B-to-B Insights: What Are We Doing Here? (Part Two)
Remember what I said at the very beginning of this column about psychology and its fascinating application to our business? As B-to-B marketers, we practice psychology at each stage of the buying cycle.
We practice it in the consideration stage, where the offers that work—such as podcasts that show implementations or solutions in the field, executive briefings or demos—are those that help our prospective buyer become more informed and better able to compare our products with those of our competitors. The same goes for the evaluation stage, where the most successful offers—including on-site consultations, guided tours to view an installation in action and limited-time price discounts—are offers that attract buyers with a problem that must be solved RIGHT NOW. Unlike the fearful folks in the interest stage, these people actually want to talk to a salesperson. Our offers must be made with that fact very much in mind.
Are We Having Fun Yet?
As B-to-B marketers, we have to figure out which offers to employ at which stage of the buying cycle; decide which title will be the most galvanizing for each offer; determine how to position each offer just so within a given message; and motivate our prospects to do what we want them to do—when we want them to do it. Yes, B-to-B direct marketing is a whole lot of work. But for people like me—and you, I presume— it’s also a whole lot of fun.
Russell Kern is president of The Kern Organization, a fully integrated offline and online direct marketing agency in Woodland Hill, Calif., and is the author of “S.U.R.E.-Fire Direct Response Marketing” (McGraw-Hill, 2001). He can be reached at (818) 703-8775 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.