PR topics: tops and flops – what works best in your market?
These are quite interesting times for B2B companies. It is now fair to conclude that nothing sells itself anymore. The times where suppliers could rely only on outstanding quality are gone. Soft factors (service, business insight, adaptability) are the global deciding factors for companies choosing a supplier today. Add to that the interesting fact that the majority of purchasing decisions are made without even meeting or talking to the supplier.
Since an increasingly large share of decisions is being made without meetings and without asking for proposals, the ability to communicate trust and brand values through digital channels is crucial.
The flops can be found among companies still applying a technical approach to customer needs. Successful B2B companies need to develop an approach built on customer needs, not on old merit. This is something the suppliers of FMCG realized a century ago, and I strongly believe that the marketing communications logic of the B2B sector will adapt to become a “fast moving business to business goods” and emulate what has proven successful in the B2C sector.
How important is industry expertise in your daily PR work?
There is no doubt it is our duty to be on top of what is happening in our clients industry. However, the clients always know more about their offering and the internal life of their organization, so our job is to be able to merge the client’s needs and with our communication needs. Public relations firms need to be able to extract the necessary information from their clients in order to fully understand the market, the products and the audience, and clients need to be open about their knowledge and experience, so the key information gets across.
Are integrated international PR programs beneficial for your work?
Worldwide reach and an impressive experience are all very good selling points, but means little if you are unable to show that you understand the particular market. The ability to localize messages and to demonstrate relevance is the key to increased business and trust. And advice on how to do that can only be achieved by agencies heavily anchored in local markets. An international PR agency or network is probably the most straightforward and efficient way to address those markets.
*The series is based on phone or face-to-face interviews and written input, therefore please excuse language mistakes which might reflect foreign language influences.