In 2022, consumers have become incredibly sensitive to deceptive marketing. They can sniff it out like a well-trained dog. The easily accessible nature of information around the world has made shopping for solutions a breeze. Consumers can easily take their business elsewhere, and find alternatives themselves within minutes.
Modern marketers need to adapt to this shift –or risk ineffective marketing efforts, and wasted spend. Below are some tips I recommend in order to ‘break through’ to your prospects across all modern marketing channels.
Be upfront and human
There’s nothing more powerful than trust. When you’re upfront in your marketing efforts, consumers will gain the perception that you’re not just there to sell them something, but rather find the best solutions for their needs. It is equally important to be human. While it is B2B marketing, there is in fact a real person on the other side –with real emotions, real struggles, real skin and flesh –evaluating your B2B company.
Find a way to appeal to them through more than just their work pains, but also what they lie awake at night thinking about. Specifically for outbound, consider speaking to them as if you would a friend. Many companies are constantly worried about “nailing your brand voice”. The reality is that no consumer perceives outbound ABM emails that way. And in our modern world of spam emails, it’s refreshing to feel like they’re speaking to a real person.
In your next outbound campaign, maybe you start off by addressing that you are trying to sell them something. Maybe you say you’re “bummed out” that they haven’t responded. Maybe you attach a picture of your puppy, and promise them you’ll bring them to your first meeting. Unconventional ways often work the best, and being human is your first step there.
Note: Most spam filters today are sensitive to words like “sell”, “buy”, or anything that pertains to sales. Be cautious on how you write and position it or it may not even end up in your leads inbox!
Control the narrative
Consumers will shop around. And as marketers, we can’t assume they won’t see the competition. We need to stay ahead of this and control the narrative. An effective way of doing so is directly addressing the competition in your marketing material. By doing so, it allows your B2B SaaS company to control the narrative on how consumers will feel about the market you’re competing in. It equally shows confidence in your solution –audacious enough to even talk about them!
It’s okay to show some scars. When highlighting your competition, show that you may lack in some areas. It only makes consumers trust you more. It shows them that you’re really here to be a trusted guide for them –and as a result, they will be incentivized to purchase from you. In B2B marketing, companies are looking for partners –not bureaucratic corporations. Remember –we’re marketing to people, not businesses.
No one ever wants to cheer for the person who has it all. They want to align with the average Joe. Show them some vulnerability and honesty, and watch your leads flow in! Plus, you wouldn’t want a customer that doesn’t fit your ICP anyways. It often throws your development team into an endless loop of catching up, and the customer will inevitably churn. Not worth it.
More on why you should mention your competitors in your B2B Blog here.
Don’t show all your cards
An important note on conversion. Give too little, and people self-disqualify from lack of information. Give too much and people also self-disqualify before hearing your pitch. Finding the right balance between being completely transparent and holding back information is not an easy one.
A simple “cheat” is to focus on talking about their business, and not yours. This will widen the threshold for balance. When considering your brand voice and copy, spend more time addressing their pains, fears, and dreams –and less about your company. And when you do have the opportunity to brag, frame it as an action the company / lead can receive.
For example: Instead of saying “My business will help you with growing your e-commerce capability.”, flip it and say, “Grow your e-commerce capability with my business”.
Slow and steady wins the race
Becoming a trusted guide takes time. Don’t rush it. I often like referring to this as “proposing on the first date”. Marketers may have the urge –and pressure –to push a sales demo every chance they get. The only result you’ll get here is scaring away your “first date”.
Take the time to nurture. It’s worth it. Consider utilizing a lead scoring model across all channels to effectively capture the intent –and automatically turn leads into MQLs. This way, content teams won't have a conflict of interest –needing to choose between writing pushy copy –and instead can focus on delivering true value to your prospects.
To learn more about how to effectively nurture your B2B leads with targeted content –click here.
Now go out and build bridges!
Make friends, build relationships, foster connections. There’s nothing more powerful than being real, and whole-heartedly engaging with your prospects. A fun little video to watch regarding this here. And remember, being genuine will give you a lead-you-win.