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One particular trend I have noticed this year, in participant observations with B2B buyers, is the movement towards what I would label Intelligent Engagement. I referenced this in my previous article whereby I questioned the phrase Reach and Engage in contrast to Listen and Engage. Simply stated, B2B buyers are learning at an increasing rate how to decipher meaningful, relevant, intelligent, and engaging content from the fire hose that is now marketed to them. What we are seeing is a shift in buyer behavior from that of trying to drink from the fire hose to that of selectively choosing Intelligent Engagement. Closely correlated to social media fatigue, B2B buyers are looking for a garden hose and not a fire hose.
The field of content strategy and content marketing is still relatively new. However, it faces significant challenges just as it begins to solidify into a publisher mode of practice. The challenge is that B2B buyer behavior may already be moving beyond the publishing context to a new expectation of Intelligent Engagement. This is presenting an enormous challenge for strategists and marketers to learn how to establish “built-in” engagement that is intelligent as opposed to being the mere presence of a... Read more
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Tags: business, Business-to-business, Buyer, buyer behavior, buyer experience, buyer experience cycle, buyer persona, buyer personas, Consumer behaviour, content marketing, content strategy, engagement, Goal Centric, marketing, social buyer, social experience, Social Media, Tony Zambito
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In my recent article, The Ascent of the Social Buyer, I made mention that social buyers today were exhibiting an internalized Social Engagement Index. The mention of a Social Engagement Index is not new. The people at Alterian have talked about a Social Engagement Index (SEI) as well as a Social Sentiment Engagement Index (SSEI). Recently, Brent Leary and John Hernandez offered a perspective for The Social Customer in a report called The Social Customer Engagement Index 2011. The report focused primarily on how companies are leveraging social tools and technologies to reach and engage customers in customer service interactions. It also pays note to how satisfied customers are with these interactions.
My mention of a Social Buyer Engagement Index is coming from a different direction. In my anthropological inspired studies, the interest has been on the value buyers today are placing on the ability of companies to provide social engagement capabilities. It is asking the question: are buyers today evaluating a company’s social engagement capabilities as part of the overall buying experience as well as social experience? Although in an embryo stage with further research warranted, I think we are beginning to see the emergence... Read more
Tags: Alterian, Brent Leary, business, Buyer, buyer experience, buyer experience cycle, buyer persona development, buyerography, buyerology, buying experience, customer service, Goal Centric, Social Age, Social business, social buyer, social buyer persona, social experience, Social influence, Social Media, Social network service, Tony Zambito
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Without question, while B2B Marketing is focused on developing its new prominence in the early stages of the buying cycle via content strategy and content marketing, B2B Sales is caught flat-footed on how to adapt to changing buyer behaviors. Professionals in B2B Sales must feel like they under assault from the constant dire predictions of outright dissolution in organizations as well as the constant pressure to squeeze more revenue out of the pipeline. This may be especially true in B2B organizations where inbound competencies haven’t been developed and measurements for productivity are based on outbound calls, appointments, and deals.
I do not subscribe to the notion that B2B Sales will face extinction much like when the Roman Empire fell and the city of Rome burned. What is true is that B2B Sales must go through a period of reinvention and cannot stand idly by as the world of B2B buyers continues to transform with each passing day. The good news is that B2B Sales can become a critical resource for buyers in a new found way if reinvention means becoming buyer enablers.
Here’s the interesting twist in the changes that are occurring – as buyers become more self-directed - the more B2B... Read more
Tags: b2b marketing, B2B Sales, behavior, Business marketing, Business-to-business, Buyer, buyer experience, buyer experience cycle, buyer persona, buyer persona development, buyer persona playbook, buyer personas, contextual inquiry, Goal Centric, marketing, qualitative research, Sales, social buyer, social buyer persona, Tony Zambito
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