All of us nurture, in our own ways. Some of us are a lot better at it than others, but we all do it. By definition nurture is an action that takes time; it’s about building and maintaining a thriving relationship.
Think about this; we all have certain people we most likely hit up when we need to know about certain aspects of life. Do you go to your mom for expert advice on relationships? (Maybe; or maybe not.) Who’s your go-to sports hot-shot when you need the rundown of last night’s stats? And where would you be without your expert of useless, pop-culture who proves an excellent sidekick at any cocktail party?
Do you think these friends became experts overnight? No sir. They have taken the time to become masters of their craft; honing and developing their skills so they can hold their own with just about anyone. Endless hours have been spent consuming data, taking surveys, reading publications, scanning the Interweb; the point is they know where to get smart.
Here’s where you come in, B2B Company.
What are you the go-to source for? What aspects of your industry are you considered the master? Do you know the answers?
We need to remember that nurturing is not a line item in our marketing plan. It IS our marketing plan. It is the approach your company can adopt and eek out from every nook & cranny. The dots need to connect from our first hello to the continued relationship well after Billybob has renewed his service for the fifth year in a row or bought his ninth product. Don’t we value and cherish our longest lasting friendships?
And bonus: these relationships tend to be the least amount of work, but yield the highest value.
You are not nurturing if you don’t have flexible marketing (marketing that reacts and shifts to your audience’s needs, questions, challenges, successes). Your marketing should be as dynamic and nimble as your buyers.
Great! Now what?
It starts by putting a stake in the ground. Your buyers need to be crystal clear on what you provide to them. You need to be a master at your craft. Here’s expert advice from Scott Brinker via this post by Marketing Insider Group:
As Brinker asks, if we, as marketers, only focus on doing these two things really well – one, create valuable content our prospects want and need without gating them, and two, make sure our companies are building amazing products that people actually want to buy, renew and recommend to the world – could this make marketing more effective, and could it help companies grow their sales and revenue faster?
Easy, right? Here are some other helpful tips:
- Understand your company’s mission and vision (who are you today? Where are you going?)
- How does this specifically relate to what you are tasked to achieve (yes, this may be dictated from above, but do you believe it? Don’t be a robot)
- Get smart on what and why your buyers come to you
Taking into account the above, you can (1) be clear on how you can address your buyers needs through what your company stands for and what it provides in a consistent and human way through all channels of communication. And (2) you can do so in a language your audience understands and appreciates.
By the way, this isn’t a once and done exercise. This is a relationship. So you’ll need to repeat this process. A lot. You need to make sure your company still has a pulse and is keeping current with your buyers.
Doing business this way will yield other benefits too:
- You will be a bigger advocate for your company (and therefore you should be more satisfied with your role. Don’t underestimate this satisfaction.)
- You will move from a reactive marketing approach, shifting like the wind, trying to stay top of mind in way too many areas, to a proactive marketing approach. Your audience will know to come to you for answers. (Huge time saver here.)
- You will have more opportunity to prove your expertise through research, sponsorships, social media, and events. It’s not about being the loudest in the room. It’s about being the smartest. It’s about attracting and keeping prospects through the confidence and genuineness of delivering on what you say you do.
Build a philosophy around nurturing your audience. Don’t ever check this off your list as if you accomplished your goal and can now move on. I would be curious to know what exactly you’re moving on to? Just like your best friends, there is always something more you can learn.
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts.