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What is B2B?: Discovering what the customer wants by understanding your Buyer’s Funnel

October 11th, 2011
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If you could break it down to its essence, what really is B2B marketing? It is not, as the name suggests, one business marketing to another or one business buying from another. If you look up the definition of a business, after all, it is an organization.

An organization of people. In the end, people choose to buy, or not buy, from you. When I’ve worked with enterprise sales organizations, they’d often talk about the deals as the “Bank of America deal” or the “Walmart deal” when they really should have called them the “Hannah, Fred and Bill deal.” After all, Hannah, Fred and Bill are the ones making the buying decisions, not a multinational corporate entity that exists only on paper in a P.O. Box in Delaware.

So to truly succeed in B2B, you need to make it P2P. Even more so than consumer marketing, where a customer may buy a product off the shelf with no interaction at all with the people in your company, B2B is very people-oriented. Everyone from sales executives to customer service reps to consulting teams interacts with the real people in your customer organizations … except, perhaps, marketing managers.

If you’re in marketing, you tend to have among the least interaction with your customers. And yet, you are the ones responsible for the messages you’re sending to those customers. How can you bridge that gap? Check out this video A/V Specialist Luke Thorpe put together about Kristin Zhivago’s keynote at the East Coast swing of MarketingSherpa B2B Summit 2011 – “The Buyer’s Funnel and Your Political Power: Joined at the Hip” – along with my quick interview with her after the Summit wrapped …

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