Most B-to-C marketers are prompting consumers to buy in the relative short term. Sure, they want brand loyalists, but many decisions are made in minutes or sometimes in mere seconds. Even the decision to buy a car or house can be decided in just a couple of hours or a few days. However, large capital purchases in the B-to-B space are the extreme opposite. With large, multifunctional buying teams, decisions could take several months or even years before a decision is finalized and a purchase order is cut. Planning for the future year’s capital budgets can also extend the decision cycle.
So what is the B-to-B marketer to do? Simply wait out the clock in the hopes that his or her efforts pan out? Certainly, advancements in tools and technology, like marketing automation, can be an enormous help in nurturing leads. But what if you could deliver immediate marketing results during a long sales cycle?
Cincinnati-based Makino has learned how to do just that. The company sells machine tools that make automotive, aerospace and medical equipment parts, and it has achieved immediate marketing results. In fact, Makino has overcome significant competitive challenges leading to record sales.
Winning new-name business
Let’s look at one highly successful strategy on winning new-name business that represents an impressive collaboration between sales and marketing.
Our approach for Makino was to focus on accounts buying competitors’ equipment and not likely to switch. These are the tough accounts to win because they are predisposed to loyalty to another brand.
Through “feet on the street” as well as some fancy database work, we culled a highly targeted list of individual contacts. Given the offer we were about to share, the smaller, more targeted list, the better. Think hundreds, not thousands.
We capitalized on the lure of a large industry trade show, one that we knew many senior contacts would likely attend. In advance of the show, these contacts are typically bombarded with cheap postcard mailings from a plethora of advertisers. However, in order to break through the clutter, we sent the contacts something more: a box. (Wait. It gets better.) Boxes tend to be routed through an assistant, and the curiosity of what is inside usually prevails upon the intended recipient.
To fulfill the curiosity, we built in a very compelling offer. In this case, we offered the highly sought-after Bose SoundLink mini Bluetooth speaker. Remember, we are wooing senior contacts who are competitor loyalists and have significant buying authority.
In order for these contacts to receive their free Bose SoundLink mini Bluetooth speaker, they had to pre-register and then meet with a Makino representative at the industry trade show. A custom USB drive and brochure contained all the details and directed the recipient to a microsite and landing page.
Makino enjoyed an 11 percent response rate of recipients who both registered and kept their appointments, and the company booked millions in revenue within weeks of the show.
Effective strategies like this one cut through the marketing clutter, shorten the buying cycle and deliver real-world results.
If you’d like to learn about other effective marketing strategies, we invite you to register for the Dec. 11 gyro webinar titled “Fast-Forward to Results in a Long Sales Cycle.” To register, go to gyro.com/webinarseries.
John Dobbs, SVP Group Account Director, gyro Cincinnati
John Dobbs brings a long track record of delivering tangible business results for national and global B2B clients, including GE, BP and Makino. With extensive experience in the industrial sector, John helps clients identify and amplify their points of differentiation to outpace competitors and drive meaningful growth. He offers expertise in long sales cycles and complex buyer journeys that require integrated planning and strategic direction, as well as excellent creative execution.