Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

How Does Your B2B Brand Reflect On Your Buyers?

Fun-house-mirrorI've been reading a lot of posts lately about making emotiional connections with B2B buyers, along with reminders not to forget their personal side. But this doesn't mean to start looking at them as B2C consumers - even though they are when they're away from the office. In professional mode, "personal" is a bit different.

And for all of you wondering - this does not mean that 2 dogs and a house in the suburbs is information that will help you.

Personal attributes for a B2B buyer are still related to the role they play at work. Some of the most basic questions of a personal nature that cross B2B buyers' minds include:

  • How will this decision affect my career?
  • Will this decision help save my job during the reorganization that will happen with the upcoming merger?
  • Will solving this problem help me earn a promotion?
  • Will this decision increase the value my company sees in me?

But when you look beyond those considerations, how does their perception of your brand influence their thinking? Is what they come across representative of the way you want your brand to be seen? Is their experience consistent across channels?

Could the way you represent yourself across channels be costing you business?

Below are a few situations to consider:

  • What will my peers and colleagues think if I choose them?
  • They're too hip and cool for our conservative culture. Will my executive team believe there is really enough substance?
  • They're really conservative - will they bring the innovative ideas I'll need in the future? Then again, I can probably trust them not to take a flyer...
  • They have some really smart people working for them - their blog is awesome - but every time the corporate Twitter handle Tweets it's about sports stuff or product discounts. Given how much the solution we're looking at costs, if my CFO ever sees that...
  • I asked a sales guy an industry question he couldn't answer yesterday. Today he sent me a link to a great thread where thought leaders were weighing in. It wasn't even produced by his company. I like this guy!
  • My friend just emailed me a link to a LinkedIn discussion where a gal at a company we're considering buying a solution from got defensive about something one of my colleagues posted. Uh oh...
  • I'm so tired of webinars that are really sales pitches. When they don't provide the value they promise on a webinar, will they deliver if you buy? It makes me wonder if they'd always be trying to upsell me if I became their customer.
  • Every time I get an email from this company I can't wait to see what they sent me. It's always great stuff. And if I can't use it, I know someone who can and forward it along. They make me look good.

Are any of these happening at your brand? Obviously, I've painted a picture that includes good and bad stuff. Even exagerated some of it to make a point. But this stuff actually happens. I've heard versions of most of these brought up in meetings. I've been forwarded links to stuff with WTF? notes from my clients and colleagues.

The truth is, social media and user-generated content and channel proliferation has created a version of reality that often reminds me a lot of high school. Operating in this environment is a lot like working under a microscope. But, if so, we need to adjust - and fast!

The truth of the matter is that you'll never be a fit for everyone. Making sure that your brand is aligned with your target markets is the best a company can hope for. Still a big task, but made more manageable. Putting buyers at the center of what you do also helps.

But this reality is also a rallying cry for working together. For breaking down silos and opening the lines of communication to help get everyone on the same page. Sure, they'll be outliers, but when each of us is by extension representative of the brand we're affiliated with, more thought needs to be given.

If the social media team isn't talking to the demand gen team who isn't talking to the web marketing team or the events team or the PR team and none of them are talking with the sales team - what are the chances that your brand is being perceived by your buyers in a way that's costing you sales?

When will we "get" it?

Step into your buyers' shoes and go take a look at your brand from the outside-in. Go look at all the channels through the experience your buyers will have. What do you think?

Are you inspired? Energized? Intrigued? Or are you disappointed, even alienated?

What one thing can you do today to shift the status quo?

Just take one step and then work on the next one. Once you recognize the issue, it's often taking that first step that's the hardest. You can do it. I have faith.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Ardath Albee

Ardath Albee, CEO & B2B Marketing Strategist of her firm Marketing Interactions, helps companies with complex sales increase and quantify marketing effectiveness by developing and executing interactive eMarketing strategies driven by compelling content.

Her book, eMarketing Strategies for the Complex Sale, was published by McGraw-Hill.

Her articles and blog posts have been used for university ezines, published in CRM Today, Selling Power, Rain Today and Enterprise CRM News. Marketing Profs has incorporated her blog posts into a number of their "Get to The Point" newsletters.

Latest Stories
"Qosmos has launched L7Viewer, a network traffic analysis tool, so it analyzes all the traffic between the virtual machine and the data center and the virtual machine and the external world," stated Sebastien Synold, Product Line Manager at Qosmos, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Internet-of-Things discussions can end up either going down the consumer gadget rabbit hole or focused on the sort of data logging that industrial manufacturers have been doing forever. However, in fact, companies today are already using IoT data both to optimize their operational technology and to improve the experience of customer interactions in novel ways. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Gordon Haff, Red Hat Technology Evangelist, will share examples from a wide range of industries – includin...
"We build IoT infrastructure products - when you have to integrate different devices, different systems and cloud you have to build an application to do that but we eliminate the need to build an application. Our products can integrate any device, any system, any cloud regardless of protocol," explained Peter Jung, Chief Product Officer at Pulzze Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor – all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
Get deep visibility into the performance of your databases and expert advice for performance optimization and tuning. You can't get application performance without database performance. Give everyone on the team a comprehensive view of how every aspect of the system affects performance across SQL database operations, host server and OS, virtualization resources and storage I/O. Quickly find bottlenecks and troubleshoot complex problems.
Internet of @ThingsExpo has announced today that Chris Matthieu has been named tech chair of Internet of @ThingsExpo 2017 New York The 7th Internet of @ThingsExpo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. Chris Matthieu is the co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, a revolutionary real-time IoT platform recently acquired by Citrix. Octoblu connects things, systems, people and clouds to a global mesh network allowing users to automate and control design flo...
"We are an all-flash array storage provider but our focus has been on VM-aware storage specifically for virtualized applications," stated Dhiraj Sehgal of Tintri in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
With 15% of enterprises adopting a hybrid IT strategy, you need to set a plan to integrate hybrid cloud throughout your infrastructure. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steven Dreher, Director of Solutions Architecture at Green House Data, discussed how to plan for shifting resource requirements, overcome challenges, and implement hybrid IT alongside your existing data center assets. Highlights included anticipating workload, cost and resource calculations, integrating services on both sides...
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.
"We're a cybersecurity firm that specializes in engineering security solutions both at the software and hardware level. Security cannot be an after-the-fact afterthought, which is what it's become," stated Richard Blech, Chief Executive Officer at Secure Channels, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
"We are the public cloud providers. We are currently providing 50% of the resources they need for doing e-commerce business in China and we are hosting about 60% of mobile gaming in China," explained Yi Zheng, CPO and VP of Engineering at CDS Global Cloud, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The WebRTC Summit New York, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, announces that its Call for Papers is now open. Topics include all aspects of improving IT delivery by eliminating waste through automated business models leveraging cloud technologies. WebRTC Summit is co-located with 20th International Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo. WebRTC is the future of browser-to-browser communications, and continues to make inroads into the traditional, difficult, plug-in web co...
Between 2005 and 2020, data volumes will grow by a factor of 300 – enough data to stack CDs from the earth to the moon 162 times. This has come to be known as the ‘big data’ phenomenon. Unfortunately, traditional approaches to handling, storing and analyzing data aren’t adequate at this scale: they’re too costly, slow and physically cumbersome to keep up. Fortunately, in response a new breed of technology has emerged that is cheaper, faster and more scalable. Yet, in meeting these new needs they...
When it comes to cloud computing, the ability to turn massive amounts of compute cores on and off on demand sounds attractive to IT staff, who need to manage peaks and valleys in user activity. With cloud bursting, the majority of the data can stay on premises while tapping into compute from public cloud providers, reducing risk and minimizing need to move large files. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Scott Jeschonek, Director of Product Management at Avere Systems, discussed the IT and busin...