This all-out, one-day shopping blitz has evolved over the years into a weeks-long bonanza of bargains. Epic build up. Epic crowds both online and in-store. Epic deals on everything from clothes to computers to cars. For many businesses, the person picking up that deeply discounted flat-screen, the hottest fashion trend or the coolest toy of the season will boost Q4 revenue flow and help the company end the year on a high note.
Getting great products for a great value is what Black Friday sales are all about. After years of building up that Black Friday habit, it’s now a thing people expect to always happen and an event that the news will always report. But what happens when you are selling fleets of devices, software licenses, service contracts or business seminars to other businesses? (You know, things people don’t set up camp and wait days to purchase.)
If you look closely at all the Black Friday retail frenzy, you’ll actually find that there are some lessons you can learn and apply to your B2B marketing strategy. Here are three of our favorites:
Lesson #1: Communicate clearly and frequently
TV spots and Black Friday ad inserts will probably not be the methods you use to get your customers’ attention. You’ve got to go where they are and use the channels of communication they care about. Start within your industry and put your focus on trade publications, industry newsletters and relevant business websites. Also, consider using partnerships to broaden your reach. Pairing your service or security software with a sports event sponsorship or having your analytics firm work on a video series with a major food company will certainly heighten the exposure, as long as these partnerships truly benefit both all involved parties. Your social channels can provide frequent updates and reminders to further stay top-of-mind with that potential buyer. Frequency and easy-to-understand messaging that drives the offer and its benefits should anchor your communication efforts. They are already in that buying mindset since they are purchasing gifts for friends and family. You might be able to use that to your advantage if you get their attention.
Lesson #2: Create a sense of urgency
We’ve seen it before: “Limited time only.” “Doorbuster special.” “One day sale.” These words kick our FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) into high gear. These short phrases can make it seem like something special is coming that may never come around again. Even though B2B sales cycles are much longer (as is the decision tree when it comes to making a purchase on the company’s behalf), you can still create a window of opportunity—be it two weeks or through the end of the year—that gives the decision-makers a definitive deadline to make their choice. It could be the push they need to decide how to spend any remaining Q4 dollars or how to forecast for the following year.
Lesson #3: Add value through discounts and bundles
In the B2C world, Black Friday is notorious for deep discounts on big-ticket items like flat-screen TVs, laptops, furniture and designer fashions, giving the customer more of an incentive to buy now and get that perfect gift. Discounts could be in the cards, but they don’t have to be your only option. You could offer upgraded support with any software purchase, buyback programs for their fleet of devices, or an ancillary service to go along with the product they are purchasing. The point is to make your customer feel like they’re getting more than what they expect when they take advantage of your offer. Adding a cherry on top could seal the deal.