OK. So you’ve decided you need an agency. You’ve got a grip on your goals for the year, you know what resources you’ve got internally (and what you’re lacking), and you’ve a fair idea of the channels you’ll need to work within to reach your goals.
So now, what kind of agency should you get? And more specifically, why might you need a specialist b2b agency?
Glad you asked. See, the whole b2b landscape is far more complicated than b2c:
- The b2b buying process is way more complex than the b2c process, typically featuring eight buying stages rather than four or five, and usually taking much longer to complete (anywhere from 6 to 24 months!)
- There are more people in the process – not just buyers, but influencers, users, gatekeepers, rubber-stampers and more - you name it, they’re in there.
- As if this wasn’t enough, the products themselves are technically complex, and are often significantly adapted to each customer’s need. How do you market that?!
Naturally, these complexities require a specialist approach. Here are some of the ways a b2b agency might help:
- A good b2b agency will have a strong understanding of your customers’ buying stages, and will be recommending a strategy that plays to all stages, showing clearly where a more brand-centric, emotional appeal will work and where a more rational, product specification approach will move the customer along their journey.
- Most b2b agencies will have a process for understanding the numerous buying roles of your customer, building crystal clear personas that represent them, and creating strategies that meet each of their needs to get your customer progressing along the buying journey.
- A strong b2b agency will have a knack for taking a highly complex, product (e.g. a flux capacitor) and distilling it down into a single-minded, compelling value proposition that says how it improves the life of its buyer (e.g. enables time travel so you can win bingo and enjoy a meat tray for Sunday dinner). This helps buyers to pick them out of a line-up of other bamboozling products, starting the complex buying cycle off with a bang.
So, while b2c agencies will have plenty of experience of creating awesome brands for laundry products and cars, they probably won’t have much experience of uncovering value propositions for flux capacitors and their buyers, which is why a specialist b2b agency is probably your best bet.
Formulation and execution of b2b strategies is always more effective when you're working with the right agency. To find the right agency, download our 7-step checklist to choosing the right inbound agency.
Brand chemistry is a strategic inbound marketing agency that goes the extra mile to deliver results for our b2b clients. Our inbound marketing specialists are HubSpot certified and use the latest techniques to provide our clients with a steady stream of relevant new leads.