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UNDERSTANDING BUYING BEHAVIOR IN THE NEW DIGITAL AGE

goal-directed behaviors

How B2B CMOs Can Achieve Customer-Centric Marketing With Buyer Personas

A recent survey by B2B Marketing, in conjunction with the UK-based agency Tomorrow People, indicated only 38% of marketers considered their content to be “very customer-centric.”  This mirrors findings of other surveys related to content marketing and customer-centric marketing, which consistently hovers in the 35- 40% range of “very customer-centric” or “very effective content marketing.” In this same survey mentioned above, it was found 50% or more of marketers surveyed have not engaged in researching and creating buyer personas for their marketing efforts.  Although the concept of buyer personas were founded nearly 14 years ago, the maturity of buyer persona…

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The Emerging Importance Of B2B Ethnography To Buyer Personas

Better, deeper, insightful, and well-rounded understanding of customers and buyers is on the top of the list for many CEOs and CMOs today. In recent studies by IBM and other research studies on CEO sentiments, customer insight and understanding are identified as a top focus for CEOs.  A majority of surveys also find a growing concern for both establishing and retaining customer loyalty in today’s digital marketplaces. There are two additional concerns CEOs are finding of increasing importance to the growth, as well as, survival in competitive environs.  These two are: CEOs and CMOs have a growing concern about the relevancy…

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Beyond Buyer Profiling To Buyer Personification

Segmentation has been a staple of business marketing and sales for several decades.  The concept of breaking down a potential market or industry into smaller target segments is a standard technique taught in business schools and used by many organizations.  Beginning in the 1980’s and 1990’s, we began to see a shift to individualism.  The understanding of not only the segments and organizations that buys but also the individual that buys. We saw the influence of the Meyers-Briggs Testing philosophy extended into the business world.  Whereby sales organizations, in particular, went through training on how to adapt to the personalities of…

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Goal-Directed Marketing: How Marketers Can Help Buyers Achieve Their Goals

Many CMOs today are faced with a dilemma.  As digital interactions and media become more intertwined into everyday life, marketers need to respond.  Respond with content and media that fits into the new world of digital commerce.  Yet, as CMOs invest and allocate more to content and digital media, the returns are not occurring as hoped. Various studies have shown buyers continue to find as much as 60-to-75% of content to be non-relevant.  In one study, SiriusDecisions found 60-to-70% of B2B content produced goes unused.  Basically, results like these indicate content and digital media is having a problem with trust.…

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3 Ways CMOs Can Achieve Deeper Insights Into The Customer Journey

As CMOs look ahead, gaining greater clarity into how buying behaviors are changing is becoming one of their most important aims.  Never more pressing as digital channels expand and become more immersed in the conduct of commerce.  At the same time, the ability of marketing to influence and support the entire customer lifecycle continues to expand. Such pressing concerns have CMOs seeking better ways to understand the entire buying cycle, as opposed to marketing’s traditional concern with building awareness.  The idea of understanding the customer journey or buyer’s journey has come into vogue during the past couple of years.  Interestingly,…

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Goals Are At The Heart Of Customer Experience And Engagement

When discussions have turned to the importance of customer experience today, it is easy to quickly think of customer experience (CX) as a touchpoint improvement phenomenon.  Garnering up images of consumers, as well as, B2B buyers happily skipping along a mythical journey to the end of a rainbow.  Coming upon particular resting points and encountering an experience designed to wow them! There is a problem with this thinking today. We have been fascinated with the concept of the customer journey or in B2B, the buyer’s journey.   On paper, it worked well.  There is a beginning, middle, and an end to…

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The Influence Of Buyer Goals On Content And The Search For Good Ideas

One of the most under-realized areas of understanding in marketing today has to do with the powerful influences of buyer goals and their goal-directed behaviors.  This is especially true in B2B marketing.  Most notably, in terms of understanding the impact of buyer goals on how buyers conduct informational searches, as well as, gather content and make choices based on the information acquired. The ongoing concern for many senior marketing executives is the lack of effectiveness in content marketing today.  Surveys in the past two to three years indicating marketers are struggling to break through even being thirty to forty percent “somewhat”…

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Why CMOs Should Not Focus Only On Content Marketing

Soon, two thousand plus marketing directors, managers, coordinators, and marketing specialists will descend on the content marketing Mecca event called Content Marketing World.  The largest content marketing oriented conference of its kind.  These teams flushed with CMO approval in hand to attend eighty plus available sessions in the hope it will result in improved effectiveness. Effectiveness.  This is the dilemma and conundrum facing many senior marketing executives on the role of content marketing.  While we have seen a rise in spending on content marketing, we have seen a correlating rise in conferences and services designed to improve effectiveness.  Despite this correlation,…

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How CMOs Can Achieve Better Marketing With Goal-Directed Buyer Personas

When it comes to buyer personas, the expression “if it were only that simple” certainly applies.  There has been an abundance of advice on how to create buyer personas – simply.  In the past two years alone, there have been numerous articles, postings, books, and templates on how to create buyer personas.  Many professed buyer persona experts each promising simple steps towards creating buyer personas. When I first launched the concept of buyer personas in 2001, the worry then was helping marketing and sales executives to understand what was behind the development of personas.  And, how to get past looking…

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