High-value Business-to-Business sales happen Expert-to-Expert.
It is a simple fact that Experts buy and sell some of the most valuable products and services. Whether it be Legal Services, IT Services, Consultancy or a company that is being bought or sold, the individuals on both sides of the table are extremely knowledgeable about their niche. A General Counsel is often as qualified as the lawyers they instruct, similarly a CTO has very deep domain knowledge. The conversations and interactions between these buyers and their suppliers are high-value and very expert.
Inserting an automated marketing content robot into the conversation makes no sense at all. Over time, it will break down trust and reduce open rates (driving lead-conversion rates toward zero). However, if the true experts can share their own authentic, timely content with their peers, that will build their credibility and start the conversations that drive growth.
The Expert-to-Expert marketing methodology puts the Experts at the centre of the process, focussing on their needs and those of their community. The approach relies on both creating and sharing information and insights that help and advance the knowledge of the recipient.
How E2E works
The Expert-to-Expert methodology is built on the following key principals:
Content created in the E2E methodology should always be authentic. It should be created and distributed by the experts at the heart of an organisation.
“We found that timeliness and relevance were vastly more important than presenting new and original ideas, even as important as the latter obviously is.” (https://www.edelman.com/post/dear-sales-leaders-thinks-prospects/)
It essential that content is delivered in a timely fashion so it is of maximum value to the recipient. For example, commenting on recent industry developments or research is a great way to be of value to your peers.
E2E Experts set themselves specific, measurable and achievable goals. This enables them to build their reputation and personal brand in the eyes of their peers.
Not every person in a team needs to be a Subject Matter Expert but getting the whole team to share content both with their social networks and specific key contacts builds the relationship and the credibility of the whole organisation in the eyes of the recipient.
For the E2E methodology to deliver huge ROI for the team, the content distributed must be of real value to the reader. This does not mean it needs to be long (indeed, brevity is valued); it simply means it needs to be helpful to them in some way.
Personas do not exist in E2E. Experts create for the benefit of other, known experts. The content may be widely available but the intended audience is a small number of known other people, not a fictional Persona.
Why E2E works
The goal in Expert-to-Expert Marketing is to enable the bright but busy experts at one organisation to be materially helpful to those inside another. This builds the authority of the author firm and the credibility of the individuals that are both creating and sharing the content.
Crucially, it also helps educate the intended purchaser. They need to understand the problem and the intended solution before they can buy with confidence. If they do not have confidence, either in the solution or their understanding of the problem, they will very sensibly turn to other sources of information (like your competitors).
Also, people like to return a favour. Reciprocity is a strong driver; when one expert has benefitted from the knowledge of another, they like to be helpful in return. This is one of main reasons Experts work together; it is good for business and mutually beneficial.
And that's why Expert-to-Expert Marketing leads to business growth for both firms.