Article

Moses Gomes
Moses Gomes 16 January 2015

6 Online Marketing Mistakes Made By B2B Companies in India

Since India has embraced globalisation, companies especially within the B2B space have struggled to implement online marketing practices.

B2B businesses in India have always taken a long time to evolve with the times, this is especially true when it comes to online marketing. This may be due to business practices that have existed in India for many years which stifled outside competition. Since the 1970s any Indian company considering to import products from international sellers had to obtain NOC from Indian B2B manufacturers of same line of products. This lead to the development of sloppy attitude and less focus on marketing.

The change of this strict import policy has lead to companies in India closing as a result of slow adaption to globalisation. The ones who changed stayed in business and experienced growth.

Now with progress in technology, B2B manufacturers are on the receiving end, as they are yet to embrace the new technologies like digital marketing, CRM (Customer Resource Management), ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), etc. Though most B2B manufacturers are working on embracing technology and digital marketing, fear of negative impact has made them conservatives.

The below points are my observations on some major marketing strategy mistakes which B2B business, especially manufacturers, have been committing over the period.

No Website
The most common problem with Indian B2B businesses is they don’t have a website of their organization so therefore have no online presence. Today, most buyers are searching online; not having a website is as good as not running the business.

No Website Traffic
Most B2B business design a website just for the sake of it, without having any vision or marketing plan. The websites are designed in old format of tables, without any conformity to W3C guidelines of Google, no meta tags in the website, etc. This is as good as not having website as it is difficult for search engines to crawl or rank it on search engine.

Product Heavy Website 
It is important that B2B organizations focus on offering solutions, rather than products, as buyers are looking for solutions. This would increase engagement with buyer for better influence. Solely depend on word of mouth/referrals for leads: With buyers increasingly dependent on search engine and engagement oriented communication, the dependence on word – of – mouth is less, though it is helpful for initial meeting, but cannot wholly depend as lead generation activity.

The Use Of Mass Email Campaigns
Email campaign has long been changed, from mass emailer to database brought from different sources; it is now permission oriented email. This concept of mass email often leads to blacklisting of servers by firewall. On the other hand, this also results email reaching in SPAM folders instead of inbox of the customer. B2B organizations need to build strategy for building mailer list, of customer who wants to receive information.

No Digital Marketing Strategy
If at all, B2B organizations ever venture in digital marketing, the focus is to have paid profile on Indiamart or TradeIndia and focus on SEO of the website for lead generation. Social Media is the last thing they ever plan to venture and that too is just focus on getting the likes and followers.

All the strategies are only focused on lead generation, instead of engagement. But the ground rule is – engagement has to be top priority, while lead generation is outcome of engagement.

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