B-to-B Insights: What Are We Doing Here? (Part Two)
Both titles describe something that is of value to the company, and both are likely to be of interest to our reader. But our offer goes from interesting to downright fascinating when we apply a layer of individual self-interest atop that of the company’s (which, when you think about it, is why they put icing on cakes).
The Joy of Cooking
Of course, if whipping up mouthwatering offers was as simple as matching up the right motivators, then successful B-to-B direct marketing would be, well, a piece of cake. But emotional drivers merely are the first in a list of factors we must take into consideration.
How many inquiries is our system set up to handle? How big and/or busy is our field sales organization? What are the goals of our marketing organization? And after we’ve pondered all of that, we also need to consider the alignment of our offers to the buying cycle.
(If you happen to be a regular reader of this column, you know the buying cycle is one of my favorite subjects—it consists of three stages: interest, consideration and evaluation—and that aligning offers to the appropriate stage will maximize results.)
If we have a large sales organization and need a steady flow of inquires to keep those hungry salespeople productive, then we’ll want to deploy offers that are calibrated to appeal to people in the interest stage. These offers might include whitepapers, briefings, checklists, problem/solution educational offers and third-party guides. In short, they may include anything that combines an educational focus with minimal marketing hype, which allows potential customers who are just becoming interested in our category to learn more without fear of an immediate sales pitch.
This is a key point. Potential customers don’t want to be sold. In fact, they’re afraid of being sold and expect that, given the tiniest opening, our organization will pounce on them. So, anything we can do to temporarily disabuse them of this notion will improve our results.