When it comes to marketing your B2B enterprise app, a lot of the groundwork has already been laid. Unlike a consumer app, which may be developed with consumer insights in mind, but still in somewhat of a vacuum—you’ve already been working closely with a select group of potential customers, so you should have a good idea of what they need to hear to move forward. Your understanding of pain points led to the development of a solid product plan—and then the creation of your proof of concept helped refine the product and further strengthen your customer relationships. With all of that insight and information, you’re now ready to scale the product to its final version—and market it to real, paying customers. To get those customers on board, you’ll need to convince them that your product solves a real need, helping workers be more efficient and improving the company’s bottom line.
How to Find and Reach Out to Potential Customers
Some of your potential customers are already familiar to you. Those initial interviewees and proof-of-concept partners will hopefully be ready and eager to convert into long-term customers. But now that you have a solid product, you’re also ready to scale, and that means extending your reach and selling your app to a bigger group, reaching new customers who haven’t yet heard about your product and how it can help them.
- Compile a list of organizations that fit your target market.
- Do research to find names and contact information for decision makers representing both customer types—users and check writers.
- Reach out to those people in any way you can—ask for personal introductions when possible, but also make cold calls and send emails.
- Remember that with enterprise B2B, face to face interactions are key. Try to schedule in-person meetings whenever possible.
Try targeting your efforts to people at the Director level. Directors are great because once they buy in, they can take your product up to C level and down to users, becoming your key sponsor within the company.
Craft Your Messaging
As we’ve said, the main focus of your marketing efforts should be on the pain points, and how your product can provide solutions. But how you approach this will also depend on how well-accepted the pain points you’ve identified are. In other words, is this a universally-acknowledged issue? If so, you’ll need to explain why and how you’ve addressed this issue best. However, if it’s something that’s not as well-accepted or well-understood, you’ll need to start with a fair bit of education around what this pain point is and why they should be looking for ways to solve it.
For example, let’s say that you’ve created a new, simple but highly secure file sharing app designed to help creatives share large files with partners and clients. If it was a few years ago, when organizations weren't particularly savvy to the risks of employees putting company files on a public cloud, then you would've needed to start by educating them about the need for a secure system. However, if you were launching this product today, you'd be able to jump right into why your product’s security features are better than the competition’s.
You will also need to craft distinct messages for your two audiences. As in our example of an e-commerce portal for marketers—when you talk to your key user, or e-commerce analyst, you’ll connect with them on the problem of using multiple programs to update inventory and track sales, and explain how your product will make this process more efficient. For the check writer, you’ll want to focus on how your app increases sales and decreases margins.
Be Open to New Insights
Just because you’ve done careful work in the first two phases, that doesn’t mean that you won’t discover new pain points now. As you talk to more people, you may discover that you need to hone your message for certain verticals, or that a different pain point is really more relevant. You might also determine that there are some new features that should be added to the next version of the product.
Marketing your enterprise B2B app based on paint points means that you’re talking to potential customers about the things that really matter to them. You aren’t selling them a slick new technology, shiny but unnecessary, and you aren’t trying to force a one-size-fits-all solution that doesn’t address their specific business needs. When you sit down in a meeting with someone from your contact list, you’ll be able to demonstrate that you’ve been listening, that you understand the issues they face in their business—and that you’ve created the best product to bring their business forward.