As we have progressed to defining a “new” category of engagement in sales and marketing that we coined “Buyer-Enabled” versus your traditional sales and marketing models, we have continued to develop better visual tools to help companies figure out where they are in their development. We decided that “social” was not helping people figure out why what we are seeing in the market is different that thinking about social media as a channel. Behavioral is too tactical and too esoteric.
Yes, we actually perform behavioral targeting marketing, but if you don’t understand the Buyer-Enabled Orientation, targeting your engagement in the market to support buyer a different way doesn’t really make much sense. If you don’t really know why your buyers make the decisions that they do prior to engaging with your solution, then you are left to the mercy of their ability to get it. If you don’t understand their issues and challenges as context to their decision making, then you are not really providing decision support.
Social media is an enabler of the broad-based market insight around buyer behavior, but only if you apply context. Social media tools will cull tons of data and provide simple analysis, but if you don’t really understand your buyers’ needs, you really are not going to understand the insight within the sea of noise.
The chart below is our latest and it helps to show the context of where we think sellers are evolving. As companies mature, they tend to package up their offering and then gain sufficient experience in trying to create solutions (plays) for their prospective clients. But, the next evolution is to put yourself in your buyer’s shoes and try to anticipate what they need to become a better buyer. Usually, it isn’t more information about your features or functionality, it is context across the market to be able to better compare against alternatives and help decide what is really important for their specific situation.
The more you enable them with your market leadership, the easier it is to trust that you understand their needs and trust that you are transparent in your dealings in the market. The difference today is that social media is breaking down the silo-ed customer experience and now people are collaborating within and without companies and even across markets. The context is becoming more critical than the feature and functionality differences. So, where are you in your evolution and how does your prospective buyers perceive your engagement? How would your buying experience be impacted?
Can you imagine yourself as a buyer looking at the market where all of the buyers are engaged in helping you actually make a good decision? How would your buying experience be impacted?