Trust The Biggest B2B Marketing Issue in 2011

Trust The Biggest B2B Marketing Issue in 2011

Posted on 31. Jan, 2011 by Tony Wanless in B2B Marketing, Content, expertise marketing

It looks like creating trust is going to be Job No. 1 for Business to Business (B2B) marketers in 2011.

Of course it could be said that trust is always the underlying message contained in all online and offline B2B marketing, because the stakes are so much higher for buyers than in consumer marketing. But it’s going to be even more crucial this year, according to several companies that operate in the market.

One such company, Alinean, the creator of value-based interactive sales and marketing tools for B2B vendors highlighted this issue a list of 2011 predictions.

Alinean suggests that this year B2B buyers will rely more on online presence to make judgements as to whether they will do business with a company. This makes sense, since online is rapidly becoming the primary research method for most businesses looking for suppliers or hoping to becoming a supplier to other businesses.

Certainly, smaller and medium sized businesses have caught up to their large-company brethren and are jumping online increasingly to source vendors. Not only does this give them a wider scope of possibilities, it frees them from dependency on local suppliers.

But although more businesses are taking to online, not all of them have abandoned the healthy distrust they have for most vendor claims. Apparently, they’re bringing the skepticism they learned in offline dealings with vendors with them as they increasingly use the Internet as a research and information source.

This means that a vendor’s online presence must work harder to overcome “typical vendor skepticism” and convey credibility more than ever before. This can be done, Alinean adds, by investment in content and tools, that will create a “circle of trust” with skeptical buyers.

This circle could involve content such as independent endorsements, peer and analyst reviews, and success stories.

I would venture a suggestion that all these should be part of an content marketing campaign. However, they shouldn’t supplant traditional content marketing tools such as blogs, white papers, and case studies. Rather they should, whenever possible, be integrated with them.

This is especially true in the Information and communications technology, energy and cleantech, and financial industries, which involve more complex products and services and thus require a greater degree of  consultative selling. For these industries, blogs create an online identity, which is an important part of creating a “connection” with buyers; white papers allow B2B vendors to show their expertise; and case studies allow prospective buyers to put themselves in the place of a previous buyer in finding a solution to a typical problem, providing an endorsement of sorts.

Together these new tools, combined with more traditional tools, may provide even more validation and trust that will help the vendor be listed on the all-important short list for final decision making.

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One Response to “Trust The Biggest B2B Marketing Issue in 2011”

  1. Harald Weber

    31. Jan, 2011

    I wonder, wheter truths makes any sence in b2b Marketing strategies – no its fun. I think truth is the most important aspect as long as people by from people. An this was so in the past and will be so fort the future.

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