(SPOILER ALERT: business buyers are human too)
Prick a business buyer, do they not bleed? Tickle them, do they not laugh? Poison them, do they not die? To further bastardize the Bard, if we are like them in the rest, we resemble them in this too.
When EMC bought Isilon for over $2bn, I quickly realized we had lost yet another promising client to legacy business. But cutting two more billion dollar notches into Mortar’s counting stick was nevertheless very satisfying.
B2B marketers take note: if you too want to make billions, a great place to start is by framing your messaging as an appeal to human nature.
It helped us shape the creation of some $16 billion in value since 2003. It will work for you too.
Here’s a three-step approach to more human-factored business communication:
1. Decide who: Your target is of flesh and blood. Emotion, gut and desire drive purchasing decisions, not job titles. So remember to understand your audience’s Psychographic profile.
Consider how well you know your target audience? What keeps them up at night. What gets them going? Are they early adopters, or of the more pragmatic mindset?
[Tip: there is no better way to profile customers than to talk to them -Ed].
2. Decide your value: Now that you know who is in your sights, you can decide what you can offer them.
Your Value Proposition should speak to what they truly want (and wants always trump needs).
An effective value proposition explains how only your product solves their problem and promises added value.
Ask yourself: What do customers get from you that others can’t provide? How you define your audience will give you clues for crafting your value proposition. But you will still need to decide what to emphasize. Even though your value proposition will likely change as the market matures and the product becomes more widely understood, maintaining differentiation requires choices and focus.
And the dirty little secret about focus is it means that only some people are in the tent while most are not.
3. Give them three Careabouts. We like our things in threes. Threes are easy to remember. Easy to use. And necessarily focused.
So give your target three things to expect of your offering—three powerful whys.
Boil them down like this: An IT storage customer needs a quick and easy way to scale capacity. So point out how simple the solution is. Many will prefer a system that is available in seconds and can can be managed from a control-line. So say it’s smart too. And finally, big storage customers will need assurance their system is designed to support mission-critical applications. So point out it can be trusted. The three things your customers care about might be Simple, Smart and Trusted.
These simple, but effective steps can be brought together in a messaging house. Ready to be blessed and put into action by marketing, sales and partners.
Sometimes it can be more fun to think inside a box (house). Here’s an example:
That’s how we see it. Let us know your thoughts. Join the conversation #whatifmortar.