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How to get to the decision makers

Discussion in 'Sales' started by Steve41, Feb 17, 2018.

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  1. Steve41

    Steve41 Member

    I've been struggling to determine which path I take in my marketing efforts to reach my customers. In simple terms I have a business that offers services to other businesses, and in order to get my customers' (the business owner or manager) attention I was thinking of advertising to their employees instead, in hopes that they will elevate the message to the owner or key decision makers.

    I am thinking this is the route to take because I havent found an efficient way to target large groups of business owners who have my desired customer profile. In essence what I'm saying is that it seams easier to advertise to individual people on social media than it is to advertise to business owners. Is there any truth to that statement?

    Also, I feel that if an employee is interested in our services and they recommend it to their boss or owner, it would carry more weight than if it came directly from me in the form of a sales pitch letter or other promotional material.

    Any thoughts?
    VirtualGlobalPhone likes this.
  2. djbaxter

    djbaxter Administrator Moderator Member

    Interesting idea. This is outside my areas of expertise, @Steve41@Steve41, but I'm sure others will have some suggestions.
    VirtualGlobalPhone likes this.
  3. Edvin

    Edvin MVP Member Top Contributor

    Hi Steve41,

    I'm not sure if my feedback is helpful; but, I figured I'll share my thoughts...

    If you plan to target the employee, then maybe the business owner is not your target customer!
    What measures have you used to triangulate and validate that the business owners are indeed your target customers. As you noted; the person writing the check may not necessarily be target customer.
    For my perspective business I like pointing a few high profile competitor sites to alexa to get a general sense of my target profiles.
    Admittedly, this is far from perfect.

    Lets assume 60% of your target customers are male, have you maximized your spending for this gender?
    Have you re targeted the same audience multiple times (say 4 to 7 times)?

    You are talking about B2B marketing; so, this isn't anything new.
    I'm not familiar with health/wellness industry; but, have you looked at your competitor marketing strategy on social media and online ad campaigns. For example, SpyFu can provide insight on PPC campaigns. Third party services like demandbase can target companies that match specific profile data.

    I personally have called business owners (not in my region) and asked them directly (during my franchise research).

    Have you tried getting email database list and sending email promotions?

    Holding a booth in industry trade-show might be helpful. If you're lucky, some competitors will list the trade-shows that they attend. Otherwise, you'll have to lookup past exhibitors in different trade-shows to see where competitors attend.

    While searching for business-property-insurance I was contact by several brokers, which they got my information from a site that I registered with; so, you might be able to subscribe to such lead-based services as well.
    VirtualGlobalPhone and djbaxter like this.
  4. Small to Feds

    Small to Feds MVP Member Top Contributor

    In my recent experience helping many small services contractors, social networking can definitely enhance your marketing and increase exposure to the employee target groups you have in mind. Here are some tips to an approach that works well: SMALL BUSINESS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING ("Smalltofeds"): Why Social Network To Promote Your Small Business?

    However, profiling specific high value clients and finding out their value drivers is key. Social networking is invaluable in finding these clients but the task then becomes one of getting past the "Gatekeepers" Purchasing Agents and others with no clout and landing your pitch in the lap of the decision maker.

    That takes market research right down to the org chart and then a value driven pitch: SMALL BUSINESS FEDERAL GOVERNMENT CONTRACTING ("Smalltofeds"): “VALUE-BASED” MARKETING TECHNIQUES FOR SMALL BUSINESS

    Combine social networking with market research and a value-based marketing approach to meet your goals.
  5. VirtualGlobalPhone

    VirtualGlobalPhone Moderator MVP Member

    @Steve41@Steve41 ; Interesting area of discussion.

    Few pointers and statistics may help you to venture this and spend some hard earned money.

    1. How many employers listen and take things seriously of employee.
    2. How many employer have time to listen outside of business.
    3. If you want to target the employer ; want employee to use and talk, so is the product for employer or employee.
    If its for employee than employer may not be interested at all.
    4. The value of the service / product is important. The employers are usually very serious and know the HOW'S, so they may squash out before even it comes towards them.

    Take a look at all these and re-address / debate.
    djbaxter likes this.
  6. Steve41

    Steve41 Member

    To answer your question on who is the service for, it is for both really. Our service will help the employees get healthier which is a valuable to them, but also it will benefit the employer who will benefit from having healthier employees (more energy, alertness, focus, endurance etc.). The invoice will be sent to the employer, which is why I figured was my target customer but I'm thinking now that I target both employees and employers and see which one gets more leads.
    VirtualGlobalPhone likes this.
  7. Edvin

    Edvin MVP Member Top Contributor

    I'm not so sure if employees are your target audience...then again, there is no substitute for experiment and I highly encourage it for avoiding HiPPO effect.

    If you are targeting small businesses (i.e. 30 employees); then, you are targeting the business owners; but, at some treas-hold your decision maker shifts. For example, Director or VP of Human Resources will be your target decision maker for larger organizations.
    Attending local job fairs might be a way of initiating a dialog with the HR team.
    Participating in HR conferences and experimenting with creative ads for HR related searches could provide another marketing channel.
    You may also consider buying contact database of your target audience to send email offers, send post cards, and maybe even try sales call services to increase your reach.

    Yes, I did say post cards;) I don't remember last time I got a post card in office; so, the recipient may glance over the ad.
    You have a limited marketing budget; so, divide your mailing budget by 6 and send a postcard to the same people for the next 3-6 months (and maybe sending emails in between).
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2018
    Steve41 likes this.

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