Blog Category: Business-to-Business (B2B)

The Cure for B2B Myopia: Jobs-to-Be-Done

Harvard professor Levitt began the JTBD discussion by teaching that the railroad industry should consider itself as the transportation industry..

Modern “Jobs-to-be-Done” thinking began with the most popular HBR article ever written: Ted Levitt’s “Marketing Myopia.” It begins this way: “Every major industry was once a growth industry. But some that are not riding a wave of growth enthusiasm are very much in the shadow of decline. Others, which are thought of as seasoned growth ... Read More

You can only help B2B customers two ways: improving their processes or products.

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You can improve a process anywhere down the value chain, or you can improve the ultimate product. (Mid-stream products don’t count.) Equipment and service providers often have their biggest impact on processes. Component or material makers often have a larger impact on products. In either case, you need to pursue these improvements with passion.

More in e-book, Reinventing VOC for B2B (page 26).

All B2B markets are not created equal. How well do you understand yours?

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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

10 Best Practices to Lead Innovation and Change

B2B Leaders Celebrate Success

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

Closing the “Customer Insight Gap” gives B2B suppliers a competitive edge. Not so much for B2C.

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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).

Most B2B firms can make one simple change that will revolutionize their innovation results.

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This can super-charge your organic growth: Don’t let your R&D conduct any product development work without unbiased, unfiltered data on what customers do and do not want. Market Satisfaction Gaps—based on importance and satisfaction scores for customer outcomes—provide this. You’ll free up enormous resources by working on only what matters.

More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 13).

Starting NPD without customer insight is like starting a shoving match with a sumo wrestler.

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In either case you should ask, “What was I thinking of when I started this?” Especially if you are a B2B supplier with knowledgeable, interested, rational customers, who want you to know their needs. And a science already exists for completely understanding these needs. Maybe it’s time to stop throwing salt and begin learning a better approach?

Learn more in our e-book, Reinventing VOC for B2B

Should you take a Do-It-Yourself approach to customer insight?

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B2B producers often take a DIY approach, while B2C marketers hire research firms. Why? For one thing, consumer products often have bigger annual revenues: Think of all the small B2B parts in a big-ticket item like a smart phone. For B2C it’s all about that launch. But B2B companies often “turn the crank” on many smaller new products… so its economical to develop in-house expertise.

More in article, You Already Answered 4 Questions, but… Correctly?

I’m still looking for a B2B industry that does not suffer from supplier-centric innovation.

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It would seem obvious that new product development should be focused on those who will pay for these products: customers. It would seem. Yet B2B suppliers routinely pursue their own ideas, concepts and hypotheses, paying too little attention too late to market needs. True customer-centric innovation is a completely different mindset.

More in article, Is Your Innovation Supplier-Centric… or Customer-Centric?