Our transformation into a B2b digital agency
The world of B2B marketing has changed. The modern customer searches for products, services and problem solving - online.
23 years ago, when JWPM first hung up the shingle and declared itself one of Australia's first b2b marketing agencies, the world was a different place.
We were placing advertisements in trade magazines (people used to actually read them), database marketing and direct mail were still cool, a lot of product brochures and capability statements were "mailed out" , and the primary b2b marketing "weapon of choice" was a sales rep with a "Flight Deck" membership and a big expense account.
Then somebody invented the internet.
Nobody really noticed at first. The early signs was this new thing called "email." The geeks and the try-hards were the first to adopt it (about the same time high visibility vests started to became common on construction sites and people started carrying around mobile phones the size of a brick ). The first signs of being left behind was the embarrassing "I'll send send it to you - what's your email address?"
Industrial companies (manufacturers, engineering firms, construction companies, machinery and component suppliers, contractors) delayed getting on board...
As late as 2005 , when we suggested "you need a website", the most common answer was "what for? nobody we deal with uses the internet."
By 2010, most companies had a corporate website, it took them 2 years to get it organised, cost them more than they thought they should pay (unless they used a teenager - and many proudly proclaimed that they did), and once they finished it - they never touched it again for 5 years.
"And now, there's this new thing called social media."
Enough with the history lesson.
It's 2017 and the internet is now a frontline branding, lead generation tool, and (for many companies) the means by which customers buy products.
And this includes industrial products. "Business-to-business transactions" is now the fastest growing segment on the Internet.
I think you get the idea - you need to get with the program.
So, here's some advice about how to get on board and/or how to do it better...
The JWPM quick guide to winning the online battle
- Home truths about SEO
- Google is grabbing an increasing share of advertising budgets
- You need a killer website
- Conversion is key
- Don’t waste an opportunity
- Get data and analyse it
- Content is king
Home truths about SEO
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is about attempting to beat Google at its own game.
What’s Google’s game? Google aims to maintain its leadership position as the best search engine on the planet. Meaning that it remains the search engine of choice for people researching information. The results that it returns are the most relevant and comprehensive. That’s why most of us use Google and not the other guy’s search engine.
Problems is, for us marketers we want our website to appear high on the list.
All of us in business are daily bombarded by offers from vendors (near and far) promising “Page 1 on Google within 24 hours” and similarly lofty claims (they do this by offering paid search, not true SEO).
The problem with SEO is that our carefully crafted copy becomes distorted as the SEO merchants play around with grammar, word stuffing and other tricks until the language is high school quality and no longer communicating what we really want to say.
All very well to have a website that supposedly ranks higher for a couple of key search terms, but too bad that the website is poorly written.
Worse, Google continually adjusts its algorithms to defeat SEO techniques.
Google doesn’t want gamers scamming the system; it wants high quality search results. In fact, if you fall foul of cheap and nasty SEO consultants who engage in “black hat” SEO techniques, Google will penalize you.
Worst of all, does Google really want commercial websites to appear on page 1? Why would it if that works against its other important objective – advertising revenue.
SEO was big and the conventional wisdom (as little as 2 years ago) was that all you needed was a good SEO wizard and you could climb to the top. But, this is a fast changing world.
The internet is now prolific and not everyone can be on page one and certainly not for more than a few search terms .
Read further, and we’ll tell you how SEO should be done.
Google is grabbing an increasing share of advertising budgets
Look at this graph showing Google’s growth in advertising revenue…
Has this spending increase been driven by advertisers who think that Google advertising doesn’t work? Of course not. This spend increase has been driven by results.
Google Adwords works. It’s controllable, measurable, and with the right analytics - it can be endlessly fine-tuned.
And, if you have an e-commerce site (an online shop) you can automatically calculate ROI; how much revenue you are making from each Ad-Group, search term and advertising copy. Further with split testing techniques – you can endlessly fine tune your ads to optimize results.
For Business-to-business marketers it is an essential marketing tool. Where SEO is a black art with unpredictable results and stuffed with snake oil sales people; paid search advertising is transparent, powerful and can put you on page one every time.
“But I never click on the ads.”
Everyone says that; even before online advertising, everyone claimed they weren’t influenced by advertising. If nobody clicks on the ads why is Google earning nearly $80 billion per annum and growing?
You need a killer website
Organic search and paid search marketing is the start of the story.
Having responded to your advertisement and clicked through to your website, what your potential buyer sees next is critical.
You have average three seconds to satisfy them that your website contains the information that they are after. It must appear straight away and not require them to hunt through your website looking for it before they click the back button.
This is where landing pages are critical. A landing page is a specially built page that is partnered to a paid search advertisement. In an ideal world, the headline in the advertisement matches the headline on the landing page.
Having grabbed their attention, they will do one of two things:
- Make contact: some people are doers not readers. If the landing page looks like what they're after, they won’t waste time they’ll act and either ring you or email you straight away.
- Read further: the rest of us like to do further research. Who is this company? Who are the people behind it? Where are they located? How long have they been in business?
Your landing pages and website must be designed to appeal to both types of potential customers. Overall, it must project a professional image.
If your “new” website is now more than 2 years old – it’s time for you to start building a new one. A lot has changed in 2 years:
- The market place has changed
- Your competitors have launched their new websites
- Some of your competitors are updating their websites daily
- The web technologies have changed; responsive layouts are now mandatory (websites that automatically adjust to the various screen ratios and mobile devices).
- Potential customers are far more web savvy – they know a professional website when they see one.
Many customers will now buy from you judging your business only by your website and never visit your business premises; so don’t spend money on a new reception – build a new website.
Conversion is key
The journey from Search term --> to Ad Copy --> Landing Page --> Contact Page --> Phone call Enquiry handling --> through needs analysis --> solution development --> proposal writing --> sales closing, is called the “sales funnel”.
Conversion at each step is critical to maximising return on investment in sales and marketing.
Your ability to measure results at each step and take action to improve sales effectiveness is the difference between having a marketing cannon and a marketing guided missile. The ability to make course corrections as your target moves is what enables you to improve your hit rate.
Don’t waste an opportunity
Have you visited a website and then wherever you surf the web after that – advertisements magically appear reminding you of that company or their product that you read about? It’s called remarketing. It’s very clever. It’s part of the online marketing tool kit.
Another remarketing technique is e-mail marketing. Train your customer service people (that dedicated team of highly trained people who carefully handle each sales enquiry) to gently extract the potential customer’s email address; “Thanks for asking about the Super Widget Mark IV, we’ve got a comprehensive data sheet that I can email you.” Bingo! Add them to your email list. Once a month send out a beautifully designed short snappy highly relevant e-newsletter or specials announcement to keep them engaged and guide them to a future sale.
Don’t email any old crap; make sure it’s a good read. Great pictures, carefully crafted words, professional graphic design. It needs to be a sales master piece.
Not every sales enquiry results in an immediate sale. Remarketing automagically nurtures each sales lead to a future sale.
Get data and analyse it
In the good ‘ole days business owners and executives were fond of saying “half of my advertising is wasted; I just don’t know which half.” With online marketing that’s no longer the case.
Tools can be set-up to monitor results from search term right through to the sale.
Content is king
We said right at the beginning that we would tell you how to do SEO properly; you use “content marketing.”
Online marketing is created by three distinctly different types of people:
- Website developers: these are screen jockeys (mostly Gen Y) who talk in arcane language uttering phrases like HTML5, PHP, scripting, CSS – they build websites and make sure they work properly.
- Content developers: these are stylish people with beards and hang out in coffee shops and ride fixies. They carefully design, write and create images, and even shoot video. They research topics and consult with our clients' subject matter experts. They create articles, posts and videos that customers find interesting – this stuff is called content.
- Marketers: these are analytical people who use words like target market, positioning, branding, and message delivery. They do the business oriented thinking and develop the online marketing strategy that makes the whole thing work.
These people work as a team. But the content is the most important part. This is the bit that will be absorbed by your potential customer and drive them toward the telephone and into the clutches of your sales team. It’s the way in which your company and its products or services will be convincingly represented.
Content is the expensive part and is the difference between a cheap and cheerful website and one that does the job.
And guess what? Google loves content.
Relevant, informative and well-presented content is what Google wants to deliver to its search customers and its specialist team of search engine engineers spend their working lives developing algorithms to identify good quality content.
Our B2b Digital Marketing credentials
Old heads on young shoulders
What we’ve told you about (above) should provide you with some important clues about how you can improve your online marketing.
The JWPM journey began 23 years ago when the internet wasn’t really a thing. Back then we delivered business-to-business advice and delivered projects based on old school techniques.
We’ve changed with the times and invested heavily (and continue to do so) in moving to the front of online marketing for b2b.
Today we are a mixture of business savvy marketing pros combined with tech savvy online marketers. We blend the best of the old with the best of the new to provide our clients with a powerful formula for business growth.
We’re different because we take our clients on the whole sales and marketing journey from online lead generation through sales, sales pipeline management, face-to-face selling and relationship building, tenders and proposal writing, contract negotiation and through to project delivery.
Something else you should know about us – we are good at technical selling.
So, if you want to know how to win the online battle to generate sales enquiry AND improve your sales conversion then we are the consulting firm for you. Business-to-business marketing is what we do.
We offer a complete service to clients to set-up their digital presence and to drive sales enquiry from qualified leads – developing responsive websites and engaging copy that enhances the user experience; implementing search engine optimisation and targeted advertising activity to drive site visits, and utilising community platforms to support engagement with your company and brand values.
Our digital capability:
At JWPM, we have a team of skilled digital specialists and content strategists with local and international experience in...
- Content strategy development
- Website design and development
- SEO (search engine optimisation)
- Online PPC (pay-per-click) Campaign Development
- Online Campaign Tracking
- E-newsletter, blog writing
- Social media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter)
- Creative campaign development
- Video production
- Technical writing
- Advertising / Graphic design