Tagged 'buyer experience cycle'

Enhance the Buyer Experience with Intelligent Engagement

Posted by Tony Zambito on October 26th, 2011 at 8:15 am

Image via Wikipedia
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

The Social Buyer Engagement Index

Posted by Tony Zambito on October 5th, 2011 at 10:18 am

Image by Ross Mayfield via Flickr
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

The Research Methods of Social Buyerology

Posted by Tony Zambito on August 23rd, 2011 at 1:13 pm

Image by smemon87 via Flickr
In my article, Social Buyerology: Understanding Buyers in the Social Age, I offered perspectives on the need for a new discipline in B2B Sales and Marketing related to understanding new buyer behaviors and interactions in the social age.  This is a follow up article that looks at the methods for helping B2B to research and gain valuable insights about the social buyer.  Coincidentally, my thoughts come at a time when the LinkedIn IPO and valuation has sent a ripple effect in the B2B business community.  Undoubtedly bringing a heightened awareness to understanding the social buyer today.  Whether the LinkedIn IPO impact is short lived or creates yet unforeseen outcomes, buyers have been impacted and will continue to be so by the advent of social technologies and social connection.  Gaining insights into the social buyer will become an increasing imperative for B2B businesses in the global marketplaces of the Social Age.
Understanding the social buyer involves utilizing social research methods to gain deep insights into how buyer dynamics associated with networking, affiliations, influence, and decision-making are being impacted by the influx of social technologies and multiple channels.  Multi-disciplinary approaches yielding new understandings will inform B2B organizations on adapting... Read more

Reinvent B2B Sales With Buyer Personas

Posted by Tony Zambito on August 1st, 2011 at 8:30 am

Image via Wikipedia
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

Are Sales Pitches Dead in the New Buyer Experience Economy?

Posted by Tony Zambito on April 14th, 2011 at 11:55 am

Image by TheeErin via Flickr
The good old days, for some sales and marketing people, were the days huddling up for the big presentation.  All bent on creating the slide deck of all slide decks to wow the prospect.  Everyone working on their portion of the sales pitch to be sure they are in tune and in the right key – just like an American Idol contest.  Knowing full well they will be judged by a panel of buyers and waiting with anticipated breath to see if they make it to the next stage of the dance.
As the new buyer experience economy evolves, these so called good old days are faced with extinction.  The sales pitch, as we’ve known it for the past few decades, is dead.  Without belaboring the points that became more prominent the last few years, we all know that buyers are off doing their own thing in the early stages of the buying process.  The digital capabilities of today doing the job salespeople of yesteryears did.  This rapid transformation into a buyer experience economy is causing many organizations to look at what really matters to buyers.  And what is becoming more evident is that buyers care more... Read more