B-to-b buyers are people, too

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This is not the title of an old Saturday morning syndicated TV program, but something that all marketers should consider when talking to their prospects. We are all painfully aware that too often content developers default to discussing features or product benefits without understanding what motivates a buyer to consider or purchase a solution for their organization.

Consumer marketers are ingrained to think about psychographics of their buyers and spend a significant amount on research to uncover these insights. This is an area that many times does not get the proper attention with b-to-b marketers. Not only should b-to-b marketers consider the reasons behind why buyers choose solutions – to solve a business need, to provide innovation to their organization, to save money -- but also what personally motivates them. Fundamentally, you should be asking why the buyer would want to choose a particular solution. The buyer not only considers the reasons for the purchase that will benefit the organization as a whole, but they buyer also weighs the personal satisfaction that comes with implementing a solution that achieves success. Subtle messaging and imagery that depict your business as a champion to buyers and their company -- and why you can help them achieve that success -- will go a long way.

That can't be demonstrated just by talking about the features but only by understanding the root cause of why companies are considering a solution and the problem(s) that they will solve to make them more successful. A few weeks back, I came across an article titled “How Asking Why Helps Us Get to Our Larger Story.” The article encouraged content developers to ask the question of “Why,” five times when approaching a project. This common sense, but ingenious, approach is a clever way to getting to the root cause of a problem and can be used for just about any situation. I believe if you are able to determine what motivates buyers for organizational as well as personal goals, you avoid the features trap and will generate compelling content that appeals to a buyer's needs.

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