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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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B2B Product Messaging Checklist

Product messaging to B2B audiences is challenging. Marketers need to convey complex messages in simple but compelling terms.  Here are five recommendations that will help you in the initial stages of message development, when decisions about message content, benefits and value propositions are made.

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Using research for content marketing

A recent Content Marketing Institute study found that 44% of B2B marketers use research reports in their content marketing strategy. Isurus regularly conducts custom studies to provide data for content marketing initiatives; the sponsoring client leverages the results to create reports, webinars, infographics, whitepapers, microsites, and a range of social and email marketing to promote and share the content.

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Building the corporate brand

A new book “The People Powered Brand: A Blueprint for B2B Brand and Culture” makes a compelling case that the oft-neglected B2B corporate brand is actually of greater importance than product brands and that more companies should treat the corporate brand as a valuable asset.

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Finding the right amount of edgy for B2B advertising

A tension exists between most marketers and their advertising agencies. Agencies want to push the envelope as far as they can to create advertising that cuts through the clutter and engages the audience. Marketers—especially B2B marketers—tend to be conservative and worry that edgy advertising will alienate customers and prospects. Who’s right? Research conducted by Jonah Berger of the Wharton School and Zoey Chen of the University of Miami indicates that both may be.

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