Cheap Trick: Great Band, Lousy B2B Growth Strategy

It’s tough to launch and grow a successful business, and tempting to look for shortcuts.

And why not? We’ve all heard about the magical growth hacks; the campaigns that went viral, the PR home runs that crashed servers and exploded phones.

So, when B2BNXT said they wanted to interview me about B2B growth tips, I considered quick tricks that can be easily related in a short interview.

Then I thought better of it and focused my advice on the hard reality that building a brand, market share and success usually takes time.

Failure to Launch

There’s nothing inherently wrong with splashes and jump starts. But in today’s noisy news environment, it is tough to turn short term success into long term prominence and brand equity. This is especially true for companies selling B2B tech and services lacking sexy, mainstream appeal.

Not to dismiss growth hacks. Sure, if you offer an app or software that can hitch a ride to another’s user base – more power to you.

PR-ing your way to rapid growth? It can happen, but I would not bet the farm. Some firms will promise this; there’s no shortage of pay-for-play mills, and even some-pay-for performance companies that claim to rocket you to fame – don’t be deceived. As I said in my post about PR myths, sure an agency can claim great relationships and maybe get you into a major media article. There are some sketchy operators who can guarantee mentions in a top publication. And then what?

Getting cited here and there doesn’t move the needle much these days on awareness.

Scaling Your B2B

So, what does work? Sure, you need to have a great product or service. But that alone is not enough.

Nothing sells the media like hard news involving big brands, big bucks, customers, truly breakthrough products, deals, and successes. If you’re lucky or smart enough to have this PR ammo, sure, work it – just keep in mind that news cycles fly by quickly these days. Your precious news will quickly be forgotten. How do you build a known and enduring brand?

The number one tactic to drive B2B growth is to build a strong and recognized brand that connects with the needs of customers. People and companies buy from brands they know and respect. They pay attention to information that hits their hot buttons.

This generally comes from a consistent campaign that exposes the market to your news, content and thought leadership. It’s most effective when your communications connect with customer needs.

Consistency and quality are incredibly important to building brand and growth. You need to be interesting, relevant, and make sure your news and content show up where your customers are.

For further details including recommendations on media and social channels, strategies and tactics, and case studies, see my interview on B2BNXT (includes a video and transcript).

Please chime in below with your questions and comments.

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