Marketing and Sales, no matter how good, cannot make a buyer buy – especially in a BtoB environment, where purchasing decisions are often made by committee, impulse buys are rare, and emotions (though not irrelevant) are secondary to rational considerations.
In today’s information-rich world, buyers are in control of the sales process – so understanding what makes them tick is essential. However, as BtoB marketers, it seems we’ve lost sight of this critical point. It’s understandable. In recent years, we’ve been bombarded with the mandate to drive ever more leads through email marketing, overwhelmed by the social media du jour, and enthralled by the promise of marketing automation.
Simply put, we took our eyes off the ball. We know effective marketing starts and ends with the buyer. We always knew it – we just forgot it temporarily. It’s time to reorient ourselves, and our organizations. It’s time to embrace buyer-driven marketing.
It’s time to stop selling and start listening.
This is a way of thinking that places buyers at the center of all marketing priorities. Understanding what buyers care about, how they make their decisions, and how they want to receive information, makes marketing about them, not about us.
This isn't about doing more – or even about doing less. It's about doing what matters. And since most of us are being asked to stretch our resources ever further, focusing on what’s important is more important than ever. If a program, strategy or tactic does not clearly impact the buying decision, then it’s not relevant, and not deserving of execution.
Going forward, that's got to be our yardstick: will the buyer care? And the way we'll know that is not by emailing more, tweeting more, or lead-nurturing more. It's by asking questions, observing behavior, measuring results – and listening to what buyers are telling us.
It's going to be interesting. It's going to mean some adjustment. But it's going to be rewarding. And we're excited to join you on the journey.