Visual branding solutions for B2B companies is kinda my bailiwick, but like everyone else, my world is changing. Fast.
You see, I can’t approach client work like I used to, and I won’t. Why? Because part of my job is to help companies attract and retain clients, and the old model (traditional networking, trade ads, etc.) is slowly dying on the vine.
A new world of online lead generation, based on useful content marketing … well, that’s the way to go. You know this, but many small companies are still doing things the old fashioned way.
To demonstrate, I would like to focus on two people, each playing the role of marketing director for a small firm.
Both have a main goal: To expand their firm’s client base. To turn potential customers into paying clients.
Part of the plan is ramping up the traditional way: Company rebranding – consisting of a refined positioning statement, new logo, tagline, collateral materials and a shiny new website.
The difference comes in how each goes about trying to acquire new clients.
Sara has been the marketing director at her engineering firm for one year. She has a legit plan. In fact, she thinks it’s super, but in the world of social media, blogging and analytics, it’s a bit too, um, well … conventional.
Sara is a chamber of commerce fan and will attend every networking event she can. She might even work up the courage to give a talk or two to showcase her company’s cred.
Her master plan?
To network, then hand out business cards and brochures with the goal of directing potential clients to a spit-shined, fancy, new website.
Trade magazines ads will follow.
She will purchase lists and make colds calls, followed up with emails and more calls. She’ll hold hands with clients for many, many months, hoping for a bite.
On the other end is Gary, the marketing director at engineering firm B. He’ll also hire a designer and go through a branding revamp, but his approach is a wee bit different.
In fact, the consultant he hired put a bug in his ear about this “newfangled” content marketing thing.
He’s going to get more involved in analytics to see where traffic is coming from on the current site. Gary will also focus more on the actual words people are using to find his firm, and work to create copy inline with terms potential clients might use.
He’ll be more involved in social media to better target potential clients and see who is talking about his firm.
Gary also realizes that brand is about WAY more than a shiny new logo. There’s a company essence that can and should be written about. In fact his firm’s culture, experience and expertise can be added to the new site as highly targeted web copy, blog content, and downloadable whitepapers.
He is determined to focus on SEO and develop a keyword strategy, but is more focused on working with a consultant to create the unique, authoritative content Google likes.
With all this, Gary’s new site will be structured to maintain client interest, keep the company’s expertise front and center, and grow his email list.
He also has more control over his website, because it was built on a Content Management System (CMS) platform. It was designed to generate business, not sit in some website boneyard.
And guess what?
Gary doesn’t attend as many networking events as he used to and he doesn’t have to pick up the phone nearly as much. In fact, he’s golden.
Craig is Principal of McBreen Design. A Seattle Branding and Design firm which helps small companies bring their purpose to life with brand strategy, award-winning graphic design, and web design services.
If you want top-notch creative work with a personalized approach, look no further.