B2B Messaging – sequences

Marketing, messaging, Positioning, Product Management, Sales, segmentation

The job of a cold email is to get a response to validate the quality of the database. That’s it. As I have been ranting, over the last few posts, therefore these mails have to be extremely short and to the point.

Once someone responds, you can start a sequence of mails. Dean Jackson has a very interesting term called “offering cookies” to educate and motivate propsects.

However one key thing I have noticed in B2B marketing is whenever you are launching or marketing a new product, there is a lot of resistance/inertia in the mind of the prospects to change.

The reason for this is the amount of sanctions and approvals, people have to take, from multiple stake holders to get a new thing in place. So people don’t like to bother about software or solutions or technologies which will, at best, offer some incremental change. This is even more true if its for an internal process. So one basic thing to keep in mind is to see how your product or service can dot he job differently and therefore give a dramatic improvement of an internal process.

If its for a customer facing item they may still be open to things which are incremental, if they think, that it will help in better customer acquisition of customer retention. Therefore in these situations, more than the technology part, you should look at the impact on business in your communication.

To work through this inertia or resistance you will need to keep sending a sequence of mails to increase the awareness of the product/service, to drive in a wedge of dissonance with the existing setup that they have and to share case studies on how other adopters have used your product or service.

I have seen cases where we have targeted prospects for more than year – which means at least 18-20 touches, before they even thought of talking to us.

There was a time when people would offer whitepapers as magnets to pull prospects to see their level of interest. Today in the technology/IT arena everyone is offering so much content via YouTube and other social media channels that putting “gates” to see the level of interest can be worthless. This is however my opinion.

As I tell my team, I am also telling you – the market is the final judge. Pls test and see what works in your market. If offering whitepapers via “gates” helps gauge the level of interest of a prospect in your market, by all means go ahead and do it.

However doing a sequence of touch points /messaging is absolutely imperative in B2B marketing. So don’t get disheartened if even after sending out 4-5 mails you don’t get a response.

Till next time.

Carpe Diem!!!

B2B Messaging – Part III

differentiation, Marketing, messaging, Positioning, Product Management, Sales

Continuing from where I left yesterday you only have a fraction of a second before the person presses the delete button on your mail- assuming it even reached her.

To be able to do this, you have to be a wordsmith so you can continuously reduce the unwanted words and reorganize them so that the right nuance is brought out in your mail .

But even before that you have to think completely in terms of that person’s interests and keep your interests aside.

Assuming you have followed me up to now , you have segmented your market, then identified an economically viable niche and then isolated that one person who would seek you out

While I have stated all the assumptions in one paragraph, we have complete departments whose only job is to continuously figure this out and keep improving on the definition of the ideal customer.

But if you have done the above work, kept your self interest aside, placed yourself in that ideal person’s life you can list out a lot of things where you can directly touch a cord.

Within that, my experience in B2B has been that if you are selling something to a department which sits on the cost side then it always takes a longer time.

On the other if you sell something which can increase revenues then it moves faster. As Dean Jackson says everyone in an organization is entitled to bring in money but for spending money you have to cross multiple levels of approval.

So see how you can get your offerings to work for the marketing side.

Till next time.

Carpe Diem!!!

B2B Messaging- Part II

differentiation, Marketing, messaging, Positioning, Product Management, Sales, segmentation, Uncategorized

Yesterday we spoke about the challenges when sending an email to a prospects.

Unlike consumer products,where you can build a large list of prospects with opt-ins, when you are starting off something new, you also have to buy lists. You have to send them cold emails.

As I have mentioned earlier also its always better to go to existing customers first with your new offerings or you should go to your partners’ customers with your new offerings.

Howevr whe you are working for a company, the pressure for getting more and more prospects into your funnel is very high and therefore sending cold emails becomes imperative.

Mind you, there are other media as well, like Linkedin which you can use. There’s however a price to be paid.

If you are starting out a new company or a new division of a company or starting as the new marketing head, then getting funding can be tough since any Paid advertising or SEO takes time to get you actual leads and a lot of companies may not have that kind of patience for giving you funding

So if you are in that kind of a situation email is the only medium which you can use.

But as we mentioned yesterday, the email has to pass through so many filters before it even reaches the recipient. After it reaches her mailbox, it only has a fraction of a second before she either deletes the mail or just ignores it.

Which means the message has to be so focused, simple and should not in any way even remotely look salesy. So all the fancy home emails are out.

On a mobile where the screen real estate is so small you cannot waste it on showing graphics.

The message has to be pure text and should look like it has been only written for her – the recipient. As Dean Jackson says it should be all cheese (only the customer’s interest) no whiskers (our interest)

Till next time..

Carpe Diem!!!.

B2B messaging

differentiation, Marketing, messaging, Positioning, Product Management, Sales, segmentation

I believe marketing is Marketing irrespective of what you sell. I keep telling my team, irrespective of what we are selling, we are selling to people.

Which means the psychology of influencing remains the same, whether you sell chips, or you sell dresses, or you sell technology services.

What I have found a little different is the medium of communication or the method of getting the message across for different markets.

By far the best way and also the most effective method in B2B especially for technology companies is email.

However the challenge is that because it is virtually free, it also gets abused. Therefore companies put filters on their email systems which block any mail which even remotely looks like spam or labels the mail as Marketing Mail if its seen as being sent in bulk.

If your mail passes the spam filter and does not get labeled as a marketing mail, then you only get a fraction of a second to attract attention, when someone sees your mail on their hand-held, before they move to the next mail.

This makes the challenge exciting and frustrating.

As Dean Jackson says, you need to look at the email as a conversation you have while standing in the line at Starbucks. You cannot be in a preaching mode when you write the mail. It has to be for that one person to whom it is addressed.

In future posts I will give examples of major learnings I have had sending hundreds of thousands of emails while prospecting for technology companies.

Till next time.

Carpe Diem!!!