Insight You Can Use

UNDERSTANDING BUYING BEHAVIOR IN THE NEW DIGITAL AGE

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Why CMOs Need To Embrace Goal-Directed Customer Engagement

One of the recurring themes over the past three years is the yin and yang of attempts to engage customers and buyers through digital and content marketing.  The statistics on surveys from Forrester, McKinsey, IBM, Sirius Decisions, and others have all been surprisingly constant. Reflecting the fact of sixty-five to seventy percent of content goes unread or is found irrelevant.  Yet, in other surveys, consistently, more than eighty-five percent of marketers proclaim implementing digital and content marketing, as well as, marketing automation. It does not take too much thinking or observation to see something is amiss here.  Organizations, including B2B,…

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Goal-Directed Decision Making Drives B2B Buying And Selling

Business-to-Business thrives on the simple basic principle of buying and selling. With all the hoopla over the past few years regarding digital technologies and social media, it is easy to lose sight of this most basic principle, which has existed for centuries.  The impact of digital and social technologies on the nature of buying and selling, however, cannot be understated.  They have changed how businesses interact and engage in the acts of buying and selling. One constant, research in the social sciences have proven, is the acts of buying and selling are by and large goal-directed activities and behaviors.  These…

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The Importance Of Goal-Directed Behaviors To Buyer Personas

In nearly every walk of life, goals are a major influence on what we do, think, feel, and the actions we take on a daily basis. For example, we may decide to skip the fudge brownie desert in light of health goals we are pursuing. On a much larger scale, goals are at work influencing choices and high stake decisions such as investments in new technology or services. One of the largest influences on the conceptual development of personas has been the body of work and research on goals. More specifically, on what is referred to as goal-directed behaviors. A…

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Intervention: Buyer Personas Are Not A Product Requirements Document

Product centricity is still kicking dust up in the perfect storm of changing buyer behaviors and transforming digital technologies. The dust up so thick, most organizations believe they may be responding to this perfect storm, yet, everything they do does scream products. A good case in point is what organizations believe they need to do or are told what to do with developing buyer personas. Unfortunately, companies are being misguided on the intent and methodology behind buyer persona development. Where the end game is still about pushing the product onto a target buyer. Let me illustrate with a couple of…

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How CMOs Can Use Persona-Based Customer Strategy To Transform Marketing

For decades, business executives have faced disruptive forces and changes. Brought on by technology, population changes, war, economic collapse, and radical innovation.   Due to the disruptive force of the new digital economy, business leaders and CMOs are facing a new phenomenon different than ever experienced before. The rapid changes in digital technologies are overlapping with equally rapid changes in customer behaviors. This powerful combined force is resulting in business leaders awash in responding to new types of organizational challenges. Situations related to nimble competitive entrants, emergence of new markets, changes in buying behaviors, pricing models turned upside down, and the…

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Stop Business Speak And Simplify Insights To Achieve Customer Centricity

Many executives today are struggling in two areas.  One is in formulating strategies designed to help their organization stand out in a crowded field.  The second is in creating an enterprise adept with deep customer insights and understanding, which translates into obsessed customer focus.  When struggling in these two areas, executives and their organizations can find themselves in a turbulent whirlpool dragging them and their customers into further states of confusion. Wrapped In A State Of Business Speak Depending on the circumstances and the people involved, you sometimes wonder if people are wired with a switch in their brains to…

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7 Big Questions For B2B Marketing Leaders in 2015

Another year and more questions facing B2B Marketing Leaders. We are faced with a rapidly changing digital economy and evolving buyer behaviors. Challenging the best plans and intentions drawn up for 2015.  Each year begets a new set of questions, which confront B2B organizations and B2B Marketing Leaders. Let us take a look at 7 very pressing questions: Do we really know our buyers and customers? A few decades ago, the famed management guru Peter Drucker stated one of the most important question a business has to answer is: Who is our customer? For CMO’s and marketing leaders, this remains…

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State Of Buyer Personas 2015 (Survey Results)

It is now nearly fourteen years since the first-ever buyer persona development methodology was first created specifically for sales and marketing. For trivia and history buffs, Harcourt Education in 2002, a division of Reed Elsevier at the time, was the first organization to ever use research-based buyer personas for marketing and sales. How far we have come and how far we have still to go. Incorporating Survey Data For the first time in this annual reflection of the State of Buyer Personas, this commentary will incorporate responses from a survey conducted this past October through December. The survey consisted of…

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How Marketing Leaders Can Lead With Strategic Customer Narratives

Marketing leaders are in continual pursuit to understand customers and buyers. At the same time, they are now being looked at to bring understanding of customers to bear on almost all facets of business operations.  According to a recent IBM CEO Study, CMO’s are increasingly gaining the attention of CEO’s. Whereby marketing is seen as a major driver towards creating a customer-centric organization. Because the forces of change have been so rapid, marketing leaders are put in a position of being a juggler of new types of approaches, services, and technology. Whether they are creating new online capabilities, developing content marketing…

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Beyond Predictive Marketing: Planning With Persona-Based Strategic Narratives

In a recent interview, one of the world’s most compelling management consultant, Tom Peters, responded to a question related to what is missing from today’s discussion about management. In classic as well as vintage Tom Peter fashion, he responded: “My real bottom-line hypothesis is that nobody has a sweet clue what they’re doing.” He went on to say we, in business, should be trying things out at an insanely rapid pace as a result. It is fair to say in the world of marketing, what has been taking place is trying things out at a rapid clip. One of those things…

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