This isn’t a new B2B marketing thought. It’s an important piece of B2B marketing knowledge — and I saw it expressed perfectly today.
The San Diego Software Industry Council sent me an invite to a Saturday-morning workshop focused on discovering how customers think and incorporating that knowledge into customer-focused Web-based applications. It sounds like a great event. What I loved was the opening sentence of the invite:
“You are NOT the customer. And if you think that you can rely just on your gut feel to really know your customers’ needs, think twice.”
YES, YES YES. We B2B marketers must always remember that every campaign we build, every word we write, every design we create, and every channel we choose must directly relate to what our customers tell us are their pains and their preferences — NOT be based on our personal preferences.
Lauren Cannon reports about a new element being added to B2B product buying decisions. In her “3 Trends Shaping B2B Marketing” post for INC Magazine she includes this eye-opening information:
“Valkre founder Jerry Alderman agrees that the next evolution in B2B marketing involves businesses attempting to understand how the services they’re offering truly impact the bottom line of their customers. Valkre has created a new metric, called the differential value proportion or “DVP”, which measures the amount of increased profit that a customer can bring in by doing business with one company versus another.”
This trend takes B2B marketing right down into the trenches, where winning new business becomes even more of a numbers game. ROI has been an essential ingredient in marketing communications. Now B2B marketers, product managers, and sales must calculate the numbers that can be used to translate product benefits into bottom-line numbers. It’s ROI on steroids.