A coworker recently came to me and told me about a conversation he was having with a local business owner, who informed him that his company was primarily a business to business (B2B) company, therefore he didn’t “need marketing.”
At first, I thought it was a joke.
Why would this business owner actually believe that B2B marketing isn’t needed for their company?
On top of that, are there other businesses out there that believe that same myth: that B2B companies don’t need marketing?
Sure, there are companies that are wholesalers, “middlemen,” strictly distributors or completely out of the public eye. But let me tell you why that’s a poor train of thought and what that belief actually means in terms of a bigger picture.
Relying on Referrals is Absolutely Dangerous
First and foremost, let’s talk about why relying on referrals alone is a scary business practice.
You are relying on someone else to get your business for you. Plain and simple.
It’s like sitting in the driver’s seat of a car but asking your front seat passenger to steer for you.
Sure, the car may stay straight for a while, but are you really ready to put your (business’s) life in the hands of someone else? You bought the “car,” put oil and gas in it, and then, all of a sudden, turn the keys over to someone you barely know.
You are expecting a satisfied customer who may have used your product or service once to constantly talk about your company to everybody they know at every waking moment.
Good luck getting that to last forever.
In today’s modern business world, the rate at which transactions occur and how people receive information is too fast for that strategy.
Yet, the belief that a business can solely be built on word of mouth still stands, even in this day and age, where every potential consumer’s face, regardless of demographic, is glued to a cell phone, computer or device with internet access.
Which brings me to the big underlying issue of this whole concept.
“It’s not my job to market my products.”
It’s a phrase I’ve had business owners tell me before, and I will never understand it.
Anyone not marketing their own product is essentially saying they don’t want to sell more of it.
Businesses will claim that it is solely their retailer’s job to sell, and their job is to provide the product.
Sure, you may not have a brick and mortar store to sell their product, but not targeting your customer base as a supplement to your retailer’s own marketing is plain foolish.
When you provide additional marketing, specifically digital marketing, to your products, you add on top of the marketing already being done by those companies who are carrying your product. You also gain insight into your customer base and, as a result, can continue to innovate and build upon existing products or invent new ones.
You evolve your inventory, sell more product and, by no coincidence, keep your business afloat in these evolving times.
A Generational Marketing Gap Still Exists
The biggest concern I have with this whole thought process is the bigger issue that is rearing its head more and more as the years go on.
The underlying issue is the fact that a generational marketing gap (and an overall technological gap) still exists, meaning older companies are failing or refusing to adapt to current best practices.
Mom and pop companies thrived for years before the digital explosion took place. Word of mouth and handshake deals were the driving force behind the economy. And today, a lot of smaller businesses (like the one my colleague spoke with this week) still make a decent living on said practice.
But failing to adapt or “get with the times” is a show of poor business acumen and innovation.
A fundamental failure to recognize that the economy and consumer behaviors are changing is ultimately what will fail these businesses who don’t market properly.
We live in a fast-paced world now. If you’re not at the top of a Google search, you’re irrelevant. If you don’t have social media, people won’t care to find or engage with your business. The consumer gets all the way through the sales funnel before they even talk with a physical human these days.
By not embracing any of those tactics, businesses only fall further and further behind, and the gap only gets wider and wider.
Fortunately, for those businesses who are looking to adapt, Timmermann Group can help navigate previously uncharted waters.
We specialize in marketing for a number of different industries, including B2B and B2C companies looking to enhance their digital presence, and ultimately, get their desired results.
Whether you’re a lawn care company, a lumber liquidator, a hospital supply company, or an up and coming coffee bean company, Timmermann Group can show you why digital marketing is not only necessary but crucial to helping your business succeed.