In yesterday’s post I had mentioned Dean Jackson’s philosophy on 100/1000 leads – where 50% of them will change the incumbent in the next 3 years. The only challenge is that we don’t know which ones will. Its a game of patience int he B2B space.
Changing an incumbent need not be the exact category of what you sell. The “incumbent” in the B2B space is about how the customer presently gets the job done.
If presently someone licks a stamp on their tongue before sticking it on the envelope, then this is the incumbent , if someone is trying to sell a franking machine. Now until the person whose tongue is used to lick the stamp quits for a better job ( a trigger) or someone in the company realises that keeping this person only for the “licking” is an expensive option (another trigger) your messages for the franking product or services will not work.
However whenever a trigger takes place with respect to the incumbent, if you are present in front of the customer, then you become the first person they will call.
So you need to have the persistence and marketing stamina , to ensure that you are in front of the stakeholders on a regular basis. In case of B2B this is one way you build your brand. The other aspect is to make your messages “instigating” the dissonance. Slowly hammering away at possible problem areas.
Tomorrow we will look at another aspect of this persistence story.
In my post yesterday I had shared all the challenges that a B2B target audience faces in her day. Having recognised the result you can offer to your customer to delight them and also identified clearly whom you won’t want to attract. How do you get their attention? If they don’t get their attention, they won’t know if you exist and you won’t be able to do business with them. However given the challenges on their time and attention, you window of opportunity is just a few seconds, before you are dumped.
The other bigger issue is that the B2B buyer is not an impulse buyer. She cannot just buy something, until and unless it’s something of extremely low value. Chances are that the need that your product or service is fulfilling is already being done by some other vendor or some other means (the Porter’s model of competitive forces) . If that be the case, its absolutely impossible to displace the existing set-up until and unless the dissatisfaction has reached a threshold value.
So one of the things that works with B2B buyers is identifying the points of dissonance and then communicating with the buyer over the long term. Over a 3 year period, at least 50% of the buyers will face challenges and if you are there in front of them at that time when the threshold is reached, they will consider you. However for this you need to plan your marketing expenses in such a way so that you don’t run out of money before the business starts coming. Marketing stamina in case of B2B is critical.
The other things which could get the attention are typically triggers – I have done detailed posts on this topic earlier also, so I won’t go into the details here. But a new customer getting onboarded or a their existing vendor going bankrupt or a new boss. All those triggers can suddenly change the dynamics, if you can exploit them.
Till next time then.
In the first part we spoke about how marketing is all about applied psychology. So to ensure that the prospects read and respond to your message they have to get curious about what you send to them.
When you are marketing to consumers, you can have different nuances like comedy, location and other things to make the prospect curious about your offerings. However when you are marketing to B2B customers the messaging has to be a little more formal. The remaining part of the post is focused on B2B messaging and how to make it more interesting for the recipient so that they don’t get bored and move to the next item.
One way, to ensure you are not boring, that I have written about multiple times earlier, is using triggers. These could be related to the industry in general, the company in particular or the person specifically. The more specific the trigger, more the chance of getting a person interested.
In B2B messaging, the concept of triggers, works best when you’re doing one – on – one messaging. A person could have joined new, a person could have got promoted, a person could have moved to a new department within the company. The CEO of the company could have set new priorities. Or the price of oil going up could impact the company positively or negatively. You will need to have people dedicated to working on tracking these triggers for your list of prospects.
You then need to mold your message about your offerings and make it relevant with the triggers. If you’re using FedEx or a similar service you could even deliver an oversized package to draw the attention of your prospect even further. On the other hand if you’re going to use email then the message has to be short and should invoke curiosity.
We will discuss in more detail next time.
Yesterday I wrote about one of the best triggers that I have found in B@B messaging, when someone joins in a new role from outside the company in the executive position.
There are multiple other triggers that can be used based on the environment the company is operating in.
- New regulation / compliances in the industry which everyone has to comply with especially if followed with a time limit
- Going out / End of Life – of a license/regulation – again if there is a time limit it is even more critical
- Entry of a new competitor in the market
- Entry of a new technology
- Impact of an event on a competitor and how it can apply to them
- Global crisis and many more….
The reason I addressed the “new joinee trigger” as an independent post yesterday was because I have found that to be the most effective. With the above triggers the challenges are seen as more long term and people may not react to your messaging immediately.
Apart from the timing issue the other challenge is again related to targeting the right person in the organsiational matrix with the messaging for the above.
If you have been following my blog, I have given so many tactics for messaging whether its with dissonance or now with triggers or earlier with pain areas and aspiration areas.
The reason you have to test for so many different types of messaging is because you don’t know what kind of messaging will invoke a response from which prospect. You have to keep persisting with trying various options continuously.
So keep testing.
Till next time then