The Benefit of B2B Relationships to Your Local Marketing
With so much emphasis on social media as a marketing tool, local businesses may be overlooking one of the best local marketing techniques available to them—face-to-face communications with other local businesses.
Building relationships with other local businesses can really give you a leg up on large corporate competitors. Small local businesses have roots in their community. Often they are owned and operated by local residents who will want to look out for one another. Utilizing local marketing with other business owners in the community can lead to increased sales and partnership opportunities.
The importance of face-to-face marketing
By developing local B2B relationships, a business owner has a unique opportunity to build a rapport, increase recognition, and generate trust with members of the community, a potent way to attract and keep customers. When you connect with other business owners, they are more likely to remember and recommend your business, provided of course that you are not a direct competitor .
Interacting with other businesses in a one-on-one setting, has more impact than social media. A Forbes study reveals that people found face-to-face interaction more persuasive and trustworthy than interaction via the Internet by a margin of 80 percent. When you build relationships face-to-face, you can ensure that the other business owners are more likely to promote your messaging and refer consumers to your product or service. This type of connection can't be felt in electronic communications such as email and social media postings.
Leverage the impact of your social media with face-to-face marketing
Face-to-face marketing can work with social media to increase awareness of your business. The other business owners with whom you've created a positive impression face-to-face can become ambassadors for your brand on their social networks, leading to more visibility and traction for your business. Incorporate cross-promotional offers with other local businesses that will utilizes both businesses’ existing consumer bases and help generate profits for both parties.
Face-to-face marketing opportunities abound
There are many opportunities for you to meet other business owners in person and be an ambassador for your business. Things like joining the Chamber of Commerce or other civic organization or attending sports and charity events will put you in an environment where you can interact with other local businesses that support the community. Introducing yourself as a caring member of the community will do wonders when you are trying to help build your brand. An emotional connection is important, as many people explicitly choose to "shop local," having learned from experience that a local business is good for the community.