Public relations or PR is an integral aspect of any modern business. Traditionally, PR is perceived as the methods used by companies to establish and maintain brand image: the general goal being to establish and maintain a positive brand image in the minds of existing and prospective consumers. When many people think of PR, they think of strategies designed to attract consumers to a brand and these consumers are typically people from varying social and economic strata.
But what happens when the business sells to other businesses instead of individuals? After all, brands that operate on a B2B or business to business basis do not need to woo housewives, teens, adults or young adults. They focus on getting other businesses to buy their products and services. But does the very nature of PR mean that B2B’s, those businesses that serve the needs of other businesses, don’t necessarily need to focus on this business element?
B2B’s Have Target Markets Too
The truth is that B2B businesses have a target market and this target market (primarily the decision makers in client organizations) will respond more favourably to a positive brand image than a negative or nonexistent one. It is through strategic PR that Businesses will learn about the products and services being offered. B2B PR is therefore most effective when it is geared towards informing the target market about the brand’s offerings with a focus on the value that the product or service adds to their business. This value may be a reduction in operating costs or more efficient operations. This can be done through web content creation, social media use, email and the distribution of digital and physical brochures.
Additionally, any B2B that has growth as a target, needs to conceptualize and activate an effective PR strategy. How else would the brand engage and attract new customers to bring the targeted growth to fruition?
Starting B2N Enterprise? PR is a Must!
Any B2B business that is in its pre-launch stages needs a PR strategy. The right PR strategy will generate a buzz around the brand before the launch date, which significantly increases the chances of a successful launch and serves as a precursor to client acquisition. It also helps to reduce the amount of work required during the official launch and by extension the associated costs. B2B’s that are in expansion mode or launching a new product or service also need PR in order to ensure that the new business elements are received well by the target market.
B2Bs’ Thrive on Positive Relationships
B2B PR also helps to establish and maintain a positive connection between the brand and its customers. This means remaining in touch with existing and prospective customers through various strategies. B2B PR strategists who focus on building solid, positive relationships with the key decision makers ( such as CEO’s, purchasing managers and heads of acquisitions) in their customer businesses are always more successful than those who don’t. This is because these types of relationships increase the likelihood of those businesses making purchases in the future. This translates into improved sales figures in the long term. This is why a large part of B2B PR focuses on relationship building.
Without strategic B2B PR, brands remain behind the competition as customers won’t opt to purchase products or brands they don’t know exist. And in B2B industries marked by competition, the brands that undervalue PR are relegated to the back of the line while their competitors rake in the sales. In a nutshell therefore, B2B businesses, like other commercial entities need to place emphasis on PR in order to meet and exceed their targets.
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