Upgrade Your B-to-B Multichannel Marketing Strategy
Likewise, VWR also uses feature-rich e-commerce to appeal to customers. “The Amazons of the world offer features that, as you’re checking out, make your life easier and aren’t necessarily things you’d see on a B-to-B site,” Homann points out. “It’s the blend of these two worlds that creates the best online experience for our customers.”
One such feature is automatic approval routing. If a customer needs internal approval for a purchase, his shopping cart automatically is routed to the appropriate internal manager then sent back to VWR once the approval is received.
After the Sale
Another way to build multichannel relationships is to develop your Web site as a tool beyond the sale. Carolina Biological Supply maintains more than 10,000 Web pages devoted to nonsales information.
From articles on lab safety to tips on how to teach dissection to middle-school students, the cataloger provides free educational material to its primary customer base, teachers. James notes that this service continues a tradition started in 1927, when the company mailed its first Carolina Tips newsletter.
Until the advent of e-mail, Carolina Biological Supply mailed just one version of its newsletter, the contents ranging from elementary school to graduate school topics. Now that the newsletter is sent via e-mail, Carolina Biological Supply is able to more economically segment and deliver multiple versions to its customers. «
B-to-B Multichannel Prospecting Tips
Space ads: There typically are two ways to use space ads to prospect, says George Hague, senior marketing strategist at Mission, Kan.-based catalog consultancy J. Schmid and Associates. You can acquire new customers by offering an introductory package or best-selling product at a special price, or you can offer a free catalog and follow up with these leads via outbound sales calls.
Hague notes that space ads work best for B-to-B catalogers with a narrowly defined niche. This makes it easier to find publications that target your specific audience.