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Staying competitive in a b2b businessIn 2010, it’s no surprise consumers are spending less, and businesses are doing the same. Staying competitive as a B2B provider is top-of-mind, but traditional methods of marketing and sales may no longer yield the desired results.

With limited resources and a wealth of options, customers today are looking for a special reason to engage – not only in terms of choosing you over the competition, but choosing to engage at all – and adjusting your approach to reflect this new dynamic is wise.

The good news is that a highly competitive market lends itself to innovation and makes room for your company to shine. Whether business is thriving or slower than you’d like, being competitive in today’s market requires a strategic approach that accounts for market trends and addresses customers’ needs in a tangible way to give them every reason possible to sign on your dotted line.

1 – Pioneer your brand, but do it a little differently

Is your brand noteworthy? Is there something about your company, product, or service that sets you apart from the competition and drives customer loyalty and positive word of mouth?  If so, and we hope this is the case, now is the time to leverage that in a slightly different way than you have in the past.

While brand-forward marketing campaigns go a long way to raise brand awareness and gradually establish a brand’s foothold in an industry, in times of economic uncertainty it is best to get back to the basics.

Focusing on benefits, features, and how your brand, product, or service will improve your customers’ lives overall is the right direction. If your brand is already well-defined, this may sound redundant with what you’ve already done, but the key is to take your existing selling proposition and put even more emphasis on benefits and features, removing any focus your brand has as unique or superior to the competition.

Rethinking your brand messaging to focus even more on results ensures customers get the right message. Make a strong enough case for your product or service in this way now, and your brand will sell itself, further strengthening any brand-forward campaigning you do down the line.

2 – Grow your business by identifying proprietary trends

Let’s say your company offers management consulting. Though website development and copy writing, two services that fall under the “marketing strategy” umbrella, are not part of your core competencies, you often find yourself consulting clients on design and messaging organically as part of your general consulting package. Stop now.

Identifying services you provide outside the scope of stated work is a great way to identify possible opportunities for growth. Talk to your staff and have them keep track of how time is spent with clients. Looking for trends in this way will help uncover new sources of revenue. Break out the things you do outside the scope of work, outline the deliverables, and offer this “new” service separately or as part of your existing service. There is no reason to do work for free, and if this is happening consistently, chances are the work is high-value. Charge for it.

Ease in to offering new add-ons and services by developing relevant freebies and promoting them to your customers. A freebie will help move things forward with those considering a new service and establish customer loyalty among those already on board.

3 – Make first-rate customer service a top priorityCustomer service phone

Got customers? Make it your mission to keep them. While volumes have been written on customer retention, making it a priority during challenging times is important for obvious reasons. Likewise, as customers are more likely to jump ship to a competitor offering a better deal in sweeter packaging, personal touches, flexibility, and follow-up are a must to make sure customers feel valued, cared for, and understood.

Give customers a reason to seek greener pastures now and they will, so make sure you don’t. Go the extra mile and throw in a handwritten note; develop a loyalty program offering discounts and rewards. Do what you can to make customers happy, and it’s likely you’ll see a tangible return.

4 – Always remember what works

Last but not least, a tip for good times and bad that is too often forgotten: always remember what works. Never stop celebrating.

Inside and outside your organization, make it a goal to recognize employees for a job well done or efforts seen. Allow employees to focus on what they do best when possible, and create mutually lucrative opportunities for employees to excel within a specialty. Finally, make following industry news and trends a company wide initiative, share relevant and valuable updates with employees on a consistent basis, and involve teams in strategic decision-making when possible. Doing the above fosters motivation and a sense of ownership – two priceless factors that help your business stay on track in any kind of weather.

We hope the four tips above help you navigate your business successfully no matter what the market conditions. To discuss your online marketing or for more information on Wpromote’s products and services, please contact sales@wpromote.com.

Comments

10 thoughts on “4 Ways to Be Competitive in Any Kind of Market
  1. Matt says:

    In regards to point 2, I worry that by trying to charge my new clients for services I view as add-ons (but they view as “should be standard”), I’ll lose the new clients to competitors. Any thoughts on how to avoid that happening?

    1. Absolutely. The problem #2 is addressing is what happens when a “given” is not understood to be a key component of a service. If that “given” ends up requiring enough resources to be seen as a service of it’s own, it’s better to be explicit: break out exactly what a client can expect with any service and offer to expand on “given” components if the client is so inclined. It’s not about charging extra for something that’s expected. It’s about charging for services you provide outside the scope of the original agreement because the need occurs organically.

  2. Matt says:

    Hmmm… sounds like I need to have a conversation with my sales team.

  3. “Traditional methods of marketing and sales may no longer yield the desired results”. I agree with you. We need more Innovative way..! Keep posting…!

  4. Amanda Moshier says:

    Thanks!

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