Smarketing is not so Smart

Steering for organic growth

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

Awkward Reality #166

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

166 DIY

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

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

165 Supplier centric

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

Awkward Reality #163

When it comes to B2B customer needs, uncertainty exists in suppliers’ minds, not customers’.

163 Uncertainty 1

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

You can’t live in customer outcome space… but you should be a frequent flyer there.

162 Frequent Flyer 1

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

Awkward Reality #160

Launching products at customers is an incredibly inefficient approach to B2B customer insight.

160 Launch Products

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