes it more than worth your time to cultivate a relationship.
When it comes to potential B2B customers, you really need to understand their wants, needs, and pain points. The entire sale process is going to be complex, long, and arduous and your potential customers are going to be well-informed, so if you start spewing hot air, they’ll sniff it out quickly.
You need to make yourself a sought-out expert, someone that decision makers can trust. This means doing a lot of research on your end. If you’re going to call a potential customer, you need to have a good idea of what their company does, what their needs might be, and how your solutions can help.
Don’t rely on mass emails. Sure, you might set up a simple drip campaign with some generic emails, like a monthly newsletter and a few simple sales pitches and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, your bread and butter need to be unscalable marketing. When you send an email, skip the template and write a custom message for the specific client. Show them that you know them, and that you are a genuine expert.
Don’t Rely Solely on Digital Advertising
These days, many markets want to focus on email marketing, digital ads, and all the rest. Digital advertising is often scalable because it generates data and data-driven insights. Email doesn’t waste paper or stamps and with an email, you can avoid awkward conversations as well.
Yet non-digital methods, such as direct mail, can produce tremendous results. One study found that people are 60% more likely to visit a website if they have seen the URL printed up on a mailer. Meanwhile, leading marketing experts report that direct mail can lock up a 25% response rate.
These results shouldn’t be a huge surprise. With an email, you can toss the email out with nothing more than a click or you can wait for incoming emails to push it off the front page. With a direct piece of mail, you have to physically throw it out. Often, the direct piece of mail will sit on a desk or table, being shuffled around, until it finally catches someone’s eye and gets a read. That email, on the other hand, is likely to never be seen if it’s not read within the first 24 hours.
Direct mail should be personalized. Type up, or better yet, write up a custom note. Slot it into a nice folder with a fantastic informational book and a sales piece. Wrap it up nicely and mail away.
Conclusion: Unscalable Can Be an Asset, Rather Than a Detriment
So, what’s the take away from this? Unscalable marketing is a major investment, however, it can produce a tremendous ROI. As such, every business needs to examine potential opportunities to launch unscalable marketing efforts that will produce great results. Yes, resources need to be spent wisely, which means great lead qualification, however, once leads are qualified, you should pitch the highest-value leads with a custom message.
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