Insight You Can Use

UNDERSTANDING BUYING BEHAVIOR IN THE NEW DIGITAL AGE

B2B Buyer Ethnography

State Of Buyer Personas 2015 (Survey Results)

It is now nearly fourteen years since the first-ever buyer persona development methodology was first created specifically for sales and marketing. For trivia and history buffs, Harcourt Education in 2002, a division of Reed Elsevier at the time, was the first organization to ever use research-based buyer personas for marketing and sales. How far we have come and how far we have still to go. Incorporating Survey Data For the first time in this annual reflection of the State of Buyer Personas, this commentary will incorporate responses from a survey conducted this past October through December. The survey consisted of…

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Beyond Predictive Marketing: Planning With Persona-Based Strategic Narratives

In a recent interview, one of the world’s most compelling management consultant, Tom Peters, responded to a question related to what is missing from today’s discussion about management. In classic as well as vintage Tom Peter fashion, he responded: “My real bottom-line hypothesis is that nobody has a sweet clue what they’re doing.” He went on to say we, in business, should be trying things out at an insanely rapid pace as a result. It is fair to say in the world of marketing, what has been taking place is trying things out at a rapid clip. One of those things…

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Why The Concept Of Immersion Will Be The Next Big Thing in B2B Marketing

For most of us, when we become immersed with something we care about, like, or even love, we become completely involved. All of our mental faculties are devoted to a particular experience. As an example, when we travel to a foreign country, we can become immersed completely in a foreign culture. Experiencing for the first time how people in other countries go about their daily lives. With the tumultuous changes occurring in the new digital economy, markets, consumers, and businesses can seem quite foreign when compared to a decade ago. These hyper changes occurring are rapidly altering behaviors and how…

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The Danger Of A Single View Of Buyers

Many of us have heard of the term tunnel vision. It is usually described or defined as follows: The tendency to focus exclusively on a single or limited goal or point of view. We have seen extreme points of views in every walk of life. From politics to religion and everything in between we have seen a singular focus on a goal or point of view. Unfortunately, tunnel vision can cause intended as well as unintended consequences. In the world of business marketing, organizations can exert all their resources towards focusing in on a single view of buyers. Doing so…

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Why Marketing Leaders Should Embrace Story Listening Before Story Telling

“What I’ve seen is a leader doesn’t start with storytelling, they start with story listening.” –John Maeda, Design Partner, KPCB During the past two years, B2C as well as B2B marketing leaders have heard much about the concept of storytelling in marketing. With the number one challenge facing marketers today being one of connecting with customers and buyers, storytelling can seem like one sure bet. Recent headlines in the blogosphere seem to all suggest and promise businesses can accelerate their revenue growth through storytelling. Not so fast. I believe organizations are prone to make the mistake of a rush to…

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How GE Uses Human Connection To Empower B2B Corporate Storytelling

“Behind every person, behind every company, behind everything, is a story of how it got there – and the most relevant stories connect on a personal level.” Beth Comstock, CMO of GE. The above comment is a reminder of no matter how complicated or complex a business and its products may be, there is a human story to be told. Offering us the ability to connect on a personal and human level.   GE probably represents one of the most diverse organizations in the world with a portfolio of businesses and products, which can be characterized as complicated, complex, high-tech engineering,…

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Global Marketing: The Business Of Choosing

Years ago, before cable TV, you were basically left with three choices on your TV dial. You could choose from the three major television networks on three different channels. And, if you had a good TV antenna, you just might be able to pick-up the PBS station in your local area. Today, we live in a world where cable TV has run amok with one hundred plus channels many of us pay for and never watch. If we contrast how we go about choosing products or services today with how we chose a mere twenty to thirty years ago, it…

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Listening And Empathy: Making Your Marketing More Human-Centered

One of the most pressing questions facing organizations today is this one: How do we connect with the outside world of customers and buyers today? It is not an easy question to answer. Recently, we have had several studies, including those by Forrester and the Content Marketing Institute, which suggests companies have been struggling to connect with their customers and buyers. Finding many organizations and marketers believe their content marketing and B2B marketing efforts are only effective well below forty-percent of the time. The sobering news is the needle of effectiveness has not moved very much in the last few…

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Humanize Your Brand With Buyer Personas

You cannot fake it. You should not even try. What am I talking about? We have plenty of efforts these days focused on humanizing in B2B Marketing.  Which I believe is most definitely a good thing.  However, we also have more savvy and knowledgeable customers and buyers in the digital age.   And, one thing I can share with all of you based on recent batches of in the field qualitative buyer interviews over the last year is this: Buyers and customers can tell when you are faking it. One Constant Missing Link Over the last year or two, there has…

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3 Phases Of Human-Centered Marketing That Make Your Customers H.U.M.

The concept of human-centered modern marketing begins with empathy for your customers and buyers.  It is rooted in the approach of understanding the goals and motivations of our customers and buyers.  Despite the ever-increasing influence of digital technology in our everyday lives, both business and personal, the need for human understanding in the context of marketing is increasing. Human behavior is being impacted and altered by digital transformation.  Just a few short years ago we lived in a world where smartphones and tablets did not exists.  In business, collaborative platforms and cloud-based services did not exist.  In the new digital…

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