Marketing Your Complex Solutions In 8 Steps

Navigating the intricate world of B2B marketing for complex technology or professional services is no small feat. As marketing leader you’re at the helm, steering through dense markets where your solutions with their intangible benefits need to be seen, understood, and appreciated.

In this article we will dive into how you can communicate the value of your complex solutions effectively, ensuring that they resonate with an audience that is discerning and demands clarity.

Complex solutions are a different beast

Let’s start with looking at what sets complex products and services apart from the more traditional offerings. Understanding these differences will be important for you to create marketing strategies that really work.
  • Complex solutions are mostly intangible: You can’t touch or see them like with regular products, and they are harder to demonstrate.
  • They have a higher perceived risk: With intangibility comes a higher perceived risk. Buyers are looking for extra assurances and need to trust you.
  • Tailored marketing messaging is key: A vanilla approach will not get your points across, especially with multiple decision-makers involved.
  • It’s about selling the value, not features: You can’t rely on features so will need to focus on the value you provide. Show buyers how you solve their pains.
  • You’ll be on a longer journey: The buyer journey is long. Use content marketing to educate buyers. Focus on building trust and relationships.
While these key differences may look challenging, they do give us the directions we need to effectively reach and influence our target audiences, leading to the actionable steps that we’ll cover next.

Step 1: Know your solution inside out

First things first: you will need to get to know your product or service inside and out. This goes beyond the basic specs — it’s about understanding the value and benefits your solution brings. This deep dive will empower you to articulate clearly and confidently why your solution isn’t just another option, but the option for your customers.

Action Step: Gather your product, marketing, sales, and customer service champions and map out a blueprint that links features to specific customer pain points. Interview clients and observe interactions with your solution.

Step 2: Define Your Ideal Customer Profiles and Buyer Personas

Before you can engage effectively, you need to know exactly who you’re talking to. Developing sharp, detailed customer profiles and understanding the roles involved in the buying process are critical. Who makes the final decision? Who influences it? What are their pain points, and how does your solution align with their goals?

Action Step: Use research, data, and interviews to refine your ideal customer profiles (ICPs) and create personas for each role in the buying process.

Step 3: Craft a UVP That Cuts Through the Noise

Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP) is a key instrument to help you stand out in a crowded market. It helps you shape your messaging. Your UVP should clearly and succinctly explain why your solution is the best choice for your customers.

Action Step: Workshop your UVP and key messages with your sales, marketing, and product teams to ensure it resonates well with your target audience. Don’t forget to test and see which messages work best!

Step 4: Target and Engage With Your Audience

Now that you know who your audience is, it’s time to engage them. Remember, only a small fraction of your potential market might be actively seeking solutions at any given moment.

Tailor your strategy to not only capture the attention of this 5%, the prospects in-market, but also to educate and nurture the remaining 95%, keeping your solution top of mind for when they are ready to buy. Keep in mind to engage your customers as well to drive adoption and cross-sell.

Action Steps For New Business:

  • For the 95%: Build a demand generation strategy using content with a compelling narrative around your brand and solution that keeps you top of mind. Paint a picture of how you solve your prospect’s problems. When decision time comes, you want to be on the buyer’s list of brands to be considered first.
  • For the 5%: For those prospects in-market for your solution, build a demand capture and pipeline progression strategy. Leverage intent data and a combination of outbound marketing, ABM, targeted ads, retargeting and inside sales to drive conversions.

Action Steps For Customer Engagement:

  • Boost adoption, boost retention: Drive adoption and engagement with regular trainings, updates, and support. Engaged customers stick around longer.
  • Share success stories: Showcase your customers’ wins. Their success stories build credibility and trust with other customers and with prospects.
  • Create brand advocates with awards: Recognize your customers’ achievements with awards. They’ll become your most vocal brand advocates.
  • Create cross-sell and upsell campaigns: Leverage your existing relationship and develop targeted campaigns to introduce customers to other solutions you offer.
  • Stay ahead with advocacy programs: Set up customer advocacy programs to gather insights. Use their feedback to improve your solutions and refine your messaging.

Step 5: Personalize Your Message at Scale

With multiple stakeholders often influencing the buying decision, your marketing needs to speak to each of them personally. This is where new technology can play a role. AI and machine learning can help you create dynamic, personalized campaigns that hit each stakeholder with the right message, in the right tone, at the right time.

Action Step: Pilot AI tools to refine your customer segmentation. Personalize your campaigns to address the individual concerns and priorities of each stakeholder group.

Step 6: Be consistent across channels

Your marketing strategy has to be a symphony, not a solo performance. Make sure your branding and messaging is aligned across all digital and physical channels. Give extra attention to your live events, where audiences can truly engage with your brand.

Action Step: Design and deploy your campaigns that sync across channels — both digital and physical — ensuring that your messages come across aligned and consistent.

Step 7: Pay Attention to the Dark Funnel with Share-Worthy Content

A lot happens in the dark funnel — those non-trackable interactions that significantly influence decisions in B2B markets. Your content must be compelling enough to be shared between stakeholders behind the scenes, championing your brand even when you’re not in the room.

Action Step: Create share-worthy content that supports word-of-mouth and peer-to-peer influence, focusing on high-quality, insightful materials that stakeholders will want to pass along.

Step 8: Adapt and Engage Continuously

B2B marketing is not a set-and-forget game, especially in competitive markets with complex solutions. Use every interaction to refine your approach. Listen to your customers. Join your sales team on prospecting calls. Use the feedback as your North Star.

Action Step: Ensure your marketing team has regular interactions with customers and prospects. Join calls and meetings. Establish feedback loops with surveys and focus groups to capture valuable insights.

Looking Forward: Your Next Move

With this playbook you have a blueprint to build upon. Reflect on your current strategies and approach. What is working for you? What is not? What can you improve?

Restless Marketing can help. Connect with us or send us a message and let’s talk about transforming and optimizing your B2B strategy. Why settle for blending in when your solution can stand out?

Restless Marketing

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