B2B Marketing: You Talkin’ to Me?

By CorexpandCX on August 28, 2013

It’s harsh.

But the reality is, when prospects read most marketing materials, their response often resembles DeNiro’s famous line.

You can imagine it, can’t you… a great prospect sitting there… reading your ad, your brochure, or your email? You’re hoping for that light to come on; that flicker of excitement that tells you they’re hooked. But instead, they look up at you with that intimidating sneer and ask, “You talkin’ to ME?”

So what’s the deal?  Why is it that the reader doesn’t identify with what they’re reading? Why do they end up not feeling engaged and/or that the content doesn’t relate to them directly? Why do they wonder, quite literally, who you are talking to?

Well, it could be because your marketing is simply appearing in the wrong place at the wrong time. But more often than not, there are two primary factors that contribute to this phenomenon:

Writers /marketers not taking the time to get to know their audience

You know there’s a group of people out there who buy your stuff. But do you know why they buy your stuff? More importantly, do you know the deeper reasons why they buy your stuff?

For example, you know that someone in a purchasing department buys your state-of-the-art flamgidget. Sure, you know that they must buy your flamgidget because they need it for some reason. But why do they buy this particular flamgidget, and, why do they buy it from you?

You might think it doesn’t matter. If they’re buying it, problem solved, right? [insert loud game show buzzer sound for incorrect answer]

If you’re happy with your sales level right now, and don’t care if your existing clients jump ship when something better comes along, okay. You can stop reading now.

But if you want any new clients, and want to make sure you keep the ones you have, you have to learn what makes your customers tick. You have to learn who they are, why they like your stuff (or don’t like), and what they like about you (or wish you would do better).

But even more importantly, you have to uncover their deeper needs; what problems does your product solve for them directly, and what unsolved problems are they facing that you might be able to help them solve with another product?

Writers / marketers talking at their audience, instead of to their audience.

This is the classic marketing blunder in an increasingly inter-connected world. Here’s something that small, even medium businesses know on some level, but don’t think about often enough; there is more competition than ever. Meaning; there are more choices for buyers than ever. For that reason, you must engage your readers and let them know you understand them; that you’re NOT just another choice… you’re THE choice.

What does that mean?

In the following example, who do you think is going to get more attention from a buyer?

Here at ABC Flamgidgets, we’re the experts. We have the best flamgidgets anywhere. We have state of the art flamgidget technology with 24 gigamils of flux capacitors and 18 megawatts of capacitive inductance in each spurlywatt. Our flamgidgets have won 3 Flamgidget of the Year awards. We have been featured in many industry magazines. We have experts in our design and manufacturing departments.

We have invested millions in our manufacturing plant. We’re better because we’ve been doing this for a long time. Also, for military or government applications, we have milspecs that exceed the 67.asu.frz requirements, as well as scanjerits that hold a tolerance of 15 milpetits per 100 scims. Our flamgidgets are backed by the best of what science and engineering have to offer.

Sounds reasonable, maybe even impressive. They certainly have all their bases covered. So, what about this next company?

Here at XYZ Flamgidgets, we understand how important it is for you to get the right flamgidget. Our industry veterans have been there. We know the frustrations you face when your flamgidget isn’t right. As a company who started out as a flamgidget refiner just like you, we know every step that goes into the flamgidget refinement process; from manufacturing to install. That’s why we tailor our manufacturing and shipping to meet your specifications and business needs.

We can show you the certifications and proven technology so you can judge for yourself. And yes, we could go on and on about our achievements, but we think there’s something more important; you… and a zero frustration level for you and your flamgidget refinement business.  Let us show you what we can do for you. 

Okay, okay. I made it easy to spot. The difference between these ads is; Company A talks about “me, me, me” versus company B who makes it clear, “It’s about you, you, you”. Company B is talking to the reader, versus Company A who’s just… talking.

And while most ads won’t be so glaringly obvious the reality is that, to the reader it will be; either consciously or unconsciously.

So, make sure you understand your reader, and that you engage them by relating to them on a more direct, personal level.  That way, you can answer in your best DeNiro; “Yeah… I’m talkin’ to YOU.”

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Posted in B2B eCommerce for Sellers, B2B Sales and Marketing, Business Growth and Development, Sellers Corner