Successful business professionals know the importance of marketing and branding, but sometimes those principals get pushed to the wayside when it comes to documents, both internal and external. The importance of brand unity in sales materials, proposals, vendor contracts, and anything a potential partner sees can drastically impact your brand image.
This encompasses the entire process - the first steps of the procurement process, any website or mobile app interaction, meetings and calls, vendor contracts, becoming a customer, customer communication and user experience. It’s not just smaller businesses who aren’t as marketing-savvy that are having trouble with this. Even medium-sized and enterprise companies struggle.
A vendor’s journey
A marketer’s job is to create a memorable experience for customers and partners. It must expresses the value of your product, service, and business. In order to do that, every element of a vendor’s journey should be top-notch and customized. The buying experience - from the very first part of the procurement process, to the first meeting in your office, to the appearance and function of your mobile apps - should all be consistent.
This consistency shouldn’t end once someone signs a contract. An experience should be visible through every touchpoint they have with you. Further, should last throughout the lifetime of your relationship together.
Consequences of inconsistency
If you fail at keeping your marketing consistent, does this really impact your company? A recent study by McKinsey & Company says that B2B companies with strong and consistent branding are 20% more successful than those that are weak or inconsistent.
One important touchpoint that is often overlooked, yet easy to remedy, is the sales document. Every vendor interacts with a sales contract or proposal, so it makes sense to create an attractive, branded, yet functional document. This gets your company’s branding in front of every customer in a meaningful way and creates a memorable brand experience.
This makes sense to marketers, but getting procurement professionals, specifically those in the supply chain, to execute on this can be difficult, as they’re often resistant to change. They may not want to update their contracts with new logos and branding, because they’re comfortable with older versions that have worked for them in the past. While giving in may seem quicker on the forefront, this will definitely hurt your brand in the long run. This marketing collateral will go unused, resulting in a waste of both time and money.
Technology can help
While aligning your internal and external collateral may seem like a daunting task, there are several marketing tech tools that work with CRMs to make integrations between marketing and sales teams seamless. These types of tools also often allow feedback loops, which help ensure that your company is producing the best possible documents and, in turn, your customers receive the best experiences.
In addition to creating a positive customer experience, using technology makes your employees more efficient. When employees have to search around for the right logo, tagline, etc., this causes them to spend more time than they should executing tasks, building sales proposals, and creating marketing collateral. As you know, time lost is money los
A consistent brand experience builds confidence with your customers. In fact, it is the basis for lasting vendor relationships. An arsenal of consistently-branded marketing materials isn’t a “nice to have” but a true necessity. From small to medium-sized to enterprise businesses, this isn’t something that can fall to the bottom of the priority list. Strong brands create more memorable companies and leave better impressions on customers, and that has a direct impact on your bottom line.