For many business owners, marketing to fellow entrepreneurs is job one. The challenge is, entrepreneurs are time-strapped multi taskers who are also relatively risk-averse – making them a difficult audience to reach and persuade. Sound familiar?
If fellow entrepreneurs are your bread and butter, your marketing must meet their unique needs and requirements to motivate them to take action. Here are the top seven things entrepreneurs want from marketers, and important tips on how your marketing program can deliver them:
1. Increased sales. Most business owners say their primary objective is to increase sales. Will buying your product or service help your prospects achieve that goal? If the answer is yes, put that benefit front and center by making it one of your most important marketing messages. When you help your customers grow, you become an indispensable part of their success.
2. Safe choices. Being a business owner requires taking calculated risks, from buying inventory or acquiring office space to hiring employees. But when it comes to buying outside products and services, entrepreneurs as a group tend to be cautious. Demonstrate that buying from you is a safe choice by providing content-rich campaign. It should include customer feedback, in-depth product information and reviews where applicable, proof of your affiliations with national associations, and industry certifications.
3. Maximum convenience. Have you ever met a successful business owner with extra time on his or her hands? The truth is, running a growing business often requires long hours, making shopping convenience a major draw for entrepreneurs. Multi channel marketing – including, for example, a website, a brick-and-mortar store, and a direct-mail campaign – is essential to building sales from this target group. The key is to provide a consistent branding experience, merchandise, and offers, as well as top-flight customer service across all channels.
4. Ways to save money. Marketers who have experience targeting major corporate buyers as well as entrepreneurs will tell you it’s often harder to convince entrepreneurs to part with relatively small sums. Business owners are likely to be spending their own money and are correspondingly conservative. Adding value to your service will correspondingly help overcome resistance. Depending on what you market, you can add features, bundle products together, offer VIP services and longer warranties, and more. If you market primarily online, free shipping can help close sales.