Every business wants to stand out and be heard. But there’s a problem: you aren’t the only brand screaming for customer attention. How do you create awareness, loyalty, and stickiness if you’re not already first in your space? Let’s get this out of the way; the answer isn’t pricing. Today’s competitive ecosystem is hyper-commoditized. Don’t fall into the trap. Price wars are a race to the bottom.
Instead, focus on providing value. Why is your product unique, and why should customers pick your product — regardless of pricing? To answer this question, you need to focus on two key pillars of your marketing and product delivery strategy:
- Your value proposition
- Your retention strategy
Here’s how you can create a sticky B2B brand that drives awareness in a competitive marketplace.
Rethink Your Value Proposition
According to HubSpot, 69% of brands have value propositions. But that doesn’t mean they’re optimized for effectiveness. The goal of your value proposition is to express why your customers should purchase your product or service based on value instead of price. Make your value customer-centric.
When brands position their value, it’s almost always about themselves. Rich company histories and blurbs about how your company values are great. But you’re leveraging a worn-out strategy. Every B2B business is trying to prove its value from a brand-centric standpoint. Instead, focus on providing value to your stakeholders.
Your value proposition should achieve one goal: painting the future of your customer’s business. Value belongs to the stakeholders. According to Gartner, B2B companies that focus on their customer’s personal benefits are three times more successful than companies that focus on their own values. Instead of using your lens as a lever to value, wear your customers’ shoes. Make your value proposition about them.
Find the values that your company can uniquely deliver. Then, leverage those values to recreate your value proposition to be customer-centric and value-driven. Obviously, there are successful companies that break this rule. But they’re almost always first in their space. When you’re on top, you can center your value proposition around your success. But if you aren’t, your prospects are going to pick the company with the richer, longer, and more market-proven history.
- 56% of value propositions include a snippet about why your customer should choose you over your competitor. Instead of creating a “you vs. them” message, consider simply showing value. They’ll choose you if you provide them more value. There’s no need to be explicit.
- Use your value proposition to breed a value-oriented culture. Align your salespeople and marketers to your value prop, and leverage it as an internal and external tool of change.
- Find the values you don’t share with the competition. Everyone is “customer-centric,” “holistic,” and “service-oriented.” What are you that your competitors aren’t? Find your unique values — not just everyone’s values.
Keep Attention on Retention & Stickiness
Attracting new business is great. Keeping existing business is better (a 5% increase in retention can increase profits by 25%). If you want to succeed, you need to keep your existing customers happy while chasing down new leads. To do that, you need stickiness. In a nutshell, your “stickiness” is your ability to build a value chain that keeps customers coming back to you, again-and-again, despite competitive differences in price.
Stickiness happens on both the marketing end and the development end. For marketing, you need to create value-driven content that goes beyond information. Your customers have virtually unlimited information at their fingertips. All of that account-based marketing and pipeline optimization is meaningless unless you can actually provide content that matters to your customer. Instead of thinking, “what question does this content answer?” think: “what value does this content provide?”
The buyer’s journey isn’t a straight line. It’s a bumpy road filled with millions of micro-moments. Capitalizing on each of those iterative moments helps you create sticky product marketing that keeps people coming to you again-and-again — even before they make a purchase.
On the product/service side, use agile, iterative processes to constantly improve your product or service. Gamify each experience and constantly provide updates that keep your users invested. Want to know why people leave brands? They want new experiences. Don’t give them the chance. Keep your core experience. But always deliver new and exciting experiences outside of the core. This can happen via innovation or a robust development cycle that values continuous improvement.
- Improve your customer-service KPIs to help keep customers around.
- Customer feedback surveys can help you find your gaps.
- Learn from complaints and utilize positive feedback to constantly improve your service.
- Create content for every stage of your funnel — not just the top.
- Don’t make content that answers the questions customers know they have. Create content that answers the questions they didn’t even know they had. Go above-and-beyond with each piece of content. Keep value at the heart-and-center. Don’t just quickly answer the SERP result and go on a 500-word rant about how “amazing your product is.”