What is Smarketing? “Smarketing” is when marketing is only executed with a short term, sales mentality. It’s the unholy melding of sales and marketing. Why is this bad? With Smarketing, the longer term, less urgent, strategic marketing activities are pushed aside. Strategic vs. Tactical Marketing Strategic marketing sets the course and tactical marketing steers the ... Read More
Awkward Reality #167
Many think new product pricing is determined by how much value a supplier delivers to customers… but that’s not strictly true. Pricing is driven by customers’ perception of value delivered. Therefore, you need to give prospective buyers a value calculator or similar tool, so they can see how much money they’ll make or save.
More in white paper, Catch the Innovation Wave (page 12).
Awkward Reality #166
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?
Awkward Reality #165
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?
Awkward Reality #164
Professional interviewers can be helpful at times… but ultimately, customer insight skills are a competitive edge your company should own. Your B2B customers want to talk to the people who will innovate on their behalf… not some note-taking middle-men. And there’s nothing quite like hearing new customer insights first-hand, is there?
More in e-book, Reinventing VOC for B2B (page 23).
Awkward Reality #163
Many ventures try to create new products or services under conditions of market uncertainty. This is a huge challenge for B2C. But uncertainty does not exist in the minds of most B2B customers… who have great knowledge, interest, objectivity and foresight. If you know how to access this, your supplier uncertainty will plummet.
More in white paper, Lean Startup for B2B (page 12).
Awkward Reality #162
Understand customer outcomes thoroughly before entering solution space. The drill bit is the supplier solution; the hole is the customer outcome. For every job, there are scores of outcomes your product could deliver… how fast the hole is drilled, how accurately, how easily centered, how much mess is created, etc. Outcome insight leads to solution brilliance.
More in article, Is Your Innovation Supplier-Centric… or Customer-Centric? (Originally published in B2B Organic Growth newsletter).
Awkward Reality #161
We asked how much B2B-optimized interviews impacted teams’ designs for the products they were developing. Five out of six teams said the impact was “great” or “significant.” Hmmm… makes you wonder what those products would have looked like without these interviews. Do you think your new products could be improved this way?
More in white paper, Guessing at Customer Needs (page 2).
Awkward Reality #160
Many companies develop and lob new products at their B2B customers without first exploring their needs. There may be less efficient ways to understand customer needs than waiting to see if they buy your product… but I truly don’t know what they would be. Years from now, companies will be amazed that our innovation methods were so supplier-centric and inefficient.
More in white paper, Timing is Everything (page 5).
Awkward Reality #159
This is what product developers call the Ansoff Matrix quadrant where you pursue an unfamiliar market with unfamiliar technology. A great place to kill your career. But you can enter it with confidence when you apply new methods for de-risking transformational projects… moving from uncertainty to certainty to defuse potential “landmines.”
More in article, How to Thrive in the “Suicide Quadrant