Map your competitive differentiation: What can you own?
Differentiating your product or brand boils down to two simple questions. 1) What are your customer’s needs and buying criteria? And 2) which of these can your product/brand own? This post outlines a three-step process for mapping dimensions that will differentiate your brand and solution. The outcome provides a conceptual framework of your relative competitive differentiation.Read More
Make Your B2B Brand Strategy Relevant to the Sales Team
You’ve analyzed your brand strengths and weaknesses, conducted research to understand your brand equity relative to key competitors, identified open market positions, developed your brand strategy, and set tactical marketing plans into motion. But what have you done to help the sales team embrace and operationalize your brand strategy? Have you helped them understand how it will make them more successful?Read More
How to discover the personal and emotional drivers for a B2B audience
“The best thing about doing this is that I got to have coffee with my Dad in the barn every morning until he passed. Now I have that cup of coffee with my son and will as long as he stays involved.” This statement paints a clear and vibrant picture of a small business owner’s emotional drivers. It surfaced in a series of qualitative in-depth interviews and encapsulates an emotional theme that ran through the interviews. It speaks to one of this audience’s core values and influences even their most rational decisions.Read More
Sporadic Customer Journeys in Low Involvement Categories
Set it and forget it is the attitude in many low involvement categories – data security, business insurance, telecommunications, etc. Inertia keeps businesses from proactively evaluating alternative solutions or vendors. If the product or service is good-enough businesses don’t have the motivation to evaluate their options. The purchase journey for these products and services consists of long stretches of inertia, interspersed with periodic spikes in interest in alternatives.Read More
Who you are: What you say
Over the past two decades we’ve help many B2B vendors refresh their brand platform. We notice that some B2B vendors struggle to differentiate the themes and characteristics that can be the pillars of their brand platform from those that may be critical to the market, but do not represent sustainable and/or unique brand positioning. To help clients identify the difference between the two we use a simple construct that distills things down to the core distinction.Read More
Know thy enemy: How to overcome barriers in B2B technology sales
The Art of War advises that we can outsmart opponents and avoid battle when we “know thy enemy”. While marketers typically define direct competitors as the enemy, internal barriers within prospect organizations pose equal peril.
Isurus has seen many innovative ideas in 20 years of B2B market research for technology companies. Some ideas meet great success out of the gate, others languish for years before taking off, and some recede and disappear altogether. Through this experience, we’ve identified four major reasons that prevent prospects from adopting new technologies.
Benefits generate interest, Pain generates B2B sales
Despite the best sales and marketing efforts, inertia keeps most prospects from changing vendors or trying new solutions, even when they display initial interest. Speaking to pain-points is often a more effective strategy than emphasizing aspirational benefits for overcoming the inertia that exists at the end of the B2B purchase decision journey.Read More
Speaking to Trust in B2B messaging
In many B2B sectors, Trust, or Trustworthiness, sits near the top of market’s vendor evaluation matrix. Given that trust is earned over time presents a barrier to prospects switching to vendors that they don’t have experience with. When vendors say Trust me, at best the market views it as marketing-speak, at worst it conjures up images of unsavory car salesmen.Read More
B2B marketers take a fresh look at brand strategy
Not long ago brand strategy and strategic brand management languished on the sidelines of B2B marketing. Branding is now experiencing a resurgence. B2B marketers (and their bosses) increasingly embrace the notion that business decision makers are people after all, and that emotions strongly influence business decisions. This year’s ANA/BMA16: Masters of B2B Marketing Conference highlighted success achieved by AON, GE, TD Ameritrade Institutional, Hiscox, and others in engaging with business decision makers at a human, emotional level.Read More
The customer decision journey should drive content marketing strategy
Across the many frameworks available on the topic, there’s consensus that a successful B2B content marketing strategy is built on knowing the target audience, how they progress through the buying process, and their needs along that journey. Yet, it is rare for marketers to use buyer insights to inform their content market strategy. Doing so requires a documented content marketing strategy and a recent study finds that only 32% of B2B marketers have one.Read More