Most business-to-business companies suffer from a delusion, and it’s this: that buyers always make decisions in a rational, logical, and economic way. The result is a constant slew of features-driven B2B products, services, and communications that few people really care about. In recent years the tectonic plates of B2B have shifted and its customers have evolved. These customers don’t just want to buy from businesses anymore, they want to buy into them. A series of landmark research pieces prove that B2B audiences buy on emotion and justify with fact.
The problem is that too few B2B companies realize this. They continue with the same sterile, product-centric marketing that increases revenue by a percentage point here and there. It seems safe but it’s dangerously short-sighted, because it doesn’t deliver the transformational and long-term growth that makes businesses category leaders.
It’s even more important to address this issue at such a critical and delicate moment in the world economy. Marketing leaders have to adapt and evolve, inspire others, and innovate continuously. They require strategies that have an exponential, rather than an incremental, effect on brand and sales, and to implement them they need the new super-skills that this book teaches.
The application of these skills involves shifting the focus from products to people, accepting that buyers and decision makers want empathy and engagement with their issues. It involves turning marketing attention from features to feelings, acknowledging that neuro science has proved that people buy on emotion and justify with fact. And it involves marketing to the customer’s problem and not the company’s solution. In other words it requires a completely different mindset to the one that’s prevalent right now, one that we call ‘Humanizing B2B’.
This book brings the different aspects of humanized B2B marketing into one place, so that B2B businesses can grow, dominate their categories, and become meaningful in today’s demanding world.