ithin the B2B community it seems to be a common misconception that because a lot of people take time off between mid-December and February, their buyers are also offline and are therefore not reachable. Perhaps even five years ago this scenario would have been true. However, given that the average time everyone spends on their phones has increased to around two hours daily (and our phones are never far from reach), this is no longer the case.
Traditionally, the lead-up to the holiday season is a time when B2C advertising really ramps up and B2B advertising starts to slow down. The assumption is that most corporate workers are starting to mentally check out with each passing day and so are less willing to commit to purchasing anything except Christmas presents. Then when January rolls around, retailers slow down because everyone has spent all their money and gyms ramp up because everyone is feeling fat and has made a New Year’s resolution. As for B2B businesses … well, they delay because they think their buyers are still on holiday or still in holiday mode and are offline. In actual fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth and thus B2B businesses are collectively missing opportunities.
Somehow, the end of the calendar year represents a psychological reset button in the business community’s mindset and so nothing is assumed to happen immediately before or after this cut-off point. Business people might be taking hard-earned holiday breaks with their family beach-side at this time. However, the truth is that they are also checking their phones – casually browsing Facebook, LinkedIn and other information sources – and starting to think about what they should be doing to reinvigorate themselves in the New Year. Once they are back in the office, they’re feeling inspired and rearing to forge ahead – regardless of which financial calendar or quarterly sales cycles they follow.
This reset time of year therefore represents a great opportunity for B2B businesses that plan early and don’t ‘down tools’ for too long over the Christmas and New Year period. It’s a time when competition is reduced yet audiences are engaged. For this reason, it’s sensible to get in early before your competition catches on.Here are our four tips to help you to outsmart your competition during 2021:
Tip 1: Do Something Different
If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, the outcome will become less effective. People don’t like a hard sell. Even more so, they hate an unoriginal hard sell. Therefore, it’s vital to try something new – a new advertising technique; a new combination of advertising under one multi-touch campaign; a new message; or a new call-to-action.
Tip 2: Plan Early
Businesses operating according to the Australian financial calendar year will most likely have a marketing strategy already in place. However, the end of the calendar year is still a great time to plan or review your campaigns for the coming 6–12 months. Planning this December or at the latest in January means you can hit the ground running in 2021. This way you can start getting your message out to your audience early and so get an edge on your competitors.
Businesses with half yearly or quarterly marketing budgets (such as channel partners of Enterprise Tech Vendors) are often constrained by “use it or lose it” budgetary considerations. They need to balance competing objectives from their vendors within their marketing campaigns. Unfortunately, due to this conflict (and because they are required to use their allocated budget before the end of March or they’ll end up losing it) more often than not the latter eventuates. For those channel partners with MDF budgets, read our article on How to get the most out of co-marketing campaigns.
Tip 3: Solve a Problem
This tip might seem quite obvious but it’s one of the most common misconceptions we see. A product or service is not necessarily a solution to a problem. Instead, a solution is the end result of a product or service. For example, if my internet speed is running slowly, the solution isn’t a new service provider – it’s a faster internet connection. Similarly, if my problem is high turnover rates, the solution isn’t an HR consultancy practise but, rather, it could be evaluating the business to determine gaps contributing to turnover and their effects on the bottomline. By now you can probably tell where we’re going with this.
Tip 4: Commit – Don’t Delay
Robert K. Greenleaf once said that,
“On an important decision, one rarely has 100% of the information needed for a good decision no matter how much one spends or how long one waits. And, if one waits too long, she/he has a different problem and has to start all over.”
These wise words cover a range of different scenarios in life and in business. Delays will only result in missed opportunities and slow business growth.
By applying these four steps to your marketing efforts, you can get ahead of your competition and hit the ground running in 2021 to ensure it is your best growth year yet!