B2B marketing – it’s not always about shouting the loudest

In my last blog post I wrote about the unforgivable use of so-called ‘buzzwords’ in the office. They drive us all nuts, especially when our colleagues wheel them out at every …

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15th October 2008 at 12:02 pm

In my last blog post I wrote about the unforgivable use of so-called ‘buzzwords’ in the office. They drive us all nuts, especially when our colleagues wheel them out at every possible opportunity. Try as we might we can’t avoid them.

But this time around I’ve been thinking about the opposite end of the scale. Consumers have become better at filtering out the the omnipresent marketing and sales messages they’re bombarded with.

This can mean small businesses find that their products or services get lost in the crowd and they often find themselves trying to shout louder than all of the other competing products available.

So how do you avoid the same old clichés in your marketing messages?

Earlier this year Nikki Sandison wrote an article about how celebrity endorsement is struggling in a saturated market where the Beckhams and Britneys of this world attempt to sell a number of high profile brands. These affiliations increasingly suffer from a lack of individuality or are simply over-shadowed by the personality of the celebrity in question.

Clearly most SMEs are not in a position to use these types of endorsement but they can still learn the same lessons.

In Nikki’s article she refers to a new phenomenon where the product manages to take on a persona of it’s own as in the case of the iPod and iPhone. When the consumer thinks of these items a clear brand concept is easily brought to mind.

Stop guessing

Therefore knowing who your product or service is aimed at is a critical factor in getting the marketing right. Iconic advertising promotions are the ones that appeal to the target audience as with the racy car advert or the family centered food campaigns.

You could even argue that the recent Heinz salad cream debacle was caused by a failure to consider the range of consumers who would buy such a product.

Tailoring

Once you’ve established whose attention you’re trying to grab, it is essential to adapt the marketing to suit them. Research and good data sourcing will essentially give you the upper hand.

If you understand that selling to huge corporations may be less about the cost and more about finding the best product, then your message will become more relevant. This is a crude example but the point is nevertheless an important one.

As the old saying goes…

Knowledge is power. In a saturated marketplace standing out is no easy task. Gimmicky marketing can only go so far.

If you want your business to be in it for the long game, effective research which helps you create and market a unique service or product is always going to be critical to the success of the campaign.

Simon Lawrence

Simon is the founder and CEO of Information Arts one of the UK's leading business-to-business marketing consultancies set up in 2000. Simon has over 17 years experience within the industry and is widely regarded as a leading expert in businesses marketing to other businesses. http://www.information-arts.com/

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