In business, products and services are bought, not sold. Studies on B2B transactions show that nearly 80% of the contacts leading to a sale were initiated by the buyer, not the seller. This simple fact has a direct influence on the success or failure of B2B marketing communications programs. It also describes an essential strategic planning realization for any business: Marketing must begin with and remain focused on the buying process and how your value proposition impacts the buyer.
Product suitability, competitive alternatives, pricing, availability, technical support, service needs, vendor reputation, and similar considerations — as perceived by the buyer — ultimately dictate your sales results. It is the #1 job of communications to favorably influence those perceptions and facilitate the buying process toward your solution.
Voice of Customer Research is a planning discipline that provides the foundational information for creating and implementing these communications and brand marketing programs. Interestingly, we have seen surveys across a broad range of businesses showing about half of companies conduct some type of research regularly.
But just about half do little to none! Which suggests to us they may not be as “tuned-in” to customers as they may think they are. At Drucker Group, we recognize that success is neither accidental nor subjective, but rather a continuing process of identifying, preparing for, and reaching business goals using customer insights.
These strategic marketing insights come from information. Finding the facts, interviewing buyers, studying results, reading a situation, and distilling from customer data key marketing opportunities, as well as obstacles. This is the crucial first step toward building an effective customer value proposition. Where such customer knowledge is incomplete, obsolete, or absent, it is a near certainty that your brand’s communications program will be misdirected or incomplete.
It is this output from a Voice of Customer program, the critical information on customers, competition, dealers and distributors, salespeople, industry associations, and secondary sources, that must be reviewed, organized, and evaluated. Only then can you find the most accurate and complete customer value proposition possible to multiply the effectiveness of your sales and marketing programs.
Contact us to learn how Voice of Customer research insights can drive growth in your business.