6 things to listen for in planning b2b communications

There’s nothing better than sitting in a room with a bunch of B2B marketers and listening to them make loosey-goosey decisions

about what their customers and prospects think is important as it relates to the product or service the marketer is selling. “I’ve been in this market for twenty years,” says one marketer, “ so I know what’s important to my customers — quality, service and price.”

Zowie!

How insightful and differentiating. Last time I checked that’s the general criteria for virtually every B2B purchase.

The sad truth

Yet the sad truth is too many of today’s marketing messages are based on what the marketing or product manager thinks is important about the product or service being sold. And often that doesn’t get to the heart of the matter. What’s not getting enough attention is what the customers and prospects are really buying. Maybe it’s time we as marketers

Shut up and listen

to what our actual customers and prospects have to say about why they buy and what’s important to them versus just jamming marketing messages down their throats just because we think we know.

The B2B Marketing Inquisition

Here’s six questions that can help you develop stronger, more differentiating marketing messages that will catch your customer and prospect’s attention if you take the time to talk to them and actually listen to what they have to say:

  • What are your customers’ and prospect’ biggest business problems and concerns? (From their points of view, not yours.)
  • Which needs are most important in the buying process? (To them, not you.)
  • What are the most important buying criteria? (As they perceive them.)
  • How does your brand rate in meeting those criteria? (As they perceive them.)
  • How do your competitors rate in meeting those criteria? (In your prospects’ opinions, not yours.)
  • When, where and how would like to be communicated with? (Let them tell you.)

The answers to these questions form the basis of integrating your communications messages around what is important to the audience when making a purchase decision. It can help you deliver the right message to the right person at the right time in the buying process.

We talk more about this subject in the Mobium eBook, Brandwidth. Download it for free here.

Image: Flickr: woodleywonderworks

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