Prioritizing client relationships within B2B marketing strategies was a powerful tool before the pandemic. Now, it’s an essential one, as COVID-19 placed a new importance on relationships between B2B brands and clients.
As many businesses now enter into a growth phase after the instability of 2020, there are new opportunities for B2B brands to develop meaningful relationships with their clients based on trust and human connection.
Trust is key. In 2021 and beyond, B2B customers need to feel as if they can trust your brand to provide support through thick and thin.
In fact, 53% of respondents to the 2020 Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report say “whether you trust the company that owns the brand, or [the] brand that makes the product” is the second most crucial factor when purchasing from a new organization.
How can you achieve this?
Recognizability: By giving your brand a signature look and sound, you help solidify your company in the minds of potential clients.
Authenticity: In today’s age, it’s also vital to instill customer trust in your brand by being clear about your values and making sure your actions match up.
Creativity: B2B companies shouldn’t shy away from creative campaigns, taking a page from the B2C book when it comes to unique branding and quirky messaging.
Reliability: B2B brands must prioritize data privacy and security. You can communicate this to your clients by being transparent about your data collection policies and security infrastructure.
Build human connection. After more than a year of isolation, human connection is more important than ever, and that applies to marketing relationships as well.
You can begin by leveraging storytelling, a great way to demonstrate the impact of your business on the lives of others. It’s also wise to consider the more minor but just as essential details of your messaging. You’ll want to make sure that any brand communication is delivered at the right time and in the right tone.
Listen to your clients. No relationship can develop without each partner feeling heard, and here are several ways to make this happen. For example, frequently conduct social listening, collect feedback on your product or service through surveys, and analyze user data for insights. It’s also wise to have individual conversations with your most valued clients about what they see on the horizon.
With social media usage soaring through 2020 and into 2021, more B2B clients are willing to use these platforms to communicate with brands. This requires defining client segments and engaging with these client groups based on their purchasing behavior.
Listening well means responding meaningfully – so ensure that the conversations you have with clients are based on their known needs and behaviors.
Post-pandemic marketing for many B2B businesses will mean bringing the core ethos of your strategy back to basics – maintaining quality, long-term relationships. The path there may require some innovative thinking, but staying focused on building connection, loyalty, and trust with your customers will help keep you on the right trajectory.
By Vic Vaswani