For a change, instead of ‘lecturing’ on best practices and winning strategies, we have chosen to shine a spotlight on the FATAL mistakes that undermine your competitiveness. Let’s get started!
1. Product Centricity vs. Customer Centricity: It’s Time to Make the Leap
Millennials and Generation Z make up 65% of B2B buyers and are now responsible for 75% of purchasing decisions (according to a PYMNTS study). They have mastered digital technology, they know how to explore the web in all its nooks and crannies to find information, and they carry out a large part of their purchasing process without you (57% according to Accenture). In terms of form, they expect formats that are easy to consume… without compromising on intellectual rigour. But most of all, they expect a value proposition aligned with their specific needs, with a hyper-personalised support mindset.
In 2023 (and beyond), you can no longer afford to stick to a product-centric approach. A quick reminder:
● A “product-centric” company focuses its attention on its product, its technical characteristics, its genesis, almost independently of the context of use (type of customer, its activity, the specific characteristics of its market, etc.);
● A “customer-centric” company puts the customer at the heart of its strategy and works to create solutions based directly on their needs, with a sales approach that draws on the field to shape the sales pitch.
Your prospects want tailor-made solutions to their problems, which is why customer centricity must become the Alpha and Omega of your B2B sales and marketing strategy. As Gartner explains, your salespeople need to become “sense-makers”, weaving the connections between the customer, their needs, the specifics of their business and market on the one hand, and your value proposition on the other.
And it’s well worth the effort: over a 5-year period, B2B companies that declared a “very mature” level of customer centricity grew 2.5 times faster than those that said they were “very immature” on the issue (Vantage Partner survey).
Although companies seem to be jumping on the customer-centricity bandwagon, there is still a long way to go. According to B2B International, only 14% of large B2B companies are truly customer-centric. So you’ve got something to play for and a great competitive advantage up your sleeve.
2. The era of reworded, rehashed content is over
In 2023, your blog can no longer be limited to a simple hub that rehashes and rephrases external content, with information and themes from across your business sector (competitor blogs, specialist press, etc.).
ChatGPT does it faster, with reasonable quality… and the tool costs $24 a month for version 4. The reformulation blog is obsolete, and not just because of AI. According to Forrester’s Buyer Insights Reports, B2B buyers say they are saturated with content. To “surf”, we’re going to have to change our recipe.
The (almost) magic formula is as follows: we take editorial risks and we dare to use subjective formats, where we take a risk, where we give a clear opinion and where we compare ideas, methods, good practice, etc. We also dare to use ‘concrete business’ formats such as case studies and business cases, taking care to anonymise if necessary. We also dare to use “concrete business” formats such as case studies and business cases, taking care to anonymise them if necessary.
So yes, it takes a bit longer and it mobilises resources, but it’s the only way to really add value and therefore succeed with your Inbound (and ABM, by the way) strategy. Don’t hesitate to sacrifice quantity and speed in favour of the new, the unique and the extremely useful.
3. Not leveraging ABM: a strategic mistake
The studies praising the return on investment of ABM are one and the same. According to ITSMA, 76% of marketers claim that ABM has generated a higher ROI than all other marketing levers. What’s more, companies have clearly understood this, with 70% of B2B marketers now having a more or less formalised Account-Based Marketing programme, according to HubSpot’s Not Another State of Marketing Report (2022).
Are you one of the remaining 30%? That’s good news… because you’ve got plenty of room for manoeuvre if you’re looking for growth in H2 2023!