How many times have you seen “saves time and money” trumpeted as a benefit? While it might fly with consumers who can buy on the spot, it’s not very effective in B2B situations where high-dollar purchases call for stronger justification.
Where does it save time in the buyer’s daily schedule? How exactly does it save the company money? Your B2B prospect needs these questions answered.
Too often, companies rely on marketing messages that lack real meaning. These messages have been repeated so many times, nobody bothers to ask how they actually help the buyer.
It’s totally natural. When you work closely with a team, immersed in your solution set for months or even years, you get used to talking about it a certain way. You talk about it that way, your colleagues talk about it that way, all your marketing materials talk about it that way. It’s hard to get the distance needed to understand whether you’re actually communicating with your audience.
To fix the problem, I’ve come up with 6 key rules of meaningful marketing to cut through the noise.
1. Use Differentiators
One common problem is that marketing copy doesn’t show how a product is different from the competition or similar products offered by the company itself (or both). In order to say yes, the prospect needs to know:
- Why should I buy from this company?
- Why should I buy this particular item, as opposed to others in the product line?
Making this clear is an important first step in educating the buyer.
2. Be Concrete
Meaningful marketing messages are concrete. If you’re too vague, it’s difficult for the buyer to understand what your solution does. To help them understand, ask questions that dig deeper, especially around how things work. Your answers might look something like this:
- How does the product save time? It requires no maintenance, which means less downtime and troubleshooting in the field.
- How does the product save money? It’s less expensive than competitive units.
3. Be Specific
Meaningful marketing messages are specific. Lack of specifics impacts credibility, plus you miss opportunities to differentiate your product. Whenever possible, use examples, such as:
- The automated software cuts validation time in half, freeing up staff for other projects.
- The data logger’s low-power batteries add up to 2 years of extra life in the field.
4. Be Credible
Concrete, specific examples boost your credibility. One thing that quickly destroys it, however, is marketing-speak. That includes adjectives and tired phrases that aren’t backed up with facts. These include:
- World-class, best-in-class or best-in-breed
- Leading edge or bleeding edge
- Industry leading
These are just a few examples of what to cut if you’re looking to really make an impact. Replace time-worn phrases with actual information. Why, exactly, is it innovative? What features make it best-in-class?
5. Be Concise
B2B prospects have little patience for copy or content that meanders. You need to get to the point, and fast. Problem is, a lot of people try to sound smart when they write, and they just end up sounding stuffy.
Instead, try be more conversational. Your elementary school teacher isn’t here to slap your knuckles with a ruler if you dare use a contraction or a sentence fragment, or if you start a sentence with ‘but’ or ‘and.’ And as long as you keep it professional, B2B prospects won’t be turned off (see what I did there?). Instead, you’ll find something magical happens: your copy actually flows.
6. Help Buyers Decide
Of all the rules, this is the most important. In fact, it’s the ultimate purpose behind all the other rules. To be competitive today, you need to reorient your thinking away from just convincing a prospect to sign a check. Instead, you need to focus on how to really and truly help them. Help educate them, help them understand options and solutions, and help them understand your company. Keep yourself firmly planted in the buyer’s shoes, and those shoes will take you much further.
Need help refreshing your marketing materials? Email me at racheltracy [at] oncallcopywriter.com to set up a free 15-minute consultation.