Do today’s B2B marketing messages need to change?

In her post for the Business Marketing Institute (BMI), Ardath Albee of Marketing Interactions reports on a recent survey conducted by ITSMA.

The survey consisted of 486 telephone interviews with business and technology decision makers asking about what they want. Her post reporting on the survey, “Do You Know What Tech Buyers Want,” covers two areas: First, how B2B buyers gravitate to companies that provide thought leadership and content that is truly relevant to them, and second, how many companies are following and active in social media (71%).

One point that caught my eye was the first three buyer priorities the survey revealed:

“Buyers act like their first priority is cost cutting, yet they’ve also earmarked growing revenues and improving productivity in their list of top 3 priorities.”

ITSMA calls this part of the “New Buyer Paradox.” This paradox is not new. These three goals have been at the top of the list for my clients’ B2B buyers for as long as I’ve been in marketing. The paradox, of course, is that boosting productivity may require an investment, which is not a way to cut costs. The hope is that, over time, most investments will reduce operating costs or boost revenue enough to justify the additional cost.

These top three buyer priorities are important to B2B marketers because every product and service in the B2B world should ultimately achieve one or more of the three goals.

The only exception would be in companies living on venture capital that are trying to build site traffic before focusing on revenue generation. Once a B2B company is self-supporting and in a profit mode, these three goals are paramount.

Therefore, I challenge B2B marketers to look at the product or service being offered and see how it cuts costs, grows revenue and/or improves productivity.

For instance, a service that improves the delivery of employee benefits saves time (making HR more productive) and produces happier, less frustrated employees. Happy employees are more productive and more involved in finding ways to improve operations. This should be the focus of the message used by the company marketing this product.

Even products that help keep companies compliant with state and federal regulations can be positioned to lower costs as they reduce the efforts necessary for a B2B company to stay compliant. Less effort always generates greater productivity. This company’s messaging should clearly make this connection in its B2B marketing message.

Any product that employees use to do their jobs better or faster can contribute to lowering costs, improving productivity and, in the end, generating more revenue.

B2B marketers should make sure that their marketing materials, their lead generation and nurturing messages, their content and their sales presentations all focus on these primary business goals. They’ve never changed and I suspect they never will.

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  1. says:

    Do today’s B2B marketing messages need to change?…

    What ITSMA calls the New Buyer Paradox presents the three goals that have been at the top of the list for B2B buyers for as long as I’ve been in marketing….

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