As a strategy and marketing agency owner I am constantly on the lookout for what I see as good effective marketing efforts versus what is not. Since we work in both the B2C area as well as B2B areas, (as much as we wish there were no longer a distinction between the two because in both cases we are working with PEOPLE, that’s not yet the case), it’s pretty clear to me that B2B marketers care much less about their own brand.
And it makes some sense right? After all, most successful business relationships are between people (see above), and it’s mostly about the relationships you have built or are in the process of building. Except for one age-old giant burning question – How to get attention from those that do not know you or your brand at all?
Lead generation programs have been around forever. They can be critical to the success (or failure) of an enterprise. But what happens when that lead actually comes-a-calling? Or at least a-looking? As we know very often the first thing they’ll do is look for your website. Having good SEO and an SEM programs in place are standards that oddly many B2B companies completely ignore.
What happens when that hard-earned prospect arrives at your website? Was it designed in 2009? Or earlier? Your prospects will notice much more easily than one might immediately imagine. Every touch point you have with a prospect or customers reflects on your brand and that brand’s value.
On your website consider having multiple outsiders test and proofread every page on your site. The amount of misspellings I see on websites is alarming and because I am a spelling snob http://wp.me/pn6jX-An the moment I see misspellings on any communication, printed, digital or otherwise, my opinion of the brand will have taken a serious blow.
We work with a variety of clients from start-ups, to young companies to established brands. Yet all get the same initial approach and that starts with what we like to call house-building. Before you’d invite people over to your house you’d probably like to be clean and spiffy so that you will impress your guests. Having an old, outdated, clunky website and brand image may not make visitors want to come in and stay to have an extended visit. Showing photos of long gone team members, out-of-date events, and ancient (that’s like three months) blog posts, all do nothing to promote or enhance your brand image.
My co-founder, business partner and Creative Director is fastidious about proofreading, and attention to minute brand details when it comes to anything that leaves ‘our shop’, as he likes to say. We also continually work (and are working) on remodeling our own ‘house’ to reflect what we are doing right now and not what we were doing two, three or four years ago.
Anywhere your brand has a presence, be that social media, web, or more traditional media (print, TV, radio, out-of-home), B2B marketers can stand out from the pack first by having their house properly built, then by delivering on their own promise and P.O.D.
It isn’t impossible but it does require some thought and investment both mental and financial.