Blog Category: Awkward Realities

Will customers mistrust B2C marketers and appreciate B2B marketers?

230-Big-Data-Marketing

The potentially-intrusive nature of consumer “big data” has already caused some mistrust of B2C marketers. Conversely, the best B2B marketers—especially in concentrated markets with fewer customers—are now developing powerful interviewing skills to listen closely to their customers. You can imagine the response: Who among us doesn’t want to be carefully listened to and understood?

More in e-book, Leader’s Guide to B2B Organic Growth (Lesson 15)

Optimize for each B2B market’s unique nature

229-Unique-Markets

Each of your market segments has a unique nature, defined by five qualities of its customers: knowledge, interest, objectivity, foresight and concentration. If you treat all markets the same, you’ll seriously sub-optimize. Better to fine-tune your early-stage marketing (understanding customer needs) and late-stage marketing (promoting your solutions) to each market segment. Use this free service to calculate your market’s B2B Index (how B2B it is) and learn 15 customized marketing strategies.

Calculate your B2B Index at www.b2bmarketview.com

Why are you sprinting… when you’re in a marathon?

228-Sprinting

If you expect your business to be around in 10 years, why are you focusing so much of your energy on this quarter? Especially since less than 10% of your company’s stock value comes from current earnings… while the rest comes from the market’s expectations of your future earnings. Sure, this is what most leaders focus on… but not leaders like Jeff Bezos or Steve Jobs.

More in article, The Inputs to Innovation for B2B

The first rule of business: Leave yours stronger than you found it

227-Stronger-Business B2B training

I think this rule should be on every business leader’s desk, and perhaps stamped on their paychecks. Should we be impressed if they pumped up the stock price during their tenure? Not if they did it by mortgaging the company’s future with short-term moves, perhaps chasing away top talent in the process. Glory lies in building something of lasting significance… not in pillaging it.

More in article, How to become a great business leader

Short-term financial focus leads to roadkill

226-Road-Kill

When you drive at night with just your low-beam lights on, you may observe small animals as you run over them. But you can’t avoid them. To do that, you need to have your high-beams on. Same with all those short-term financial reviews: You can only observe the bad results. To change the results, you’d need to build growth capabilities for the future. Run your business with your high-beams on.

More in e-book, Leader’s Guide to B2B Organic Growth (Lesson 7)

Think about the customer’s job to be done, not your product to be sold

225-Improve-Performance

Your front-end-of-innovation should center on a specific customer job to be accomplished. Focusing on your product concept is far too limiting. Let’s say your business makes some physical article. By focusing on the customer’s job, you might conceive a different product, service, or even a completely new business model.

More in Leader’s Guide Videos Lesson 13, Immerse in customer outcomes

If you start selling your new B2B product when you launch it, you’ve started too late.

223-Time-to-Tell

Research shows top sales professionals ask customers questions such as, “What problems are you facing?” Why not ask this before you develop a new product —not just afterwards? Such questions engage, so customers are often “half-sold” by your launch date. And their answers let you create much better new products. So… one question, two benefits.

More in Leader’s Guide Videos Lesson 17, Engage your B2B customers

An important question is, “How’s that been working for you?”

222-Hows-that-been-working

Your market is growing at 3% and your operating plan says you’ll grow faster than this next year. Of course, your competitors have similar plans… meaning everyone plans to grow faster than the market served. As TV psychologist Dr. Phil would say, “How’s that been working for you?” Could it be time for a different approach… e.g. understanding customer needs far better than competitors?

More in Leader’s Guide Videos Lesson 1, Recognize your growth challenge