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B2B Marketing in Dubai: a personal experience

If you clicked this article about B2B Marketing in Dubai, then you are either working on building your business(B2B) or thinking to start one. In case of a double negative, not the mathematical one, you might be that student who is looking for a quick fix to finish the assignment. The rest of the folks finding this article are the online ghosts roaming aimlessly 🙂

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This article is influenced by my experience in the online marketing industry but can be useful to those working in other industries as well.

As you know,  Business-to-Business(B2B) marketing is a challenging process because the buyer is a business organization.

Buyers in the business market are generally more experienced negotiators and are difficult to close. For now, the article has all set to unleash its wrath on the buyer in the B2B market, especially the ones in Dubai 🙂

Please, understand that I don’t use the word startup in its ideal sense. For me, a startup mostly means anything you start from scratch all funded by you. 

I mean, you are the lone wolf.Yes, you are all on your own and you are the Solopreneur.

Great, you are ready to suffer endlessly. Nevertheless, the discussion in this article is easily applicable to all sort of startups. If you are looking for growth using B2B marketing, keep on reading.

Before you get into a new relationship a new business relationship, please read the following observations because you can’t easily swipe your way to the next romance 🙂

#1  Don’t Call Small Businesses if you would like to grow your business in Dubai

It is not a number game, it is the quality that matters. It’s better you avoid small businesses as they are most likely not going to appreciate what you do for two reasons: a) they don’t appreciate the power of digital marketing or marketing in general, hence they will not pay you well. (b) They suck your energy as you would be educating them about almost everything and in return for peanuts. Worse, they can quit anytime.

#2  Don’t Get A Business Migraine for yourself

Now, you will come across some businesses in the UAE whose websites are down for all sorts of funny reasons. Or you will find out that they have a Gmail address on their business cards.

It is very unlikely that these are newly opened businesses but, if they are, then you are lucky to have found them. Go ahead, pitch.

Mostly, when you find this type of a business in Dubai, it surely is a red flag. You might find out that they have been changing a lot of agencies or they have had a few conflicts with the previous agencies or freelancers.

Of course, they would prove to you that it was the agency’s fault and that they had “got burnt” (actual words of one such soul I met). Don’t you believe them because they are most probably telling a one-sided story. I am not saying that an agency can’t be evil but you should watch out for the bias in the conversation.

You need to observe them(clients) very carefully and look for the possible clues during the first meeting. I assume you would arrange for a quick chat on the phone before coming to see them in person.

If you would like to find this out the hard way, then take the negotiation to the closure. Once, you begin to discuss the details of the service you can provide, you would find the client extremely demanding.

In fact, they would try to almost slaughter you through a ridiculous set of expectations and conditions.

I should call these businesses, a migraine of your business

#3  Don’t Take Empty Calories of B2B Market if you would like to succeed in Dubai

You can find clients whose businesses are doing OK. They can pay you good enough money but still, they are like just empty calories. They are so because their business or work ethics are not aligned with your agency or solopreneurship.

Here is what I mean by this: the clients who are not aligned with your future direction would have no ambition for growth. Taking the risk of being called arrogant, I should say that it is the typical dirt on the market which never lifts itself.

On the other hand, you, as an agency, should be hungry for growth, but such clients would suck your creative energies and impose meritocracy on your business. If you know what I mean, this is the value or ethics issue if you think about.

Even if they are not the dirt on the market and they are paying good, but if they do not add up to your brand’s vision; or they have no real commitment to marketing i.e growth, drop them.

I admit, it is way idealistic but it should work out just fine in the long-run.

#4  Don’t Expand fast, Go very slow

Be very clear on how much expenses you require to survive the entrepreneurial winter. Try to withhold the storm.

Ignore expansion but maintain a dead focus on consolidating your position in the market to create a solid proof that you offer an awesome value proposition or bundle of benefits. Action should do the talking, please.

#5   Don’t be shy about your achievement

This is a parallel strategy as you delivered on your promise or you are creating a strong market space of your own, you should make as much noise as possible.

This will, if everything else, goes according to the place, result in more quality sign-ups. Of course, keep your brand partnership criteria and screening intact.

#6  Don’t mishandle the big bang

The startups need to develop a system which will guarantee impressive efficiency when the big band i.e explosion of growth occurs.  Lack of systems means you would fail at scaling the growth explosion i.e the big bang. This is the stage which BCG matrix would call ” The Star”  status of your business.  It is better to be prepared than sorry.

What is the big bang?

You need to have a series of small successes and eventually, you land a proper client who really pays well. The secret is to make every process scale-able and for the purpose, you need to install a clear SOPs everywhere