As a behavioral scientist, I am constantly looking at what we can do as B2B marketers to influence our customers’ buying behavior; thus, when my colleague Kelly Pires forwarded me this interesting article about marketing to different genders in B2B, I knew I had to check it out. Titled “B2B Marketing to Men vs. Women,” the article told of how a business products company performed a test to see which of the following two offers would work best on their 75 percent female target audience: free shipping, or a certificate for a free box of chocolates. Upon analysis, they found that the women responded to the chocolate in overwhelming numbers. So with this week’s blog, I’d like to examine this case study through a theoretical lens to show how the scientific research that explains their findings can be used to further your own B2B marketing efforts.
… About My Buying Motives and Embrace My Instantly Approaching Death
I am riding my bike a lot these days, both for sake of fitness gains and training for long-distance rides. However, I have to take advantage of the small window of opportunity I have between the hours of 4 to 6 a.m., several times a week. Needless to say, I ride alone. These hours spent grinding away on my favorite bike trail around Stone Mountain Park have given me welcome time for introspection and meandering thoughts as I pedal circuits around the mountain. It has been a while since I have had time to quietly entertain myself in deep thought.
Last week, I talked about the ramifications that smart phones have had in B2B marketing, and how these devices are causing many people to develop continual partial attention due to their lessened mind share. Today, I’d like to elaborate on the topic of continual partial attention by looking at it from a different standpoint; specifically, I’d like to discuss how we can work within the confines of our target audience’s continual partial attention, by maintaining contact with them through Twitter.
OK, so we all know by this point that we should be using Facebook in B2B marketing. Everyone has been writing on it and everyone has a reason why—but what can scientific research tell us about utilizing this dissemination channel? With this week’s blog, I’d like to add to the existing conversation by showing how social and behavioral science can further validate using Facebook in B2B marketing.
I’ve already spoken about the importance of the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) in B2B Marketing. Since people often make decisions based upon both personal and social attitudes, we will be most effective at encouraging a prospect to adopt our desired buying behavior if we can appeal to both. To do this, we simply must talk to people in the industry, and with this week’s blog I’d like to expand on that idea by talking about what methodology we can utilize once we have these people on the phone (or ideally, in a face-to-face).
As both a B2B Marketer and Behavioral Scientist, I am constantly examining individuals’ buying behavior in order to determine what motivates them to make purchasing decisions. And as I was browsing the library of successful marketing case studies on MarketingProfs.com today, of course the following title caught my eye (though for a very different reason!): SEO and Sex: A Recipe for Success. A case study about a dentist who wanted to stand out among the competition, it told of how Dr. Helaine Smith broke through the clutter with a combination of inbound marketing and finding her niche; other than just a successful case study, I noted it was also a great example of why incorporating theory into strategy is a necessary endeavor.
Though the case study was directly related to B2C, there were some definite nuggets that could be carried over to the B2B industry. As a B2B inbound marketer in Atlanta, I understand the importance of developing important content, distributing it through multiple channels, and always remembering to include keywords throughout; however, this case study had an interesting addition in that it reminded me of the importance of “finding your carrot”. In order to break through the clutter we must find something that will make us not only stand out – but also draw people in. For Dr. Smith, this carrot was sex.
Marketing is marketing, whether your audience is businesses or consumers. Correct? In many ways, perhaps, but there are distinct differences. As in B2C marketing, the first step in B2B marketing is understanding your customer. From understanding their success motivations and professional affiliations to their influence levels and web habits, a matrix of the various customer persona segments is key to developing a rounded marketing program.
You don’t stand a tinkers chance of producing successful advertising unless you start by doing your homework.
– David Ogilvy, Ogilvy on Advertising
With B2B marketing budgets being stretched as far as possible today, and then pulled a little more, this quote from Mr. Ogilvy has never been more important. Knowing where your client lives doesn’t cost you much, just your time and enthusiasm.
When was the last time you did a deep dive on your clients’ needs, wants and expectations? Are they receiving your messaging and coming away with the correct impression? Are you making assumptions in your creative direction based on out-of-date research? If any of these questions strike a chord, here are some simple steps you can take to true up your knowledge base: