Without a doubt, B2B marketing is a prime source of revenue. It’s become more than a way for companies to pitch products to potential customers. Whether it is a door-to-door sales or online advertising, it’s a medium of communication.
Yet in the recent years, there’s been a greater demand for unique (and unconventional) marketing campaigns that can attract even more elusive prospects. For example, sometimes the marketing department alone won’t be enough to execute a marketing strategy. Sometimes you bring in even the CEO himself both in terms of advertising as well as casting his life as an industry thought leader.
Like many apex predators, great white sharks are the top of the food chain. They feared by many and threatened only by few. Too many people have already drawn parallels between this and the business world.
But you know what? There’s never really focus on that special ‘few’ until you see the real picture. Among a shark’s many threats, mankind has proven to be the one that can really wipe the species out. Environmental concerns aside, B2B marketers that use a similar concept will find that even the biggest giants have a glaring weakness that make them prone to a specialist.
Given that it’s hot. The days are longer. It shouldn’t be surprising when even prospects in the office are more prone to browsing things like marketing content at a slower pace.
Why then is your B2B marketing campaign not taking this chance to change? If stock market investors have their own business-related summer plans, then so should your marketers. Given all the free time it’s supposed to entail, it’s not that hard figuring out a content strategy that would fit the lazier state of mind it creates.
Plan this early – If summer is such a hard time for your B2B marketing department then treat like a storm: prepare before it gets there. Find ways to survive the slow sales. Plan for the fall campaign. Outsource it and go on vacation. No matter what, the point is you need to start making plans now.
Use brighter colors – What do you do when you start packing for the beach? What catches your eye more often? Is it the swimsuit sale? Getaway packages? In case you didn’t notice, plenty of them make use of bright colors that go with the sunny season. Your local mall shouldn’t be the only business that tries to leave an eye-catching impression.
Make it like ice-cream – Whether its ice cream or lemonade, the heat’s more bearable with something cool in your mouth. Same principle applies when the summer lazy haze starts giving prospects a headache. Maybe instead of the usual white paper, do something a little more refreshing like a funny story or a funny infographic.
Set matching appointments – Instead of the usual conference room, why not use sales appointments as an excuse to get both yourself and your prospects out of the office? Or if you’re hosting an event, why not set it someplace cozy like near a beach instead of the usual convention hall?
Unlike winter or Easter, summer’s arguably the season when even professionals and managers have a lot more free time. Make that the key to blending the themes of your marketing campaign with the season. Try making things a little more relaxed but when they’re in their relaxed state of mind, make it easier for yourself to turn them into your next client.
Summer usually means people heading out to the next tropical getaway. But increasingly, people are still finding themselves at work even on vacation. Throw in addictive internet technology, endless streams of notifications, emails, and calls. Is this what you’d call unplugged? Unplugging from your lead generation campaign doesn’t automatically mean the end of it if you’re prepared to put in safety measures and resist all forms of temptation to keep checking on in the office.
Sure you have the occasional emergency. But how can you call it occasional when you’re expecting it more than half the time?
Give advance notice, including to outsourced companies – If you’re working in any sales position, let your marketers know in advance that you won’t be making any appointments for an extended period of time. If you’ve outsourced your lead generation and marketing processes, it might even be better to let them know weeks before you take off. On a side note, get them to set some appointments for you in advance as well so that you’ll have some work when you get back.
Get your current workload done – By the time you get back, you obviously wouldn’t want any unfinished work piling up on any new tasks or engagements. Therefore, finish as much as you can. You can stop your lead generators from setting appointments after a certain date but why cancel the ones they’ve already qualified?
Have only one emergency contact – You’ll need someone to stand guard over your emergency to number. Why? Well obviously to make sure it’s only used for emergencies. If you expect such emergencies to happen more often than not, then something is seriously wrong with your contingency plan.
Leave a decent message behind– Create a sort of response template that your marketers and appointment setters can use to explain your absence. Your prospects already do the same with their gatekeepers so why should you be any different? On the other hand, make it more polite and have it express your eagerness to do business once you get back.
Disable all other channels – If you really want to a bit extreme, eliminate all other means of contacting you from work. Make it so that the emergency contact is your only means of communication.
You’d want to make the most of your vacation so it’s only natural that you’d go and try to remove all sorts of work-related temptations. But perhaps the real thing you need to resist is the tendency to worry about the worst while you’re away. Create your contingency plans without it so that you won’t have it taking the place of your vacation ones.
In most video games, you may have heard of a term called event flags, the activation of certain events as you progress that also doubles as important points in a game’s plot or story. Example, when you bump into a girl on the street but it turns out they’re actually the princess/love interest/new party member etc. That point when you decide to talk is considered a flag.
Similar cases happen in real life and right within the process of B2B telemarketing. You hear stories of marketers struggling with a prospect but days later finally began communicating after another customer referred them. That’s a typical success story but one that certainly follows the event flag routine.
Like Christmas and Thanksgiving, Valentine’s Day is a special occasion for meeting someone special. Perhaps the only real difference is the number of people. Think Romeo and Juliet, the Cowherd and the Weaver, or even Calypso and Davey Jones.
Even if not an official holiday, it’s certainly treated as the one day where couples forget what keeps them apart. Such a special occasion certainly merits plenty of planning.
But now that the day is over, don’t you think those planning skills can still have use beyond the holiday? B2B marketers and sales reps could certainly use them to avoid the consequences of missing vital appointments.
Cliché as this may sound; real love thrives beyond Valentine’s Day. In the same way, real business connections should grow more valuable after they are made. Leads and appointments aren’t one-night stands. Having many ‘connections’ doesn’t guarantee you anything. Unfortunately, there are still marketers who treat the appointment setting process as if it were a production line of potential customers.
If you were in the shoes of that potential customer, how would you feel? Not too hot. In fact, there those who even equate this with the slave trade. Yes everyone has quotas to meet. (You have your marketers, your salespeople, and ultimately everyone else who has a stake in your revenue.) That’s still no excuse to deny the humanity of those you’re making B2B connections with. Marketers are expected to be professionals, not professional skirt chasers.
You’ve probably seen the cliché a couple times. A certain group of celebs or major players receive a mysterious invitation to participate in an event. Normally, this would be a set up for some horror or mystery book but in real life, this little trope can useful in event marketing.
The practice of trading goods has been around for centuries. Historically, the most well-known and influential trade route is the Silk Road or Silk Route. This was the structures of trade and cultural transmission routes that were central to cultural interface throughout regions of Asia. It continentally linked the West and East as Chinese traders and merchants traveled it to the Mediterranean Sea during various periods of time.
And its name lives up to this day… albeit in a different route and in a darker shade too.