Insight You Can Use

UNDERSTANDING BUYING BEHAVIOR IN THE NEW DIGITAL AGE

Buying Cycle

How Does B2B Market Segmentation Differ From B2B Buyer Personas?

This question has resurfaced over the past dozen or more years multiple times.  It still seems to confound B2B marketing and sales leaders.  A question I get asked often as well.  The differences between B2B market segmentation and B2B buyer personas are significant.  Misunderstanding the differences has also contributed to mislabeled buyer personas. B2B versus B2C As the world of business became more complex in the past 100 years, attempts to segment buyers and customers have become more sophisticated.  We have databases to mine, new ways of stratifying, and automation enabling us to target more effectively.  The value of segmentation…

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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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How Many Buyer Personas Do I Need? (The Answer You Need To Know)

I get asked this question – a lot. I read many incorrect answers – a lot. The right answer matters – a lot. Confusion Reigns This is one of the most asked questions I have encountered since creating the buyer persona concept a dozen years ago.  What concerns me today with the rising interest in buyer personas, is how often this question is answered incorrectly.  The result is confusion in many areas. First, a look at the usual confusing – and incorrect – answers proliferating today: A buyer persona should be created for every role Buyer personas are built for…

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Do You Know What Your Buyers Value When Making A Purchase Decision?

The importance of knowing what buyers value is unmistakable.  Yet, trying to understand what they are can be fuzzy.  Buyers are not always clear in articulating, which makes our ability to understand challenging. Understanding buyer value drivers is important to developing a compelling value proposition.  You need to balance both sides of the coin to meet the goals and needs of your target buyers. Influence Begets Complexity Our traditional view of value drivers, through the term we know as buying criteria, has become inadequate in the new digital age.  It is a one-dimensional view, which can be un-insightful.  Buyers today…

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How to Find the Critical Buying Path of Your B2B Buyer (Using the Buyer Decision Model)

Lately, attempts to visually show buying processes or buyer journeys have come in all shapes and sizes.  They have ranged from the traditional funnel to circles, galaxies, maps, rings, and whatever Lego type shapes can be mustered.  Names for the different phases and stages seem to be – well – all over the map.  I will confess – even I got caught up in doing this a few times. As I reflect on this as well as the hundreds of buyer interviews I have done over the course of a dozen years – it comes down to this for me:…

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How Buyers Decide When They Don’t Care About Your Competitive Advantage

In today’s emerging digital age, understanding buying behaviors is becoming job one for many B2B organizations.  Faced with relentless new demands from customers and buyers, B2B leaders must map out a course of transformation.  This transformation involves being relevant in today’s complex marketplaces by an equally relentless focus on customers and buyers. End of Sustainable Competitive Advantages One of the byproducts of the emerging new digital age is the equalizing of competition.  One of our brightest thinkers of today is Columbia Business School professor Rita Gunther McGrath.  In her just-released book, The End of Competitive Advantage: How to Keep Your…

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10 Ways to Know Your B2B Buyers Deeply Using the Buyer Persona Canvas

Getting in alignment with buyers today is no easy feat.  Every time there is a quarterly review, a pipeline review, and just any kind of review – there is the lingering wish to know more about your buyers. Insight into buyers is harder to come by.  The business world has been flipped upside down when it comes to the buyer-seller relationship.  I believe it is a good thing.  It is good for business, good for sellers, and good for buyers.  What we all are striving for is the common good of getting to know each other more deeply. In my…

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Buyer Foresight: Article Roundup Vol. 1

Something new. Periodically, I will highlight a compilation of linked articles I have written to help people.  The purpose is to reflect on what can truly provide new thinking for use in today’s complex business world.  My hope is such reflection will help people to gain their own foresight into future possibilities. Let’s get started: The Art of Buying With this article, the purpose is to bring attention to the question of why people buy.  Sometimes it takes art versus science to answer this question. 5 Buying Behaviors of the Persona Buying Cycle Looking back, this thinking continues to evolve…

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