Research shows good marketing collateral makes it easier for B2B startups to acquire customers. All buyers want information in a concise and aesthetic manner. So the better the quality of marketing material the higher the chances of someone engaging with it.
Unfortunately, many first-time entrepreneurs are technologists first and salespeople second. Their focus is predominantly on fundraising and product development. So they end up missing this aspect of business development.
This lack of quality marketing collateral is felt when StartUps look for paying customers. That’s because when potential buyers start evaluating the Startup as a business partner they look beyond the product. Buyers begin considering factors like trust, credibility, reliability and other softer parameters. And these factors are traditionally built by marketing efforts.
In this post, I have shared a checklist of the marketing elements critical for B2B startups to scale up. It’s based on our experience with startups in Health Tech, Services, Agro, and other categories.
And remember, sell the problem you solve. Not the product.
B2B growth is supported by an attractive and informative website. Unfortunately, I have noticed several B2B StartUps begin their operations without a fully functional website. Here sales are led by founders who have ‘industry connections’ or believe they can invest in the marketing after achieving critical mass.
In my opinion, this is not sustainable in the long run. Especially when you want to grab market share from established players. Eventually, contacts will run out. Then getting appointments or initiating leads will become tough without a basic digital presence.
After all, how many times have we decided a brand was ‘not good enough’ after a quick Google and checking out its website? Remember, the first thing a potential client checks out is the website. An incomplete website makes the brand look sloppy.
Real-world advice: If funds are limited use an ‘off the shelf’ template and focus on the problem you solve. And introduce the product in the most relevant manner.
Prospective buyers have very short attention spans. So long presentations, however well designed, will remain unfinished when attached to an introductory email. A single-page note, on the other hand, gives a brief but comprehensive overview of the brand. Consequently, the chances of engagement increase with brevity.
A one-pager should include
Real-world advice: Spend time and money on this one-page document. First impressions count.
Every B2B startup should have a concise brochure that brings alive their key offering(s). This marketing tool is great during face-to-face meetings as it helps break the ice while the potential buyer glances through the brochure.
A good brochure reflects the customer's perspective. It should cover these key points:
Real-world advice: Brochures are often used by gatekeepers in internal discussions with decision-makers. So keep it simple and easy to understand. Customers can always visit the website for more information.
Newsletters work only if the content is fresh and engaging. This works for B2B StartUps – as the firm is often at the forefront of innovation & technology. A well-written newsletter or vlog, with information that is meaningful to the client – will build credibility and engagement.
If high-quality content is not available, then avoid publishing a newsletter. Humble bragging articles, client testimonials disguised as case studies and factoids about the firm is of no interest to target customers.
Real-world advice: Founders should invest in content. Otherwise, avoid Newsletters. Bad content will be junked.
When founders move into the scale-up mode they hire sales guys to help on-board customers. Now sales guys need tools to help convince early adopters to sign up. So if the sales guys don't have high-quality sales collateral their productivity declines. This is especially true in the case of technology-enabled brands – where the sales team may not be as clued into the tech part of the offering.
We recommend founders initiate sales outreach programs only when they can support their on-ground personnel with high-quality collateral. The collateral should leverage customer insight and bring alive the brand benefits in a compelling manner. Plus short and crisp is the preferred style today.
Real-world advice: Enhance sales force effectiveness with high-quality collateral. Brands rarely get a second chance in B2B sales.
B2B startups have great products and services. However, prior to rolling out, the company should review its checklist of marketing basics. Unless the minimum collateral is in place – it will be difficult to scale up. By focusing on a few high-quality pieces of marketing collateral, B2B startups can increase their ability to on-board early adopters and keep a healthy funnel as they scale up.
Thank you for reading.
Centric Brand Advisors provides sales and marketing support to StartUps. Our experience includes FinTech. Health Tech, Agro, and other sectors. To know more about our Startup Scale Up offering click right here. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those who are looking to invest in content, please check out our recent blog on Content Marketing for Business Growth