(Part 1 of 2)
Due to the Covid impact on the economy, many markets remain a challenge as we look at the year ahead. Let’s take a minute with our leadership team to thoughtfully consider what’s working and what isn’t, and what steps we can take now to get higher growth in the year ahead. For those of us who are business-to-business (B2B) companies, the question is: ‘Where do we specifically invest our resources; which marketing and customer programs and processes will bust through the Covid impacted markets that we face?’ (diagram)
In Part 1 of 2 articles, here are the first two ideas to get on top of the Covid impact – and despite the challenge – change the curve and successfully ignite growth of your business!
IDEA 1. GET ALL YOUR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES ONLINE AND PURCHASABLE
People are doing more online buying and it’s been on an upward trend for a while – but now even accelerated more. Many B2C (business to consumer) companies have responded to this and capitalized on it. Some have not. For B2B (business to business) companies, the same thing is happening. Why? Remote work, online tools available, and those consumers who are buying their clothes online now work in your customer’s company. And they want to buy your products and services the same way they buy things personally. They want to go to your company website and social platforms – and expect it to be easy to buy your products and services there.
For many B2B companies, products and services are online, but they are not purchasable there, mainly due to the complexity of the solutions. We have to seriously figure out a way to solve this challenge. Make it a goal – and soon in the coming year – to get your products and services online, accessible, and buyable. And you need to move now. According to a recent study by Forrester, U.S. B2B ecommerce transactions are expected to reach $1.8 trillion by 2023. This would account for 17% of all B2B sales in the country.
CEO’s should get their team together and complete an execution plan for online e-commerce. Can you make your online platforms transactional within the next quarter – at least for some of your products? What would it take? The goal: Don’t just make it easy for your customers to do business with you. Make it easy for your customers to do business with you online.
“U.S. B2B ecommerce transactions are expected to reach $1.8 trillion by 2023. This would account for 17% of all B2B sales in the country.”Forrester Research
IDEA 2. BECOME AN EXPERT VIRTUAL EVENT MARKETER
You may have generated a lot of leads in the past at in-person events and exhibiting at trade shows. Now amidst the Covid challenge, you have to figure out how to succeed at the same strategy – but doing it online. Have you exhibited at any virtual trade shows? You might already realize that exhibiting at a virtual event is a bit different than being in person. But it is clear – this is an opportunity for you! So here are some tips to get high performance:
a. Familiarize yourself with the virtual show platform
Make sure all of your key team members have registered at the show virtual site, and that their profile is current and branded the way that you all have agreed. You may need to determine a shift schedule depending on the exhibition hours (some are open 24 hours!). In terms of your booth, many platforms will allow you to customize your online booth. You may be able to equip your booth space with logo’s, images, video, and even website pages.
b. Create some excitement
Get the word out to customers and partners prior to the show. Share your excitement on social media, and use the official hashtag for the show. You can also send an announcement in your regular customer newsletter or through your e-mail campaign platform.
c. Draw visitors to your booth
In real life, visitors walk around the exhibition hall and it’s much easier to grab their attention with eye contact. In a virtual world, it’s more difficult to attract visitors. So you have to find another way to catch their interest. Preparing a program schedule for your booth, providing workshops, demo’s and learning opportunities for your new products – can be successful techniques. Organizing a short presentation every hour will get potential customers to come back regularly to your booth.
d. Make real time conversations
There could be thousands of visitors ‘walking around’ your virtual trade show in any given day. One way to engage with them directly is through chatting. Go meet participants by opening up your mic or simply using the chat box. Through the virtual site, you should be able to see all visitors, speakers and exhibitors at the event. You can contact them to invite them to your booth or book a one-on-one appointment by using one of the meeting rooms that are most likely available.
A virtual trade show could be your solution to generating leads and new business that will replace business lost due to Covid. It can also be a way to grow into new markets as you can use trade shows as a low cost way to learn and meet people who are experts in those target markets.
“In making a purchase, B2B buyers cited a strong preference for self-service, with suppliers’ mobile apps more than doubling in importance since 2019.”McKinsey & Company
The bottom line is this: The Covid impact on the economy is indisputable. And if it has impacted your business in 2020, you cannot sit back. You can start taking steps now to get yourself registered for online trade shows, and you can get your website running more effectively with e-commerce capability. If you can open up your business to the outside online world, and make it easy for customers to do business with you online, you can take your business all the way to the top!
(Part 1 of 2)
Ready to explore your potential?
1. Contact Gary: garyross@InspireYourselfToday.net
2. Go to Amazon – look inside and order Gary’s new book The Growth Cube.
3. Or learn more about Unlocking the Growth Potential of your Business with Business Coaching Packages!