I read an interesting piece of research recently, its headline was,
“95% of B2B buyers are not in the market for your products”
Professor John Dawes, Ehrenberg-Bass Institute
Professor Dawes was part of a study carried out for the LinkedIn B2B Institute and although the 95% isn’t accurate for every sector, the insight behind it is that the majority of your potential customers aren’t actually looking for new equipment or a new supplier when they read an article or see a social media post, and therefore advertising and PR should be seen as brand building, awareness generators so that when buyers are looking to purchase or change, they’ll remember you.
A Slow Burn
Keeping your brand top of mind, all the time, is the quintessence of PR. It’s why we get up every day! We use different media (print, digital, social) to shape a positive image of your brand/ company with compelling, regular, brand messages. Ensuring your brand is present in all relevant features, that it gets coverage with press releases and has engaging posts on social media, every week, of every month, of every year. As Professor John Dawes says, “There aren’t many business clients that will say, ‘You know what, I’m comfortable signing a contract with a company that I’ve hardly ever heard of before’”.
So, what should you focus on?
A fair question. You may have new products or services to launch, but if not, ask yourself what you want potential customers to remember about your brand. Innovation? Reliability? Amazing service? Industry knowledge? Think of it like this, you don’t buy a car every year but when you do, you already know the brands you want to go and look at and you know why you want those brands.
How do you measure success if not in sales value?
“The B2B sector often concentrates too hard on sales without really understanding brand”
Jann Martin Schwarz, Global Head of the LinkedIn B2B Institute
His words, not mine, but I do tend to agree. Our next blog will go into scorecards and measuring brands and how you can prove that more and more people have heard of your brand and that they are considering purchasing, so keep your eyes peeled!