The B2B market is over-focused on selling products forgetting about long-term goals to achieve sale revenue. With up to 95% of businesses not in the market for most goods and services at any one time. They are missing the opportunities to communicate with customers.
Global Head of the LinkedIn B2B Institute, Jann Martin Schwarz says: “It is the case that a lot of companies haven’t fully realized yet that most people are not in the market for any product at any given time. You need to target them with a long-term lens.” In addition, in the b2b market, customers rarely change continuously the business they are using products and services for, often over a long period of time.
New research shows that advertising mainly works by building and refreshing memory links to a brand – rather than by directly driving sales. This means when customers are in the market they remember brands that have advertised effectively in the past, and usually over a long period. That means with better brand-relevant advertising, your brand becomes more competitive. This does not mean that brands should completely abandon short-term tactics to concentrate on brand building, however.
“There are some clients that will have come into the market recently,” says Dawes. “If we can identify clients that are in the market we can try to reach them with campaigns. But it is the case that brand familiarity is super-important. To grow a brand, you need to advertise to people who aren’t in the market now, so that when they do enter the market your brand is one they are familiar with.”
B2B buyers are longer-term buyers
Instead of using misleading ROI figures that show a short-term sales increase in response to a stimulus, marketers should concentrate on long-term investment in the brand. Because, business customers tend to be regarded as long-term customers more than consumers do for the simple reason that there are fewer business customers about, and the ones that do exist are more valuable. The benefits of retaining a B2B customer are often enormous, and the consequences of losing them are very serious. Therefore, always remind them of the brand.
In the B2B market, lots of companies don’t treat the brand building as a strategy. The B2B sector often concentrates too hard on sales without really understanding the brand. They are missing the truth of how much trust and confidence in a brand are important.
Building marketing memory
According to the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute, it shows advertising does not work by stimulating customers to buy, rather by building connections to brands in consumers’ minds, ready for activation when they have a need at a later date.
Customers are often attracted to familiar brands. And that's why well-known brands often do better than small brands. It also highlights how difficult it can be for new suppliers to enter a market when faced with established competitors.
It is quite impossible for a customer to choose to buy a product from a business they have never heard of. The importance of constantly reminding customers of your brand is part of a successful strategy. Even with new customers and not yet entered the market. Starting early will give players a leading advantage.