How do you stand out in your industry? Are you the company that sets the bar, or are you following in the shadow of a bigger presence?
Let me explain how you can become the one to beat, whether you’re a single-owner consultant, or a Fortune 500.
A friend came to me recently with an unusual request. We’re going to change the names to protect the very guilty, so we’ll call him Jake.
“You’re a copywriter, right?”
I love my friends, but they don’t understand professional business writing. They don’t understand the psychology of selling. And they don’t understand that it’s a science that takes a bit of finesse.
Jake had a job interview for a high-level tech position and the competition was intense. Aside from a resume update, he wanted to know if I had any tips to help him stand out.
This is why I love my work. B2B is a never-ending buffet of enticing projects.
What’s The Scoop On Stand-Out Marketing?
After a lengthy Q & A session, or as my clients know it — a creative brief — I found some pretty juicy material to help him out. And yes, before you ask, tech can be very juicy.
Let me explain.
Part of the creative brief deals with getting to know my client’s buyer. What are their problems? What are their goals? For a lot of B2B companies, marketing material is still, at its core, a company brochure.
• This is who we are
• This is how long we’ve been in business
• These are our awards
• We have a few pictures
• …Call Us.
Sounds a bit like a resume, right?
And for the same reason my friend was worried about standing out in a sea of resumes, B2B vendors are having trouble distinguishing themselves from their own competition.
Go Beyond Your Price Of Admission
Jake wasn’t really marketing his skills or his experience. He was trying to convince a room full of engineers and C-level execs that he could:
- Solve their problems
- Not just save them money, but make them money, and
- That he had a plan that could achieve that better than anyone else could
His stellar resume was the price of admission to a formal interview. But it didn’t present a clear picture of how his particular skills could apply to their specific problem.
The same is true for the typical B2B vendor. Brochure-type websites, trade show materials, and sell sheets don’t give the buyer a clear picture of their problem solved.
I can hear a few of you saying, “That’s where our sales staff comes in.”
94% of B2B buyers have researched the heck out of you and your product before they ever talk to a sales rep. If you didn’t address their problems in your content, you probably lost them.Can you afford to lose up to 94% of your leads? Click To Tweet
How Do You Become The Manufacturing Company To Beat?
If you are up against serious competition like Jake, how do you stand out in a crowd with company-centered marketing?
The solution is simple. [pullquote align=”right” color=”#8bc53f”]What your customer wants to hear from you is, “What can you do to solve our problems?”[/pullquote]
Read your sales material from the buyer’s point of view. What does a long list of services and accomplishments mean to them? What problem does it solve?
If you’re thinking they will understand that you have applicable skills and a long history of expertise, you’d be right.
But, that’s not enough for buyers today…not nearly enough.
Providing that information is your price of admission into their world. If you want to rule that world (and yours) paint a vivid picture of how it looks on their end when you solve their problems.
Focus on the buyer and talk to them directly in all of your content. What Jake’s prospective employer really wanted to know was, “What can you do to solve our problems?” And that’s exactly what your buyer needs to hear from you.
Answer that and you’re miles ahead of your competition — especially if they don’t have a copywriter who gives them great tips.
So What Happened With Jake?
The juicy details weren’t in his resume. It was more like a sell sheet. The really good stuff was in a PowerPoint he presented during the formal interview. It was packed with stats he achieved for other companies. Yields are up to 99%, cost reductions are significant, quality control is higher, downtime is marginal, and OSHA violations are eliminated.
Really? He thought his main “marketing piece” was a two-page resume?
In the writing world, we call that “burying the lead.”
Instead of just updating his resume, we upped his game. We gave him an opportunity to “sell” his ideas by adding value to his content.
• We refocused the presentation based on the interviewer’s problems
• Targeted their pain points with similar examples
• Improved the look and flow
• Made it easier to digest in a short time
• Highlighted their ultimate goal — profits.
To follow-up, at the end of the presentation he pulled out a stack of professionally bound reports, complete with relevant graphs, stats, updated resume, and contact info. Each buyer…I mean, interviewer…left with a targeted, relevant reminder of why Jake was the guy who sets the bar.
Your Problem — Solved
If you want to be the company to beat, target your buyers’ specific problems. Show them exactly why you are the best solution, and follow up with relevant content that helps them remember you at the end of that very long buying cycle.
Is it effective?
84.3% of your buyers check your business website. I’d say having targeted content is an essential component in their decision-making process.
Oh, and Jake stopped by with roses last week. Now he is the guy to beat. The things we do for friends, right?
Solving their problems makes you the company to beat.
If you need help updating, or changing the focus of your marketing, give me a call. I love this stuff! There are plenty of ways to target your qualified buyers and help them see the solutions you provide.