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LIVE@INBOUND2020 'But Our Business is Different!' B2B Insight for Traditional Thinkers

LIVE@INBOUND2020 'But Our Business is Different!' B2B Insight for Traditional Thinkers

When you’re are talking to a digital marketing agency, you might feel like the things they suggest are not relevant, because your business is different. But here at Insynth, we believe the world is changing. That is why we are a digital marketing agency specifically for the building product and construction industry.

At Inbound 2020 the session with Ryan Burkett, a strategist with 20 years in business consulting and strategic marketing, caught my eye as he focussed on how we as agencies can get B2B businesses onboard with moving the traditional industries, like manufacturing, into the digital era. He gave scenarios and insights into how we can propel marketing and sales forward in these traditional-thinking organisations and this is why I am writing this blog to pass them onto you.

Ryan had some amazing insights into how such businesses can evolve and progress using digital marketing to complement their already successful traditional techniques and get in front of the competition.

He started by saying that in these businesses, commonly marketing and technology is undervalued. With a forced evolution underway though, due to the Covid crisis and the push to be working digitally and engaging online with prospects, these businesses should use this push as a way to boost their business’ success.

Prior to the Covid pandemic, Ryan shared some data showing that 44% of B2B businesses had anticipated growth of their product/service marketing budget. This gives a great impression that the industry is progressing and that they understand the importance of growing their digital stand.

This is because traditional businesses are realising the fundamental change that is happening in their customer characteristics and their customer’s journeys.

Importantly, Ryan noted that the change isn’t just down to the baby boomers of the industry retiring and the millennials filling the gap of these decision making roles, but that digital use is increasing due to our society becoming fully intertwined with the digital experience.

Moving on, Ryan then highlighted the three most often heard rejections from traditional B2B businesses when he suggests that their organisation make a push towards digital:

“This Industry Is Small and Everyone Knows Us”

The manufacturing industry can be close knit but that doesn’t mean there’s not opportunity elsewhere with people you don’t know. The traditional approach has rung true previously, it has all been about in-person engagement and building that trust through the relationships you make on field visits, sales visits, and trade shows.

Building loyalty is still important but using the digital space to do this means you can continue to build and grow these relationships but also reach out to those who don’t know you.

Ryan suggests that the continuous reinforcement of those relationships can be done through digital tactics such as using a CRM to track sales and prospects. He also suggested Account Based Marketing (ABM) where you can identify what he calls ‘firmographics’ (the demographics of the firm you wish to sell to) and get around any gatekeepers. He said it is important to not settle for just 1-1 engagements with prospects when you can reach and influence those other people with digital marketing through specifically targeting key accounts or clients.

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“This Is a Successful, No Frills Industry… Digital Communication Has No Place Here”

Ryan stated that in response to those who say this to him he would reply with “digital has a place everywhere.” As we cannot press rewind on the modern world, we should aim to push forward with digital and make it complement the traditional ‘no frills’ way.

Traditional sales communication is based on the notion that connecting with customers and being able to relate, react and respond to them, is still a concept we can continue while in the digital space. However, digital then gives you the opportunity to connect with customers in the present and the future and when they are in their moment of need i.e. when they search a problem where you supply the solution.

Ryan suggested tactics to do this focussed on lead nurturing is email campaigns as well as email automation and sequences. These are programmed automated series of emails delivered at the right time, to the right customer, to nurture, educate and inform them through content and resources. It all draws back to the inbound methodology (#inbound2020).

These strategies build the online experience up to complement or supplement the in-person sales tactics.

“Our Customers Don’t Buy Online/on Social, They Don’t Matter Here”

Ryan stated that in response to this statement he will state that, “every person is a consumer.” As people we have needs whether for our health, safety or utilities, and we all pay to fulfil these needs/to consume these things. Therefore, in a B2B sales situation, the professional walks into the room as a consumer too. They think as a consumer, engage with other consumers, and eventually consume a product or service.

Within a B2B relationship the basic needs that need to be established and built upon are: awareness of product/service, resources and knowledge sharing beyond product/service, and reinforcing the brand behind the product/service.

Ryan gave the advice that whoever the person is that we are targeting to gain their awareness or continue the relationship beyond the sale can be done through having an online presence. This is where you can promote your product/service and brand. This can also be done on social media as well as using it to listen and engage with those customers.


This was a fantastic session delivered by Ryan Burkett and was so important for us as partner to those in the traditional B2B industry that is construction and building products. Although those clients that do approach us are often the businesses that are past this state of thinking, it is still extremely prevalent today.

All these three ‘principles’ of traditional thinking are still valid, but Ryan stressed how embracing the digital world you can supplement and complement your existing business strategies. If you are one of the organisations who hasn’t yet moved your business practices forward, then it goes to show how you are already succeeding in the market, you should now think how much further you could go if you did adopt a digital way of doing your marketing and sales. And what time could be better than now, when everything is evolving in this ‘new normal’!

Be sure to check out Ryan Burkett on his socials and check back to the Insynth Construction Marketing Blog to keep in the loop with our LIVE @ INBOUND2020 series.

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About Insynth

Insynth Marketing is a leading UK construction marketing agency based in Shifnal in the West Midlands. 

They use the latest inbound marketing techniques such as construction inbound marketing, to support building product companies to grow their business by proactively driving sales lead generation activity. 

As the only HubSpot certified agency to major on construction marketing, we bring together construction marketing strategy, digital strategy, website designSEOcontent marketingemail marketingsales automation, marketing automation and HubSpot CRM implementation to produce successful campaigns and great results for our clients.