The Sirius Decisions Summit is happening this week and I'm wishing my schedule would have allowed me to be there in person rather than absorbing the wisdom through Twitter #sds11 - but thankfully I have at least that.
RT @cahidalgo: 57% of #sds11 attendees say their mktg/sales approach is Product-centric but want to move to solution centric.
As I'm observing from afar, I may be misinterpreting, but this makes me want to wave my arms and say - "Stop and think!"
Solution-centric may be a step up from Product-centric marketing, but most B2B companies approach solution marketing is as a way to sell more stuff by bundling it together, not so much to help buyers find the best way to solve a problem.
This is where perspective needs to play a bigger role. Instead of focusing on products or solutions, marketers need to focus on improving the buyer experience - from THEIR perspective. The only way this happens if if we make our buyers the pivotal point around which all of our marketing content revolves.
But perspective is also bigger than that. It must be dynamic because solutions to problems evolve faster than the nature of problems change. With the length of a complex B2B buying process, this can also mean that what was important to your buyers at the beginning of their journey has changed by the time they get done with their research, involve others on the buying committee, etc.
To create marketing content focused on the buyer experience, we must also look farther into the pipeline and create a plan for getting more than just attention and a bit of interest. True engagement takes time, education, the sharing of expertise and the ability to frame context to invite serious consideration.
There's a lot that needs to happen after lead generation and qualification to make that happen.
This is going to be a big challenge for many given that, of the 800 attendees at the Sirius Decisions Summit, 61% are focusing their lead nurturing programs on pre-marketing-qualified leads and another 18% are doing nothing with their leads.
Before marketers decide to trade in one approach for another, the first thing they need to do is figure out what their prospective customers need. If you address their issues from their perspective as related to what your offerings enable, product vs. solution will cease to be the choice.