Let's have a look at the product-driven Mad Men (x/f/m) of B2B marketing. There's a tendency in B2B sales and marketing to assume that 'we are the smart ones' because we tell the facts and don't sell fluffy stories like in B2C. But, those of us that assume that are quite wrong.
Sorry, not sorry, but facts and figures don't sell your product
We all know people rather buy an appealing story than a list of product details. But somehow, when we try to sell our high-tech solutions, we tend to talk about what our product or service does. We elaborate on the features, the latest technical updates that run an algorithm even 0,01 microseconds faster, with 10 times less power usage, and, ... Zzzzzz.
Whichever way you look at it, facts and figures won't make people buy your product. Although we tend to think that we are sound human beings that make rational decisions, especially when it comes to our business purchases: we are not. Many B2B sales and marketing people suffer from Product Delusion (PD).
PD is rampant in the B2B community. For example, most B2B advertising is fact- and figure-driven. Then again, people tend to forget facts, but they remember emotions very well. This means that a B2B advertisement is much more likely to be remembered in a buying situation when it makes you laugh or cry. And in the end, that is all that matters: you have to be top of mind when people are ready to buy your B2B (fintech) product or service. But they are not always ready, you have to prepare for this momentum.
Now, let's make you cry
Research shows that 95% of your B2B tech customers are not in the market right now. This is primarily due to the fact that most companies only change their providers about every five years. Especially in services industries like banking, legal advice, and technology.
If you understand this dynamic, you can adjust your marketing and sales strategies accordingly. It is not only about creating leads for tomorrow, or next month, it is also about branding or making sure people know you are essential. Being well known is essential so B2B buyers consider you when they are ready to buy. But potential customers just won't remember you if you keep on targeting them with advertisements packed with product information. They only remember you when they feel you(-r) product.
Sorry to break the bad news that your factual messages are ineffective, but hopefully, it emotionally touches you. This way you'll always remember that your customer is just not that into your product details.
Should we stop creating excellent products and outstanding solutions?
You might wonder if it still makes sense to aim for the best products and services? No worries, it does. But as for marketing and sales, especially advertising, stirring the emotion is necessary to attract customer attention.
There will be enough time and attention for your product details when you finally come to the buying committee that decides whether to buy or not to buy. This is where the rational facts and figures really come into play. And where the rationality kicks in.
The people in the buying committee all have very different views and stakes, they come from different departments within the company. So please also use facts when you come to this stage, so the buying committee members can more or less rationally compare their different views.
A simple cure for your case of Product Delusion
Both product details ánd emotions are essential to reach your goals of selling your products and having happy customers. But in the end, you compete on the availability of your product, not the product itself.
The cure for your Product Delusion is simple, though; you need to shift your focus. Keep on looking at the features of your product or service and figure out what emotion they trigger. Are they solving a significant problem for your customers? Take for example a product that solves the problem of a lack of efficiency: not having the proper efficiency probably makes your potential customer feel stressed. Maybe your marketing and sales activity can aim for the Zen feelings your solution brings.
Just selling for the sake of it has and will never work. You need to understand how and when businesses, are ready to buy. So stop selling and start focusing on your customer's problems and how they buy. That is the way to overcome even the most severe case of Product Delusion.
No worries, you are still a brilliant marketeer when you start to aim for your customer's emotions, rather than presenting them with a long list of facts and figures. Even in a business environment, it sometimes pays off to be a clown or a good friend that brings comfort. Just give it a try!
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