Marketing Stamina – Revisited

B2B, life time value, Marketing, Marketing Stamina, persistence

On the 28th of October last year I had put up a post on this topic. If you are interested, you can have a look at it here .

The reason I felt a need to revisit this topic, came up because, I was analysing the average time it takes to get traction for a new product or service in the B2B market. If you are in the technology market space I would highly recommend you read the book Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore. It will give you a more detailed context to what I am talking.

However coming back to the B2B market – the key issue that needs to handled is corporate inertia. In most cases the people in these companies are fighting so many battles, that they don’t want to touch anything that’s not broken. Also because there’s so many approvals involved, they don’t want to risk the product / solution Not Working in their environment. Especially in case of technology solutions, most companies prefer to work with “n-1” technology because it’s stable and working. They don’t want one more fire in their hand.

The other thing which plays a role in my opinion, is that the customer wants to see your resilience. They don’t trust anyone approaching them new, for the same points as I listed above and in most cases they are already covered with an existing vendor who is providing decently good service. So until and unless the incumbent screws up some time soon, they won’t look at you.

So does it mean that you can’t get into business for the B2B segment.

You absolutely can, if you can plan for the long term. You ensure that you have enough persistence and finances to last you for a long duration. While I learnt the term marketing stamina from Dean Graziosi, I learnt the application of this idea through Dean Jackson. His thought process is like this – if you know the turnover rate of any market – say 5% – 10% of the people will change to a new vendor every year – and you have a focussed list of 1000 prospects then over the next 5 years at least 250 – 500 prospects.

Now depending on what you sell and what is the Life Time Value of a client, you will need to have the staying power to last through the 5 years with consistently reaching out to these customers. If you don’t plan for this, you will be in for a rude shock and you will do things out of desperation, which is never a good thing.

Till next time then ….build your marketing stamina before getting into a new market.

Carpe Diem!!!

Marketing Stamina

B2B, Marketing, Marketing Stamina, persistence

This is a phrase I first heard from Dean Graziosi. I have written about it earlier also . Its a very simple thought process. I have used it in terms of B2B marketing but I would guess it would apply in all kinds of marketing.

The logic is that every market takes time to adapt to a new offering that you bring to the market. It could be because of inertia in B2B setups because of the sheer number of people involved in making decisions as well as the complexity of processes.

If you don’t have the stamina to last through the cycle before the adoption of your offering “crosses the chasm”. This stamina is both in terms of finances and your own abilities to persist.

Today I got a different view of this . You would have read about my philosophy of riding the elephant to get access to markets. We had been riding one very large OEM for a certain set of tools. Between 2014 and 2016 we invested a lot before we got any business. But subsequent to that we got a lot of business which suddenly dried up by 2019 because the OEM decided to take a different direction (I have written about these in the challenges when riding the elephant)

Now however today I got a call from one of the reps of the OEM checking if we still have the team that was created. Generally we prefer to play the long game. So we had kept the team because we had some residue business that we were closing, while we were evaluating our options with other OEMs.

The OEM now wants to utilize the same team to go out in the market with the new products that they are launching.

If we didn’t have the marketing stamina (if we had not planned with a long term view) we would not have been able to today get a jump start.

Think long-term and plan accordingly.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!

Creating dissonance in the B2B buyer’s mind – Part 2

B2B, Business, Marketing, Marketing Stamina, persistence

In my post of 12th April I had written about how B2B sales are not impulsive in nature. If you’re selling something which is a hot new technology and the buyer is a technology fan then you might be able to sell based on just the technology being new.

On the other hand , most B2B businesses have different levels in a buying process for any kind of product or service, especially if you are looking at a mid to large to extremely large companies. In these kind of companies the inertia itself is very large and the processes complex, so getting a process initiated itself is a task.

So until and unless there is a real challenge with a vendor no one wants to change, even if you have done the perfect segmentation and identified them as your ideal customer.

In the post on 12th April I wrote about how your messaging should keep targeting some areas of dissonance. However you cannot create dissonance with one piece of messaging, it will never stick. The longer a vendor has been providing the services to an organisation the bigger is the chance that the vendor’s issues will be ignored. Also not all issues – using an example from calculus – tend to cross the limit/threshold – where the customer snaps.

So when entering with a regular product or service you need to look at a long term time frame of say 2 years – it could be longer depending on the product or service – airplanes as an example – people may take 5-10 years before deciding on moving from say Boeing to Airbus .

Then you need to keep at sending out a weekly mail/postcard or whatever to be in-front of the buyers so that when the limit / threshold is reached they call you out by default. This persistence in marketing or as Dean Graziosi calls it – Marketing Stamina helps you pick up business in the long term.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Creating Dissonance in the B2B buyer’s mind

B2B, Business, Marketing Stamina, messaging, persistence, segmentation

Most B2B purchases are not impulsive in nature, until and unless they are really low value or for some reason are whimsical in nature.

The advantage of doing B2B business is that because its not impulsive, if you do a good job then most often, you end up staying with that customer for a long time.

One reason for this way of things is the inertia in the procurement department, the other is the cost of doing re-evaluation of vendors so until and unless its something which is periodic in nature, procurement departments don’t want to upset the “apple-cart”. If you are the incumbent, then this is good news.

If you are the outsider, then its bad news, because you have to wait a long time to even get entry – if at all into the account. In B2B accounts you have to have a lot of what Dean Graziosi calls “Marketing Stamina” to keep pounding on the doors of your so called prospects.

What helps though is if you have a small niche to focus on. Then you can concentrate your energies and work with what Dean Jackson calls the “inevitability concept”, which is basically saying that over a 2 year period or 3 year period, some incumbents will make a large enough mistake for the customer want to check you out.

Now this wont happen if you are not in front of the customer on a regular basis with some story which drives what Robin Robins calls “the wedge” into the customer’s existing set-up, so that when the wedge is deep enough the customer feels immense pain and calls you. The dissonance that you create should be large enough for the customer to feel a material impact.

It however needs to be understood that if you have 100 possible customers in your niche, then over a two-three year period you may end up picking up maybe 10 of these. What you then need to keep working on is how can you get these 10 to refer you more clients.

In B2B or for that matter in all kinds of customers a “referred” customer is always a better customer to have both from profitability point of view as well as long term engagement.

If you can keep increasing the share of the customer’s wallet on a regular basis and also get referred then you can have terrific growth.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!