Industrial B2B marketing: can you answer these questions?

Over the years I’ve met countless industrial suppliers and service providers with decision-making authority on marketing, but little or no understanding of their customers.

This lack of understanding about basic customer identity seems to affect all businesses from global conglomerates to dad and Dave operations in the back of Welshpool.

If you have the marketing remit then you should be able to answer all these questions right here right now:

How’s business?

What are the big challenges for your company right now?

How are your marketing decisions made?

What’s your company’s annual turnover for the most recent financial or calendar year?

In terms of revenue how’s your company performing year on year?

How is your company tracking YTD on sales revenue targets?

What’s the outlook for your business over the next 12 months?

What does your company want to achieve in the short, medium and long term?

In a single word or concept what is your company known for?

What keywords or phrases would your prospects or customers type into Google to find your company? – Is your company on the first page of search results?

Which are your top three customers by company?

Where are the customers you wish to reach?

What’s more important for your company right now: generating leads or sales?

Name at least three of your company’s unique selling and/or service points?

Who is your core (best-fit, most desired, highest value) customer? What are their job titles? – What are their industry sectors? What problems do they have? – What specific challenges do they face? What solutions do they SEEK?

Name at least three competitors to your company?

What are your competitors’ strengths? What are their weaknesses?

What do your customers like most about your company? What do they like least about your company?

How is your company stacking up by the measures your customers care about and in areas your competition may be overlooking?

Provide 10 reasons why your prospects and customers should buy from your company and not your competitors?

Why should your prospects and customers buy at your prices? Why should they buy from your company right now?

(Other than sales calls) How does your company engage with your prospects and customers?

What promotional activity has been the most effective in generating new business for your company?

Where do most of your company’s leads originate?

What’s the size of your company’s annual promotion budget?

How are you supporting your sales team?

How do you measure the effectiveness of your marketing activities?

Are there any orders or projects that you’ve supplied or completed for a customers where the customer was absolutely delighted with the outcome? – If not, why not?

Do you have any customer testimonials, referrals or recommendations on your website, in your marketing collateral and through social media? – If not, why not?

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