I love working with experienced B2B startups. Most of them have a well validated product and there’s really something behind it. Though there is a huge difference between B2B and B2C startups on their beginnings and I’d like to point that out.
### B2C Client
Clients of B2C products are way different from B2B. First: they’re real people like you or me. Their shopping decisions are way more spontaneous and are not necessary out-of-need. I don’t buy marshmallows because I need it to live, I buy them because they’re super tasty and I can roast them upon fire in order to eat them. But I can live without that.
Also, they don’t consult their shopping decisions with others, most of the times at least. They might look for the best choice but it’s not like they make an excel with pointed functions.
### B2B Client
There is always a person standing behind a decision: buy or not to buy. But it’s way more complicated and deliberate than in B2C. Usually it is not a decision of 1 person only, and that’s why diverse communication H2H is not exactly the best idea here. Being simple and professional will most possibly answer to the needs of each person responsible for next step of buying choices, that’s why it’s the language most of B2B companies choose.
Also, companies don’t make reckless decisions. I mean, it happens, but that just an exception, not a rule. That’s why while creating B2B product you simply NEED TO make your product better in some way. And here’s the thing: communication might be, but it don’t need to be, a part of your product. Some B2B companies, I will even risk saying that most of them, have no communication at all. Just a dry product. That’s dumb, but it happens.
Let’s get into the shoes of potential customer of a begginer B2B startup offering internet monitoring. Do you think that Brand24 gained his clients organically from the very beginning? You’re wrong. It is true, now most of their New Business comes through PR and marketing, but any service on the beginning they had to convince each customer to their offer in person. Here’s what Mike Sadowski (LOVE YOU PAL) says about it in his videoblog.
That’s why we come up to a conclusion that is really important:
### If you’re a new B2B company focus on sales, not marketing
Why? Because on the beginning of each B2B startup you don’t really need communication, PR and all that stuff. What you need though is good selling team. People, who will build case studies and ground to your future marketing. Without proof-of-concept that your service or product is good, you simply won’t gain any client, because why? They are visionaries who will see the potential of your product yet before making a case study, but that’s really rare and you can’t base your business on hope.
A good PR person can actually help you and be a part of your selling team. Remember that communication of your startup isn’t only relations with media. What more: relations with media is one of the least important thing. Way more important is how you will approach and communicate with your client. Selling offers and selling meetings – that’s super important.
### Final conclusions
So my final advice to new B2B startups is to hire PR specialist, but only as a consultant or adviser to your selling team. Not more. Do not invest in media relations. But get a good adviser. And if you don’t have the money for that, you can read the page containing my approach to communication which can help you to make your offer in a better way: http://jeremijak.com/the-jaks-approach/ (3 basic advices: be concrete; show your passion; be honest).