Insight You Can Use

UNDERSTANDING BUYING BEHAVIOR IN THE NEW DIGITAL AGE

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Why Brexit Will Affect The Future Of Global Business Marketing

The stunning outcome of Britain’s decisive vote to exit the European Union has caught the political, economic, and business world by surprise.  Creating uncertainty in world financial markets, the future of the European Union, the pace of globalization, how to strategically plan for an eventual exit, and how to prepare for potential risk from this event. One area of concern for businesses is how to approach and conduct global business marketing.  What we can be certain of is that businesses, people, and various types of organizations will undergo a transformation in how they make decisions, exhibit buying behaviors, and recast their…

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5 Ways B2B CMOs Can improve Audience Development With Buyer Persona Research

The term, audience development, has become more ubiquitous in the world of marketing.  A recognition of the growing importance of digital content marketing to overall marketing strategies today.  For B2C CMOs, the concept of developing audiences and communities has been an essential core principle for some time. For B2B CMOs, the idea of audience development and engagement can be perplexing.  Fraught with confusion surrounding questions such as: exactly what constitutes an audience and is there really a difference between buyers and audiences?   Questions I often receive when working with CMOs specific to B2B. Investing in audience development remains a key…

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Overcoming The Content Personalization Challenge With Buyer Persona Research

It is clear that one of the top challenges facing marketing, especially B2B marketing, is the ability to connect with potential buyers on a personal level.  Recent surveys of marketing professionals by Rapt Media, Forrester, Seismic, SAP, IBM, and others all indicate that content personalization remains the biggest challenge for marketers this year and for the foreseeable future. The percentages of marketers indicating this as their top challenge are not measly either.  For example, in a survey of 500 marketing professionals by Rapt Media, over 80% stated content personalization as their biggest challenge.  This coincides with previous studies and surveys…

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4 Myths Preventing True B2B Customer Understanding

There is a big problem when it comes to B2B customer research.  And, most B2B executives may be unable to see or recognize the problem.  The scarier notion is some may not even know it exists. What is this big problem? According to various studies over the years (by credible institutions such as Harvard) regarding market and customer research, approximately 80% or better of B2B customer research is conducted to reinforce current assumptions about customers.  Rather than, to explore new concepts, hypotheses, uncover new opportunities, gain revealing insights into issues, and seek new innovative ideas. In my years since launching…

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Is B2B Content Engagement Heading In The Wrong Direction?

Sometimes more is truly less.  When it comes to the state of B2B content marketing and engagement, this proverb is on the mark.   According to a recent study by Track Maven, one among a few on this topic, shows both B2B and B2C marketers have increased their publishing of content in 2015 by as much as 35 to 40%. This study, as well as others, shows that more content creation does not always translate into more engagement.  The Track Maven study found that content engagement decreased by 17% in the same period.  Track Maven referred to this as the “content…

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How To Lead With Customer-Focused Content

The explosion of content in the digital world is an unprecedented phenomenon just a few could have predicted twenty-five years ago.  Content is ubiquitous in all phases of life and in business.  In fact, it is getting harder and harder to find a slice of time where content is not invading precious personal or business space. The voluminous nature of marketing and sales content is making it harder for organizations to get through to customers and potential customers today.  In several hundred qualitative buyer persona research interviews conducted last year, I heard firsthand about new behaviors related to filtering, managing,…

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Study Confirms Importance Of Qualitative Research To Success With Buyer Personas

A recent survey conducted by Cintell*, entitled 2016 Benchmark Study On Understanding B2B Buyers, indicates that high performing organizations utilized qualitative research for their buyer personas.  The study focused entirely on the use of buyer personas for understanding B2B buyers. Findings also found that 70% of companies who missed their revenue goals did not conduct qualitative research for their personas.  While 82% of those who exceeded their revenue goals conducted qualitative research.  These facts from the 137 respondents, from a variety of roles primarily in marketing, shows a strong correlation between the use of qualitative research and the effectiveness of…

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State Of Buyer Personas 2016 Survey

This has been an eventful year.  We are seeing continued growth in the adoption of buyer personas as a means for understanding buyers and customers.  At the same time, the growth is fraught with the perils of buyer personas being misunderstood, mislabeled, and serving as a cover for basic buyer profiling. Each year, since originating the concept of buyer personas in 2001-2002, I have reflected and offered a perspective on the state of buyer personas.  As in last year, I wish to incorporate the use of a survey to offer a comprehensive view of the state of buyer personas.  This…

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Mapping Buying Experiences: Creating Growth Through Aligning With Buyer Goals

Engaging new buyers and repeat customers are the lifeline to achieving growth.  While the context of these fundamental challenges has changed via digital technologies, they nevertheless are constant pressures.  Recent surveys of CEOs by IBM, PWC, and KPMG all point to major concerns and priorities in expanding the lifeline to growth. Creating distinctive and engaging experiences, as part of how people and businesses go about making purchases, is getting more attention today than ever.  Causing many to rethink long-standing practices on customer acquisition and customer retention. In order to learn how to create distinctive buying experiences, businesses are embracing new…

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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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