Marketing to utilities and government asset owners is arguably harder now than ever before. While the official tender process usually has a clear set of requirements for bid-writers to follow, the reality is that successful bidders will be on the decision-makers’ radar long before the tender is announced.
We can’t make generalisations across all tenders, but we’ve been in the industry long enough to see that having a great brand reputation before the tender process starts is a positive thing. Building a great brand takes time and effort.
Life is easier when you don’t need to introduce yourself, so more and more businesses are putting in the work ahead of time to get themselves known.
There’s always a person behind ‘business to business’
While it’s true that some aspects of B2B marketing is different from marketing to consumers, at the end of the day it’s still a human making the decision, so target marketing towards the people who have an impact on business decisions.
Here’s where it gets tricky – ‘that human’ could hold any number of job titles and have a range of motivations when assessing your business, formally or informally. Think in terms of an influencer, buyer and end user – your marketing should address all of their concerns eventually, but not at the same time.
In order to create or shift your brand reputation you need to have a range of different content out in the market. Each one should reinforce your overall brand message, with specific key points included to interest the specific audience you’re targeting with the message.
One piece of content might more likely be seen by CFOs, who are concerned about costings. You’ll need a different angle to convince a General Manager of the benefits, when they might be more interested in big picture connections to improve their reputation or that of the business. Project Managers may not strictly be the decision maker, but as they often actually work with your business or products, you can be sure they have an influence on contract outcomes. You want them all on your side as much as possible.
Be seen in a number of places
Along with understanding that messaging needs to be adapted to the position and interest of the audiences, businesses who have successfully built killer brand reputations also know how and where to deliver those messages.
We’re not just talking about traditional print advertising here. A successful marketing strategy will include pieces of content designed not only for the people who are likely to consume it, but for the platform it appears on.
Not all decision-makers or influencers have time to read white papers or magazines, not all like watching videos or consuming infographics, not all are spending lots of time on social media. But chances are, all of them are doing at least one of these things. Your job is to make sure your marketing is easily accessible to them wherever they are.
This is where something like a content suite can be so valuable. It involves taking a message about your business and presenting it in a range of different ways – such as videos, infographics, articles and social media posts – to increase the chance of this message being seen, understood, and shifting the market perception of what you can do.
See it in action
In our marketing agency (staffed by the same people who put together Utility magazine), we’ve seen great success creating content suites for our ongoing clients. They love that by briefing us on a single topic we can create professional content to be shared widely in the market.
Until 1 December you have the chance to win a content suite for your business, created by our team to be used however you see fit in your marketing. There’s no catch, you don’t need to sign up for ongoing marketing and you don’t need to pay us for the work (usually priced at $6,500). We just want some more examples of this package to show other businesses, so we’re giving one away.
To enter, just fill in a few details on this form and we’ll contact the winner by the end of the year.