What’s More Important: That Your Marketing Partner Is Local, Or That Your Marketing Partner Knows Your Business?
12 September 2018 | Norm McConkey
Every day I get emails from “partners,” usually from offshore, telling me they can improve my search ranking to appear on page one of Google. They can also build me an amazing website for less than $1,000. Here’s why these marketing spammers, and similarly your local provider, may not be the best partner for you long-term. Start by asking these three questions:
Here’s the connection between that spammer, and your local marketing agency: a lack of industry knowledge.
In a similar way, most local agencies have gained your business because they are geographically close to you, and maybe you have a personal relationship. I’m willing to bet their core competency is not B2B office technology. Most local agencies have a customer base that is mainly B2C, not B2B. That’s a huge difference! Restaurants, retailers, dentists, lawyers, and car dealerships have a much different business than a B2B technology provider specializing in office printing.
B2C marketers will have you focus on new customer acquisition for your website, and not existing customers. It's easy to get excited about the prospect of new business. Who doesn’t want new business? But this is where your enthusiasm must be tempered. You likely have several salespeople in your region tasked with going out and making customer contacts ALL DAY LONG. I’m willing to bet that they already know almost every business in your ZIP code you want to do business with, correct? So, if those customers find you by a random search on Google, then that’s not a win—it's a loss. How is it that customers would look online to find a service or product you offer? After decades of serving the community, your business better not be rolling the search dice to get a lead.
Many dealers think that’s not the case for their business—they’d say their current customers are the most important. OK then, when it comes to marketing, and specifically your website, why do you focus on your site being a lead trap for new customers instead of it being a digital portal for existing customers? Why do you focus on SEO instead of what a visitor could actually do on your site?
Last week we began working with a company that has accumulated over 15,000 customers over the past few decades. Now that is exciting. The prospect of marketing to 15,000 existing clients that trust you and have a relationship is WAY MORE IMPORTANT than designing an effective SEO strategy.
Buying local is a great strategy for fruit and vegetables, but it's probably not a winning strategy for your B2B technology business.
About the Author
Norm McConkey has been involved in the print, imaging, and software/tech business since 1993. Holding executive level positions in a number of emerging technology firms, he founded PrintFleet in 2003, and Tangent MTW in 2009. A founding member of the MPSA, an award winning author and presenter, Norm has spoken at various industry events around the world including the Lyra Imaging Symposium, Photizo confernece, ITEX Tradeshow, Regional BTA conferences, Remax Europe, and World Expo. He has been contracted to consult and build go to market and sales training programs with several OEM manufacturers such as Canon USA, and HP, and distributors such as Parts Now and Supplies Network, as well Resellers including Office Depot. Norm’s current project, MPSToolbox (www.mpstoolbox.com), is a software platform which helps technology dealers develop and maintain e-commerce websites.