Identifying the dissonance for engaging a B2B customer

B2B, Business, competition, Marketing, Marketing Stamina, messaging, persistence, segmentation, single target market

With B2B customers, as I have mentioned earlier in my earlier posts, its difficult to get instantaneous decisions because of various reasons. These could vary from inertia to customers having to do cross functional team decisions, budgets and the works.

In most cases until the dissonance with the existing supplier is so large and repeated that the customer can no longer bear it, they don’t change. However in a bundle of 1000 prospects, the Dean Jackson “inevitability principle” eventually kicks in and some incumbents falter and that’s when you get a chance to stake your claim.

Now you need to be in front of the customer to stake your claim. In addition you should, on a consistent basis keep highlighting the possible challenges the customer could be facing.

For this you need to know your competition well. Competition could be from a company or an alternative technology. You need to understand the places competition is weak and then work your messaging to highlight the challenges the customer could be facing because of the those issues. These messages need to be about “rubbing salt over their wound” so that the pain gets even more highlighted.

Its not always possible to know all the challenges until you ask the customer and then hypothesize for others – since you have already focused on a narrow segment of the market. So if you get in front of a customer on the phone or in person or via web you need to check if they value the benefits that you offer versus what the incumbent does not have. You will then realize for yourself if those benefits matter to a decent set of your audience.

Once you have done that then the the key is to be persistent because we don’t know when the customer will decide to change. Also since customers do more than 60% of their research in the sales cycle even before they call the vendors, if you are not in front of them when they are doing the research, you won’t even get considered.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

B2B Messaging – finding the most effective channel

B2B, Business, differentiation, differentiation, ideal customer, Marketing, Marketing Ecosystem, messaging, segmentation, single target market

In consumer items there are a lot of ways to reach a customer – television, print, social media etc. Depending on where your demographic audience is and how the psychographics work out, you could also use good old direct mail and leaflets and tele-callers.

In B2B markets there are unique challenges. There’s a massive fall in print magazine circulation especially the business focused magazines. Not sure how many people watch television to check out the next business strategy.

In the B2B market, mail does not reach the person on the desk, because a lot of times people don’t have a desk and are mobile. So the mail has to be collected by the person by going to the mail room. Since people don’t come to the office so often and with Covid19, even fewer are coming to office so no one visits the mail room and the mail you send does not reach the intended recipients. So if you are targeting professional services companies, financial services etc. I have found direct mail to be a tough ask.

On the other hand if you were looking at companies which were more into manufacturing, utilities etc. I would guess direct mail would work especially for the back office functions and factory / warehouse functions.

Email is a quick, free medium and that’s it very basic problem. In B2B all the people are inundated with mail and you get a fraction of a second on the mobile phone, before the person ignores or deletes your mail. That is if your mail even reaches the person’s mailbox, because the spam filters will block your mail if they even observe a single item in the mail which smells of spam.

Before the pandemic started, webinars was a good way to get people to join you and hear your message, but I am observing a definite sense of exhaustion with webinars. The registration and attendance and company sponsored webinars has fallen dramatically. It may still be possible to get some attendance if the webinar is being run by an industry body or an independent analyst or a reputed media group with some respected industry veterans.

As a B2B marketer I am always looking out for some effective ways to get in front my audience. By ensuring that I target a “single target market”, and try and target only my ideal customer profile, I try to learn from each interaction that we have with a client and see how we can incorporate that learning into our next interaction. Its always a good idea to send a personal email to a person so that the spam filters don’t think you are spamming. You try to use as much knowledge you have of the industry to make this email so that the person reading it finds it useful.

Please let me know in case you have found any other method to reach your prospects in B2B in the comments below.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Who’s not your customer – how it helps in messaging

B2B, Business, differentiation, ideal customer, Marketing, messaging, Positioning, segmentation, single target market

Last 2 posts I have been talking about the benefits of identifying who’s not your customer to ensure a better focus.

Once you know whom you don’t want to target consciously, you can actually build your messaging to ensure you make it clear for whom its not applicable and therefore your Ideal Customer recognises that the message is Only for her.

Whether its in the advertisements or in the email messaging that you build you can consciously list out all the people you don’t want to target. A positive way of doing this from the real estate market could be – “where millionaires reside” – which clearly tells people that if you are not a millionaire you can’t afford the homes.

There are clubs which mention the minimum criteria for joining the club. This way they ensure that they don’t waste time with wannabe’s.

In case of technology and B2B companies – you can decide to target companies who don’t use cloud and eliminate all companies who use cloud by doing messaging – “offer for first time cloud users only”.

By identifying “whos not your customer”, you don’t need to have negative connotations to it. Its just a method to ensure you can get your messaging for your specific niche very strongly aligned to the niche.

Try using this for building your messaging and let me know your results in the comments section below.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!