by Brad Miller
Director of Business Development
When most marketers think about the holiday season the focus is often on B2C companies. Sure, consumers do tend to kick their spending into overdrive in the build up to the holidays, but that doesn’t mean that B2B marketers should sit back and take it easy.
The lead up to the holiday season can be a really productive time for B2B marketers. Here are some suggestions to help make 2013 your best year yet!
The Perfect Time to Pitch
Most organizations base their budgeting on the fiscal calendar. That means that the holiday season coincides conveniently with the second half of Q4. Very soon companies will be making important decisions about their spending for 2013. That means they are looking into suppliers, software, products and services right now! Now is the time to catch their attention!
Take Advantage of Broken Routines
The holiday season is characterised by office parties, absent staff members and a general lift in everyone’s mood. At most organizations the general feel is of organised chaos. For marketers this presents a unique opportunity. Take your chances; a well timed email or sales call could see you get straight through to the decision makers who are sitting their desk. You never know.
Tailor Your Search Engine Marketing
As people progress down the sales funnel they change the way they search. Let’s say someone was considering the benefits of ‘super-duper software’ for their company. They would probably start their research by searching for “super-duper software”. Once they’d done their initial research and decided that super-duper software was a good idea for their organization, they will start being more specific with their searches. They might add words like “pricing”, “implementation” or “solutions” to their search query. At this time of year, these long tail specific searches are far more common due to budgeting cycles. Therefore, those managing B2B SEM campaigns need to make sure that a significant portion of their PPC budget is focused on terms that reflect the sales cycle.
What about Content Marketing?
With search engines indexing your content faster than ever and giving more weight to fresh, topical content, a well timed blog post can be a highly effective short term marketing strategy. Why not write a comprehensive resource on ‘Super-duper software’? Something like “Super-duper Software Trends – What to Expect in 2013” – You get the idea.
Create a Social Buzz
Luckily for you, the social web gives you the chance to make an immediate impact. A perfectly timed piece of content or tempting promotion is all you need to catch the attention of your customers. It’s important to remember that promotions don’t just work in the B2C space. Why not give it a go and see what happens? What have you got to lose…the world is supposed to end anyway!
Why Aren’t You Using Email?
This report shows that B2B marketers send significantly less emails than their B2C counterparts during the holiday season. Despite this, B2B companies see a consistent flow of traffic to their key sales pages. Why not capitalise on the interest that’s clearly already there? Send some emails. Tell your prospects about your new content. Make them an offer they can’t refuse!
A great testimonial from a happy client is valuable marketing currency. The trouble is, most executives struggle to find enough time to run their own business, let alone write a great testimonial for one of their suppliers.
The broken office routines and good will of the holiday season make it a great time to ask for that endorsement. This will give you some great marketing collateral as you put together next year’s campaigns.
Time to Say Thank You
One of the most powerful messages in the B2B space is a ‘thank you’. If clients and customers feel valued, they will continue to be loyal and supportive.
Though many marketers understand the importance of a ‘thank you’, very few get it right. The key is matching the gesture to the customer or client. In some industries it might be appropriate to send out an email to your top 200 customers with an ‘extra special offer’ but for a service based organization, it would be far more appropriate to send a more substantial gift to your most valued clients.
For most B2B marketers the holiday season is a period of missed opportunities and apathy. Take advantage of the opportunities it offers and 2013 could be your best year yet!