Insight You Can Use

UNDERSTANDING BUYING BEHAVIOR IN THE NEW DIGITAL AGE

Buyer Perception

Why B2B Should Invest In Branding (And What Happens When You Do Not)

When the financial crisis hit in 2008, a certain word went missing in business.  And, another word became all too powerful.  The word, invest, and the inertia behind it lost traction in B2B business.  Rocked by the financial crisis, many plans were shelved.  Collecting dust.  The word, cut, became dominant in business vocabulary. A few short years later, B2B business leaders in the C-Suite are waking up from this slumber of cost cutting and extreme focused on tactics.  For some, it was a matter of necessity in order to survive.  Having to resort to the proverbial cut their losses and…

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4 Ways To Differentiate With B2B Audience Messaging Segmentation

If you put yourself in the shoes of a customer as a listener instead of the messenger, you might find a noise you do not like.  Perhaps it is a loud constant humming sound.  Five competing companies sounding like a meditative chant.  Yet there is no escape as a listener.  In the shoes of a customer, you move down the hall, only to find the same hum no matter who is the audience. Using an expression from years past, the only choice left for customers is to – tune out. Limitations of Quant In my recent conversations helping marketing and…

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CMO 2014: Brand Experience Will Matter First Before Content Marketing

For many Chief Marketing Officers and marketing leaders, especially in B2B, there is a seismic shift taking place in how marketing is approached and done.  A staple in yearly strategic planning is the product or service as the central focus of marketing and sales plans year after year.  Product marketing is just as the name implies – all about marketing the product.  If this is the central premise of your marketing plan for 2014, time to go back to the drawing board before it is too late. New Differentiation Decade after decade, marketing and sales focused on touting the superiority…

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7 B2B Buying Behavior Trends To Watch In 2014

Like a runaway train, B2B buyers continue to evolve and reshape their buying behaviors.  Adapting to new channels as well as technologies to solve critical problems, reach goals, and accomplish more.   My conversations with B2B marketing and sales leaders indicating it will be tougher for B2B Marketing and Sales to keep pace in both customer acquisition and retention. After conducting a substantial amount of qualitative research-based buyer interviews in 2013 in several vertical markets, on behalf of B2B organizations, there are trends I see beginning to take root.   Trends which suggest buyers are more inclusive, collaborative, and discerning than…

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CMO 2014: 4 Steps To Rediscovering B2B Brand Equity

Having an instantly recognizable brand is the aim of many Chief Marketing Officers and marketing leaders.  It is one of the most elusive trophies to grab in the world of B2B.  Once achieved, there are tremendous advantages.  Gaining such an advantage has become harder to achieve as companies struggle to be heard above the loud din of digital media. The art of building brand equity may have been lost in the digital shuffle taking place in the B2B space the past few years.  It is an art companies can ill-afford to lose.  With more options available to buyers today, loyalty…

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CMO 2014: A Return To The 3 Purposes Of Marketing

For many CMO’s and leaders in marketing, there has been a litany of proclamations about what marketing will become.  During the past few years, urgent bell ringing to dive into new definitions of marketing has besieged marketers: Social marketing Social media marketing Inbound marketing Digital marketing Search marketing And, most notably – content marketing Without question, many marketing leaders today must feel like they are being pulled into every direction possible.  Despite the average tenure of CMO’s increasing, it is reasonable to believe many still feel at risk due to constant changes in the dynamics of marketing. Perspective Content marketing…

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New Survey Highlights What Is Most Important To B2B Customers. Surprise, It Is Not Content Marketing.

The fanfare has been loud and non-stop.  Drums beating and reverberating throughout the B2B world to jump on board the content marketing train.  As in the B2C world, we are beginning to see a dramatic rise in web-based content, online communities, and video-based messaging.  These are proving to be powerful ways to communicate. There is just one problem. B2B customers are experiencing disconnect between brand as well as content messaging and what they care about most.  According to a recent research study and survey conducted by McKinsey, of 700 global executives, corporate messaging may be having little impact on evaluation…

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Up Your Game On Buyer Insight Research For Quality Buyer Personas

What has become abundantly clear to is this: understanding your prospects and customers is essential.  B2B companies who outperform their competitors are doing so with deep insights into how their buyers are behaving.  More importantly, learning the “why” of the behaviors driving their customers and prospects to make a purchase decision. Behind The Curve Many B2B companies are trying to get out from behind the curve of where their buyers and competitors have advanced.  Struggling to get a clear picture on how disadvantaged they may be.  Realizing practices put into place, even as short as three to five years ago,…

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Are You Frustrating 33% Or More Of Your Buyers?

33%.  One third.  If you have 3,000 buyers, this means 1,000 buyers.  Having 10,000 means 3,000.  Up to 100,000 means 30,000.  This is how many buyers you can potentially be frustrating.  This is a lot of buyers. A Big Problem As I was reviewing the Buyersphere Report 2013 produced by Base One and B2B Marketing (in association with McCallum, Layton, and Research Now) a brief footnote on frustrations caught my attention.  Yes, it is only one survey.  However, when approximately a third of respondents faced frustrations in their search for information to help them make decisions – this is not…

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5 Core Components of Buyer Persona Development

What exactly is buyer persona development?  Recently, this question came from several who have “done personas” but have met resistance or disappointment.  Our discussion centered on why the buyer personas developed offered little value. Why No Value? In my conversations helping people, there are two reasons why buyer persona efforts have been met with either resistance or disappointment. Buyer personas are perceived as a customer profile.  A customer profile with a picture offers little value. Sales intelligence is misperceived or misrepresented as buyer insights. These two reasons can result in resistance and disappointment.  While a customer profile can help with…

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