Insight You Can Use

UNDERSTANDING BUYING BEHAVIOR IN THE NEW DIGITAL AGE

Buyer Foresight

Can You Predict When Your Customers Will Buy?

During the past two to three years, there has been much focus on understanding the buying process, buying cycles, or as some call it – buyer’s journey – of buyers.  Due to shifts in buyer behavior towards research and evaluation before sales interactions, we have seen the idea of mapping content to buying stages and buying journeys.  I am not so sure this gets us where we need to go. Mass Confusion There have been many attempts to depict the buyer’s journey and buying process.  We have circles, arches, straight vertical lines, wavy lines, and more.  My hunch is buyers…

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The Gap. Can You Fill It? 3 Ways You Can.

How the world has changed.  Yet, how things remain the same.  One thing remaining the same is the gap.  And, how the gap is filled. What Is The Gap? Customers and buyers, no matter the market or industry, are in constant motion to fill the gap.  You see, they have a gap between what is currently happening and what they desire to happen.  This happens on many levels.  For consumers, the gap can be quite urgent.  If your car broke down on a deserted highway, you will have an urgent need to fill the gap.  A car engine running will…

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The Chief Marketing Officer’s Dilemma

Month after month, Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) are confronted with a question.  It is a powerful question.  If answered with accuracy and in-depth understanding, it can make a profound difference.  So profound, it will change the fortunes of the organization. What Is The Question? The question, if answered correctly, will accelerate a company’s ability to transform and be relevant in the new digital age.  Answered incorrectly, it can put the company behind competitors and start a decline.  What is this question? Who is our customer today? This question may appear simple, yet it is the most challenging question faced by…

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Use Persona-Based Buying Scenarios To Improve Buyer Predictability

One of the must have competencies in the future of B2B is buyer predictability.  Without it, there will be an inability to anticipate how to help buyers and customers.  Creating the undesirable position of being old news. Scenario Planning Scenario planning, as a strategic tool, has been around for a while.  It is used in several contexts.  You will see its use in military, economic, and business environments.  The use of scenarios in buyer persona and insight development is an important component.  During the past dozens years, best-in-class organizations, from Fortune 500 to mid-size companies, have made use of persona-based…

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5 Steps B2B Chief Sales Officers Must Take To Survive The B2B Buyer Revolution

For tenured B2B Chief Sales Officers, the world of sales – as they know it – is undergoing its most dramatic disruption in the last 50 years.  What worked before no longer works now.  Sales organizations are under constant assault by both internal forces and buyers.  The demands and expectations of buyers and internal leaders rising each quarter. As I have written about for marketing, B2B sales now find themselves in the throes of a buyer revolution.  The traditional sales processes of the last two decades have been upended and overthrown by newly empowered buyers.  The use of conventional sales…

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Why Should We Use Third-Party Qualitative Research for Buyer Persona Development?

Unlocking true customer insight into buying behavior in the digital age has become important to staying one step ahead of your competition.  Yet, many organizations today lack people with the attributes, skills, education, and experience which are required to unlock deep and profound customer insights.  Many Chief Marketing Officers face this same dilemma with content marketing.  Where new non-traditional marketing skills, such as journalism and copywriting, are becoming the new marketing of today.  Many Chief Sales Officers also face a need for new skills in operations and processes. The Rise of Insight Buyer and customer insight is emerging as a…

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Should the Chief Customer Officer Be The Hub for Buyer and Customer Insights?

Since 2003, the role of the Chief Customer Officer has gone from numbering under 30 to numbering in the thousands today.  While still new and evolving, this role holds promise for significance in building true customer-centric businesses.  An interesting development during the past ten years is counterintuitive.  The role sounds logical for large enterprises.  According to Curtis Bingham, the Executive Director of the Chief Customer Officer Council, the largest concentration of CCO’s has been in mid-size companies. Bob Thompson, CEO and Editor-in-Chief of CustomerThink, recently covered Forrester’s report on How Chief Customer Officers Orchestrate Experiences by Forrester Principal Analyst Paul…

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Bridge the Divide Between Marketing and Sales with the Buyer Insight Bridge

The issue of Marketing and Sales Alignment has been raging on for several years.  We have heard all kinds of reasons why.  From sales not receiving support they need, to marketing believing sales is not following up on its leads.  We have also heard we have to align with customers and buyers.  I agree.  I think it is more than that. The Big Shift Let us first acknowledge a big shift.  We are undergoing the biggest shift in buying behaviors in many a decade.  As I have previously written, in my article, 3 Steps B2B Chief Marketing Offers Need to…

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5 Actions Chief Marketing Officers and Chief Sales Officers Can Take to Bridge the Big Insight Gap

On the minds of most executive leaders for B2B organizations is two pressing objectives.  They involve two additions – increasing customer acquisition and increasing customer retention. From a customer lifecycle and buying cycle perspective, it means getting more in the front end and less leaking out the back end.  At the most basic level, it is fundamental to achieving growth and profitability. For CMO’s and CSO’s – there is a lot riding on both. Answering Big Questions B2B organizations are struggling with big questions.  They are not new.  They have existed since the dawn of business.  The struggle today has…

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