If you had the opportunity to meet your customers face-to-face, what questions would you ask them? Unfortunately, many B2B marketers leave out the most important question …
“You must get to know your customers.”
We’ve all heard this a million times.
But how do you actually do this?
Last week, I attended SpiceWorld 2015. I had the opportunity to sit down with Sanjay Castelino, vice president of marketing at Spiceworks, where we discussed how B2B marketers can learn more about their customers.
Spiceworks hosts regular Unplugged events, where tech marketers get to meet IT buyers face-to-face and ask them questions.
“The questions that marketers ask at these events are self-serving,” says Sanjay.
Marketers tend to ask the IT pros questions such as “What makes you open an email?” and “Do you read white papers?” Check out this article for questions and answers from a recent Unplugged event in Toronto.
As you can see, most of the questions center around “What do you think of our marketing?” Instead, marketers should ask, “What is your day like?”
“If you ask IT pros about their lives and their jobs, you’ll get the most interesting answers,” says Sanjay.
Many marketers think they are too busy to talk to customers. Although many haven’t spoken with a customer in a long time, they regularly make decisions on how to engage customers.
“Nothing is more important than getting to know the people you want to engage with,” says Sanjay. “This is how you will find real differentiators for your marketing.”
The more you learn about who your customers are, the more you can help them do their jobs better. Your customers will see that you understand their challenges and want to help them. Then they’ll be more likely to engage with you and choose you over your competitors.
Customers – whether they are IT pros, executives or consumers – buy from people they know and trust. If you focus on helping – not selling – your customers, they’ll trust that you have their best interests in mind.
Even if the person you’re helping doesn’t become a customer, he or she may still become an advocate and refer others to you.
Sanjay also adds that speaking with your customers will make you more productive. “If you learn the 10 things that will help your customers the most, you might be able to cut 50 items from your to-do list,” he says.
3 Ways to Apply This Information Now
- Download 15 Marketing Questions That Won’t Make Your B2B Customers Die of Boredom for some great conversation starters.
- Read “Why IT Buyers Aren’t Responding to Your Content” to learn how to make your marketing less robotic.
- Click to share this article on LinkedIn. Sharing quality content increases your visibility and credibility with your existing contacts, creating conversations and potentially new business.
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