B2B Marketing Strategy: Inform and Educate
David Meerman Scott, a prominent author and speaker in marketing and leadership, recently posted a blog entry with some valuable information on how companies ought to be reshaping their web strategy. The title of the article was Educate and Inform Instead of Interrupt and Sell. Scott was definitely speaking my language in this article and he had a number of salient points about successful marketing strategy.
Scott started by saying that the key to an effective web presence is to “focus on your buyer’s needs, not your own ego.” Using your web channels to hype your products and services is usually not the most effective marketing strategy. If you want to draw people in and engage them, you have to take an alternate route, and that is pull marketing.
The fact is that people hate being “sold to”, and they seem to hate it online even more than in other media. You need to keep in mind that in the e-marketplace, everything is seen by customers as a two-way conversation. Rather than act like a relentless promoter for your brand, instead think of yourself as a publisher of useful content. When you unite your brand with strong content such as videos, e-books, white papers and blogs, you’ll greatly enhance your organization’s credibility.
While it is tempting to push your products hard and fast, sharing rather than selling can be a more persuasive tool. You’ve got expertise, so share it liberally. Let people know what you can do for them without demanding they buy something first. Scott says “you sell more when you stop selling”, and I totally agree. There’s no more potent sales methodology than authenticity. When you provide potential clients with credible, helpful information, and making it easy for them to buy when they are ready, you are practicing effective pull marketing.
The more relevant content you generate the better chance you have of being found via search engines and talked about in social network channels. Engage in the online conversation, but don’t try to interrupt it. Inform and educate and always remember that it is far easier and more profitable help people buy what you are selling than it is to sell them. This is a winning strategy for B2B marketing.