Esteban: We wanted to ask you about your approach to the work you do. How do you help B2B brands find their competitive advantage?
Christian: It's a bit of a soul search as well as conducting research and analysis that takes a brand on a journey of self-discovery. B2B brands need to be more authentic, have a human touch, a high degree of relatability, and display professionalism across every touch point with their customers.
It's essential to take a step back to see what you have accomplished and ask the right questions:
- What are you currently doing that’s working?
- What are some areas that require improvement?
- What are some potential opportunities or strengths within your organization that you haven’t tapped into yet?
We start with understanding the problems and pain points of your target audience, then determine how you are best equipped to address these challenges as an organization.
It's also important to look at the opportunities in an approach that is called solution-focus. If a specific problem no longer existed, how would that impact what you're doing right now? How would that help the success of your organization?
To find a competitive advantage is not such a straightforward answer. There's a process of discovery that has to go into it. By following the steps I have just outlined with the respective methodology of asking the right questions and identifying untapped opportunities, we help B2B brands to extract insights that can be communicated and leveraged as a competitive advantage.
Esteban: What is your approach to B2B branding? How do brands position themselves in the B2B world?
Christian: It depends on several factors and the answers to the following questions:
- Who is your target audience?
- Who do you want to reach out to and influence?
- What do you stand for as a company?
- What do you believe in?
- What are your values?
- How are you positioned in the market?
- How do you want to be perceived?
- What are your long-term goals and visions?
Esteban: For us, it has always been a challenge with B2B brands because we see the trends, and we see that, for example, people are refreshing their websites, making different tweaks here and there just to refresh the brand a little. But then some companies have said, "We don't want to lose that formality that we already have or that positioning that we already have." So, it's kind of a conversation that needs to be ongoing all the time.
Christian: Definitely. You update your brand or how you're positioned based on changing market dynamics because times have changed, and you must adjust accordingly.
Esteban: Nowadays, we have a lot of platforms—LinkedIn, TikTok, etc. What do you think about an omnichannel approach? Do you believe that B2B companies should always aim to be everywhere? How should you choose your channels smartly?
Christian: I think there are a lot of factors that are involved that will answer that question about whether you should use an omnichannel approach or not. It goes back to a couple of things that I've already said before. Which specific B2B industry are you in? What channels or platforms are the go-to sources for your customers? In B2B, the customer journey is a bit haphazard. How do they consume content? What's the goal? If you're doing omnichannel, what are you hoping to achieve? Wider reach? Wouldn't it be better to just focus on a few channels and excel and do well in those channels?
Many companies in the B2B SaaS and tech space need to. They have to be smarter about where they allocate their budgets. Start small, test, iterate, adjust accordingly, and then build from there.
Esteban: Great. We also wanted to talk to you about sales and marketing because when we tackle B2B marketing initiatives, there needs to be a close bond between the sales and marketing teams. What strategies should B2B companies used to make sure that both departments are working tightly?
Christian: It's a great question. The dynamic between sales and marketing has always caused some friction.
It's not an easy collaboration, but in my experience, I think it's crucial for both sides to understand that they have the same goal—generating revenue. They need to understand, in order to achieve this goal, they need to work together as a team.
So, to answer your question, the sales and marketing teams need to make sure that their goals are aligned, especially around generating revenue. Goal number two is to make sure everybody is clear about their roles and responsibilities.
Number three, there needs to be a strategy and a road map in place. To generate this amount of revenue, what is sales responsible for? What is marketing responsible for? How can marketing drive the strategy while helping sales?
Marketing needs to have a close relationship with sales and vice versa. Don't let them work in silos. The marketing team needs to be on those sales calls, those discovery calls, so they can understand the challenges and how to best address them.
Identify some opportunities that have not been uncovered yet. The sales team needs to be open and transparent about what they are dealing with, their successes, and the accounts they would like to go after and close.
Last but not least, constant and open communication. I've seen this in practice, and this has worked well. Hold short but regular meetings with the salespeople. Talk to them about their sales objectives. Review the competitive ecosystem. See what you can learn, draw influence from what others are doing, and see how that can apply and how you can use that to refine your own company's offer.
Esteban: Thank you for accepting our invitation today. It's always a pleasure to have conversations about marketing with people that know the field and are passionate about B2B initiatives. So again, thanks for being here.
Christian: Thank you so much for having me. Thank you for the opportunity.
Whether you are trying to upgrade your branding strategy, decide which social media platforms to be part of or need help defining roles for your Sales and Marketing teams, EINBLICK has plenty of advice to give (and the experience to back it up).