By design, marketing and PR teams are charged with increasing brand awareness and supporting business development efforts, while ultimately helping to ramp up sales of a company’s products or services.
These business-critical duties involve programs such as messaging, online marketing, media relations, direct marketing, creative collateral and content development, social media marketing, research and many other programs.
No matter the program, each B-to-B PR and marketing team member should have at least a basic understanding of two critical pieces of information:
- the company’s ideal prospect/ideal customer
- the unique value proposition the company delivers to the ideal customer
Question 1: Who is the Company’s Ideal Customer?
A basic understanding of a company’s ideal customer helps the PR and marketing team connect with the most optimal market segments. The insight serves as the entire foundation of the PR, marketing and lead generation program. The exercise helps to identify the people and businesses that will benefit your organization the most.
A range of methods help create a targeted customer profile. Techniques suggested by MarketingSherpa involve a deep dive into current customers to identify the five optimal customers, and the five “worst” customers for profiles of each to understand demographics and characteristics.
Other market research efforts, from simple surveys to extremely in-depth market intelligence, provide a distinct picture of where the target market lies.
Cultivating a customer mindset makes all the difference to each team member, from the team who develops and maintains the company’s website, to the staff in the booth at tradeshows.
The bottom line is that having some insight into an ideal customer profile helps the team be more effective in awareness building, lead generation and marketing. After all, marketing programs should resonate with the prospect most likely to buy.
Question 2: What’s the Company’s Unique Value Proposition?
The second, equally compelling question to ask each PR and marketing team member, is to clearly communicate what the company does, and the unique benefits the products/services deliver over the competition.
A value proposition speaks directly to your target audience and it tells them exactly why they should purchase your products and services.
This means every PR and marketing team member must be able to quickly articulate the concrete results a customer will get from the company’s products or services.
Again, MarketingSherpa provides useful insight into the issue. The point here is that every PR and marketing team member should have at least some insight into why the prospect should buy from the company, the specific value the product or service provides, via wording the ideal customer can easily understand.
Central to Success
It's been my experience that acquiring basic insight into these two areas proves central to the success of any organization, including nonprofits.
Again, there are numerous resources out there, including MarketingProfs, that help discover the answers to these two questions.
For the B-to-B company, what other questions need to be explored to deliver positive business outcomes?