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B2B Brand Building Tip..

Off late I have been receiving quite a lot of emails from Marketing Managers, asking me to post some tips on quick, cheap and effective Online Branding. Here’s a quote from one of the emails,

“Meheer, I follow your Branding Magazine and am a regular subscriber to your feeds. Mate, I’d really be intrigued to read more about specific tips for business services organizations like ours. Running a business in the B2B markets, most brand building campaigns that we formulate tend to soar our budgets.” – Ben, (Australia), Product Manager at a Consulting firm.

Ben’s dilemma is not one of a kind. The fact of the matter lies that several companies fail to acknowledge the importance of brand building. This could co-relate to the fact that brand building campaigns are difficult to measure through ROI figures. B2B markets are known for big money deals, which pose as challenge to not only SMEs but also large organizations. It is thus essential for Marketing and Product Managers to find innovative and creative niches to build their brands effectively. It is also important not to spread out the word, if you receive success. But today I’ll give out a tip that has been working for me off recent.

The Tip
The rise and saturation of Web 2.0 makes it an interesting channel to explore. I’m sure a dominating majority of you may have tried dirtying your hands with the big social networks and some niche ones too. Without any doubt, I am most certain that of the above two, the niche social networks would, on any month, outperform the likes of FaceBook and Twitter. But a Niche Web 2.0 may not exist for every B2B market.

We faced this dilemma last year, with one of our B2B clients. So, we went back to the basics to identify other channels that would cost minimal and impact our target brands maximum. The channel that we zeroed in was an obvious choice for any B2B company and was yet unexplored in several industries across the world. It was JOB PORTALs. Yea, Job Portals are the places where companies often visit to look at prospective employees and to keep a check on what kind of people competitors are employing. We approached these portals with a little bit of tweak and it worked in favour of our clients, BIG TIME. Here’s a quick step-by-step approach to build your brands on Job Portals.

Step 1. Identify where your brand’s target consumers employ their executive managerial staff from. (Talk to them, invite them for a personal function or a public event as VIP guests.)

Step 2. Shortlist the Job Portals, they use. (Hint: Look at large portals for maximum impact, Monster.com works. Also keep a close analysis on the volume of visitors to the site. Alexa.com or Quantcast.com can help you with this.)

Step 3. Sign up with these Job Portals, for employer account. (Could be paid or unpaid. Usually paid portals bring in better results. This is the only direct expense you incur which FYI is extreme minimalistic.)

Step 4. Advertise Jobs in the domains your prospective clients operate in. No we are not going to necessarily hire anyone, just building a Job Database like many other companies do. Only, our focus is not to employ candidates but to build our brands within the sector of our importance.(Hint: Mention, ‘Salary no bar’)

Step 5. Carry out your usual Business Development to notice the impact on prospective clients. (This will on parallel also build you a database of potential employees that are experts in their domains. In one such case, we also ended up employing one candidate to fill in the lack of domain expertise we had with one of the acquired clients.)

Let me know, when you do this. I’d be glad if it all works out for my readers.

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