The arrival of COVID-19 created an immediate worldwide shift in how business is conducted. While masks are coming off and restrictions slowly lifted, everyone is adapting to another shift into the “new normal,” businesses included.
How can B2B companies engage and excel in an economy impacted by the pandemic?
Look Beyond the Business
When engaging in B2B marketing, it can be easy to fall into seeing the forest –– the business itself –– and missing the trees. Yet, behind the businesses, you find real people with needs, problems, and desires.
More than ever, people are craving real human interaction. They want to know you care about their struggles and can help them navigate through each one. So focus on the problems your clients are facing and how you can alleviate their fears.
Seeing the people who make up a business as more than just clients will help clarify your marketing vision. Many, if not all, businesses have been severely impacted this past year. Coming alongside an aide and showing empathy in business will build trust and long-term relationships with your clients.
Crown the Client King
Take a minute to think about what you look for in a vendor. Even beyond the product itself, the chances are that the quality of customer service is number one on many consumer lists. Therefore, creating a top-notch customer experience is a wise investment of your time and energy.
You can accomplish this in a variety of ways.
- Using social media to connect directly and cultivate community
- Constructing a website that is clear and user-friendly
- Responding promptly and positively to questions or pain-points
- Putting out marketing content that is helpful, on-brand, and engaging
- Creating visuals such as video interviews or webinars that empower your client to reach their goals
Having the best deal in your industry, outstanding products, and great stats can win short-term sales, but excellent customer service is what brings people back time and time again. It cultivates a relationship of trust and confidence among businesses. When a client knows you care, you become more than a supplier; you become part of their team and an integral part of their success story.
Make the Most of Technology
If there’s anything the pandemic has taught us about business, it’s that not everything has to be done face to face (or with a six-foot perimeter!) Working from home, Zoom meetings, and virtual conferences have all become standard.
While some may balk at these changes in the way business is done, embracing them will keep your company in step with the rest of society. Online connections can be made anytime, anywhere, and with anyone. There’s no need to figure out everything on your own if someone has the knowledge you can use or has created a program to help guide your process.
If you evaluate your business’s needs and goals, B2B marketing tools and software can work for you to streamline and upscale your influence and maintain connections. There are programs designed to help your business succeed in everything from sales to SEO to data analytics.
Collaborate and Connect
There is going to be some natural and necessary competition between companies in the same or similar fields. But what if we stopped looking at the competition as “us against them” and instead sought to learn from and even collaborate?
While social distancing is coming closer to its end, social networking is growing and expanding.
Connections lead to opportunities. It’s not always so much about what you know, but who you know.
Use your social media accounts to promote yourself, your business, and your products and connect with others in your sphere. If another company’s content spiked your interest and got you thinking, leave a comment and tell them so. Share a post and ask for tips on LinkedIn. You never know who might comment back.
For the socially adventurous, virtual platforms such as Lunchclub and Cafecito use algorithms to make random but relevant connections across the globe. This is a fascinating and unique way to hear new perspectives, talk through projects, and create new business opportunities.
While COVID-19 has negatively affected the market in many ways, it has also revealed and encouraged new ways of connecting and excelling in business. Taking advantage of these unique opportunities can create long-term customers and connections that benefit everyone involved.