B2B marketing is trust-based marketing. It has been formed offline for a long time (personal meetings, industry exhibitions, conferences, negotiations, etc). But so-called “new reality”, when Covid-19 accelerated the approach of futuristic predictions about total digitalization, all “real” forms of communication we are used to having moved online.
Now you will no longer touch the product at the exhibition and make personal acquaintances at networking sessions. We can deny this, but the business partner asks to call back, because he(she) got sick. And we are forced to refuse to participate in industry events, because they left the online space with inadequate 3D and VR / AR simulation of real things.
What does B2B marketing look like now? How to build trust Online?
For global brands that have been building their reputation for decades, going online is not so painful. Before the lockdown, they managed to accumulate huge social capital, which in the “new reality” reduces transaction costs. However, it can easily go low or negative, because of, for example, an imprudent statement about a topic that is important for society.
But what to do when you are just about to enter a new market looking for those partners who have never seen you in their life? In B2C, e-commerce is already developed, where trust is no longer in the first place. For B2B, where large amounts and large batches are involved, B2C marketing tools are not effective enough.
As we have already said, the basis of B2B marketing is trust, and well-built communications play a key role in its formation. We are talking not only about business communications but also interpersonal and intercultural ones. You need to take into account the business culture of the country or region, understand the cultural code of your interlocutor, and follow digital etiquette.
Almost the entire team is involved in the online communication process. Each employee, in accordance with his job duties and competencies, can solve specific tasks to establish contact, retain attention, identify needs, and develop proposals for their maximum satisfaction. It is very important for the client to prove that the company offering the service or product is able to completely suit the client’s needs with the declared quality.
Your site can be attractive and informative, but incorrect work, for example, feedback forms, poorly established lead generation processes, and even the missing deadline of sending information after the first online meeting, all this can reduce trust points.
Trust-building tools can be a reference list, customer reviews, a list of partners, and in general anything that can increase the weight of your background in front of a new interlocutor. Note that it is not only the logo of the world-famous corporation in the “Our Clients” section of the presentation that makes an impression. Also, the relevant industry experience will give confidence to the person on the other side of the monitor that his problem will be solved.
P.S.: Formation of the evidence base should not turn into “fake it till you make it”. Online, this may work for a sale, but it will not help to do a successful project.
What problems or challenges have you faced in promoting your business?
Images: Valery Martynenko
Text: Verdesta team