“Our customers already know who we are.”
This is a line I’ve heard since starting my business 12 years ago this month. The reasons for the statement vary with the company and the product / service offered:
- “Our known universe of customers is small. They all know us and we know them.”
- “We’re a big company with a big name.”
- “We’ve been doing this for decades.”
- “No one else does what we do.”
But what “Our customers already know who are we are” really means is this: “We don’t want to go to the effort and cost of changing our marketing approach.”
This is why you see B2B Websites filled with hyperbolic fluff that says nothing and little in the way of high-value content that educates people (leads and prospects) on how the company can solve their business challenges.
It’s why B2B companies (large and small) continue to rely on marketing tactics from decades ago . . . the “old boys’ network,” the expensive print ads, the fruitless telemarketing calls.
Yes, yes, I know. These tactics still work somewhat. But what would happen if a B2B company approached its marketing this way:
“Lots and lots of men and women out there need our services / products but they don’t know who we are. How do we get the word out?”
- All of a sudden, marketing becomes an imperative, not a cost center that can be cut at whim.
- The Internet now becomes a tool for reaching many, not something to be feared.
- Marketing analytics and marketing automation become must-have tools that give knowledge and insight versus keeping a company in the dark.
Over time, the company increases sales and as sales increase, it hires someone fulltime to develop marketing campaigns and write content and use social media tools more effectively . . . which gets the word out even more . . . which increases sales.
In the old days, markets were relatively local. A business owner or marketer would might do business with people he or she knew outside of work. You found customers and vendors through your local Yellow Pages, Chamber of Commerce, or maybe even your Rotary meeting.
Now markets are “global.” Your competitor is no longer in the next town or state. Your competitors live and work all over the globe — and trust me, they aren’t resting on “Our customers already know who we are.”
No. They’re making sure your customers and prospects know who they are by pitching them. Every. Single. Day.
Thanks to the Internet, I can find and do business with a company in New Zealand just as easily as I can a company that’s a few towns over from me.
In fact, it might be easier to find the company in New Zealand.
Which is why B2B marketers and business owners really need to stop saying, “Our customers already know who we are.” Yes, yes they do because they’re doing business with you. Duh.
But what about all those people who don’t do business with you? Do they know who you are? No, they don’t. But they do know your competitors.