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Little Data: When B2B marketers don’t have access to big data

While B2B marketers wait for their organizations to adopt big data tools, they can leverage a range of cost-effective data sources to inform decisions that move their companies forward. The following are some of low-cost or free data sources (little data) B2B marketers, product managers and strategists can use to evaluate market opportunities, competitors, customer needs and overall market trends.

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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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Developing a mid-market strategy for your enterprise product/service

The mid-market is an unfulfilled market opportunity for many vendors that serve enterprise segments. Rethinking the needs of the mid-market can improve a vendor’s chances of succeeding with smaller customers.

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Re-Thinking the C-Suite Sales Strategy

Selling to the C-suite or other senior executives is the holy grail of many B2B vendor’s sales and marketing strategies. Vendors believe a senior executive is in the best position to recognize the business value of their solution. We believe selling to the c-suite is not the right strategy for many vendors, based on recent research on decision-making, our conversations with executives and some practical realities. If you plan on moving your sales & marketing upstream, consider how the following trends impact your sales & marketing decisions and strategies.

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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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How to Think Like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln

In honor of the upcoming Presidents’ Day, here’s a look at one of the most respected traits Washington and Lincoln shared that can provide guidance to everyone from the CEOs to product manager and market teams. They saw the world the way it was, not the way they wanted it to be, or thought it ought to be. This trait has been universally viewed as a key to their ability to develop effective strategies at two of the most critical points in our country’s history.

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What is the expected life cycle of a cloud application?

Expected product life cycles have traditionally informed forecasts for software demand – they could be used to help estimate the number of organizations likely to be in play any given year because their solutions had reached their natural refresh cycle. The shift to cloud applications muddies the water in terms of this traditional forecasting approach.

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Make your product’s champion, don’t search for one

Conventional wisdom says the best way to sell a B2B product or service is to find the highest level champion in the prospect organization and follow their lead. But does that approach really work? Separate studies by the Corporate Executive Board (published in the April 2015 edition of the Harvard Business Review) and the media group B2B Marketing (published in its 2015 Buyersphere Report) indicate that this may be easier in theory than in practice.

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Unintended consequences of empathy: A new Golden Rule for marketers

Making an effort to imagine yourself in your customers’ shoes may give you a false sense that you understand what your customers want. This counter intuitive statement stems from research conducted by Johannes Hattula of London’s Imperial College and his colleagues. Fortunately there are steps you can take to ensure you are not projecting your opinions onto your customers.

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