The first is inherited growth from products launched long ago, which now “carry” your business. The second is market growth… the tide that lifts all boats. You can only impact the third—earned growth—by doing a better job than every competitor in understanding and meeting the needs of a market. This means it’s easy to be lulled into thinking your underlying growth is greater than it is.
More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 14).
The term “B2B” is useful, because business customers can be so different than end-consumers. But it’s a blunt and imprecise term, and we can do better. Check out the “B2B Index” developed by The AIM Institute. The higher your market’s B2B Index, the greater you can engage customers… in both early-stage and late stage marketing. (This is a free service.)
Calculate your B2B Index at www.b2bmarketview.com
Imagine a fellow on a date that talks about himself for an hour. His only questions are, “What’s your income? What’s your educational level?” Then he closes with, “Will you marry me?” Does this sound like an old-fashioned “qualify-and-then-close” sales call? As in a good date, you should be genuinely interested by your customer and their needs.
Learn more about B2B innovation at theaiminstitute.com
These may be the same… or not. If you make welding machines, your customers’ alternatives may be mechanical fasteners or epoxy adhesive. When you have a choice between supplier-centric or customer-centric thinking, always choose the latter. Exploring customers’ alternatives passes this customer-centricity test.
More in article, Is Your Innovation Supplier-Centric… or Customer-Centric?
Business Today publishes “Why Personas Drive success” by M. Muneer and Dan Adams. In this article, M. Muneer and Dan Adams discuss how creating personas or fictional representations of customers gives clarity to user needs as early as the product blueprinting stage. About Business Today: Founded in 1992, it has set one benchmark after another in business ... Read More
Leading a company into a new era of customer-centric innovation takes patience, courage, and a commitment to finding the best people and processes. Follow these 10 best practices to lead innovation and change for B2B organic growth. 1. Celebrate learning as success. As business leaders, we drive for results, results, results! There’s certainly nothing wrong ... Read More
There are 4 types of leaders: Builders, Remodelers, Decorators, and Realtors. This matrix helps you understand which you are. Your business needs a builder. That’s because there are 3 three types of growth—inherited, market, and earned… and you only control one. (Hint… it’s not the first two.)
More in article, Are You a Builder or a Decorator?
You can miss an important customer need… pursue the wrong need… over-design and add unneeded costs… measure customer success the wrong way… overlook a competing alternative… over-estimate what customers will pay… under-value your product… use improper messaging. So many chances to err. Fortunately, B2B producers can use a “science” to avoid all of these.
More in article, How to Avoid New-Product Commercial Risk
B2C employees (e.g. Apple engineers) are consumers themselves, so they have high typical customer insight… but low potential insight, since consumers can’t easily predict what will entertain them. The gap between typical and potential insight when serving knowledgeable B2B customers is much larger. This is your competitive edge if you close the gap before competitors.
More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 13).
We asked this question of new-product teams that had conducted a total of 875 B2B-optimized customer interviews. 96% said these interviews would have a moderate, significant or great impact on their company’s organic growth rate. Only 4% said the impact would be “slight.” About the same amount also felt such interviews would positively impact their company’s culture.
More in white paper, Guessing at Customer Needs (page 10).