Category Archives: Marketing

Do you think you’re connected to your customers? Really? Do you think they agree? Let’s check…

When was the last time you heard in a strategic meeting some defining statement from your execs like: “We are customer-centric”, “Every decision in this meeting should be made based on customer insight”, “Customer First!”, etc.? Feels good? Do you think your customers perceived any value out of it? Did you check?

Do you capture customers’ emotion besides customer data?

Are you connected with your end customers?

Answering this question, most execs or managers from these meetings would answer with a big YES! Actually, based on a Cap Gemini Research out of 600 executives, 75% of organizations believe themselves to be customer-centric. So, you’re not alone. But when interviewing for the same research 3,000 consumers, the reality check was brutal: only 30% did agree!

After more than a year into the pandemic, this trend did not slow down. On the contrary, the customer disconnect for a lot of businesses was brutal, especially for all companies still going through their digital transformation, let alone the ones that did not aggressively start it — but this is the minority few laggards.

In my world of Tech B2B, Trust Radius reckons:

“Due to the pandemic, 33% of buyers spent more time researching products before making a purchase this year. 49% of buyers spent time doing extra research because of data security concerns.”

The 2021 B2B Buying Disconnect annual TrustRadius research

Chances are the strategies your brand had in motion need to be revisited, relying solely on customer data will probably not be enough. Were you curious to compare repeat customers’ data with Net Promoter Score (NPS) of these same customers? Was it congruent? Not necessarily right? The reason is maybe that these repeat customers had an expensive barrier to exit, so they kept buying from your brand. But when asked by their peers whether it’d be a good idea to buy something from your company they said: don’t buy this solution at the risk of being trapped for many years. I hope not, but do yourself a favor: double-check.

If you’re looking for a wider perspective about how COVID-19 did change customer behavior in Tech, here is a good view of time spent by them during their buying journey coming from the same TrustRadius research:

How COVID-19 Impacts the Amount of Time Buyers Spend on Different Activities in the Buyer's Journey | TrustRadius
It reinforces a trend I wrote about previously highlighting that B2B buyers would spend only 17% of their purchasing journey time with ALL potential suppliers’ sales reps (from Gartner).

As a matter of fact, if customers and prospects tend to spend less time with representatives from your company, how do you think you’re being more connected with your customers? Do you start to feel the same pain I’m feeling?

How to reconnect to your customers?

There are several factors widening the customer disconnect, without being exhaustive let’s list some here:

  • Digital is prevailing in the buying journey
  • B2B brands are not engaging enough with the end customer, they should seek for a more B2B2C stance
  • Millennials are becoming a majority of the buyers, 60% in the Tech B2B world as an example
  • Customer loyalty is driven primarily by trust (43%), simplicity and convenience (24%) i.e. more driven by their right brain
  • Fatigue developing from a customer experience that didn’t evolve enough
  • The incoherence of the engagement through all the customer touchpoints as a result of the vendor’s departmental silos
  • Not taking enough into consideration customers behavior and emotions compared to customer data (left brain driven strategies)

I would have many things to write about reconnecting with your customers, and I will certainly do this in future posts. One punch line would capture the essence of my state of mind today:

Reconnect with your customers’ and employees’ right brain!

To be continued…

Please share your own perspective and experiences about this in commenting or responding to this post.

RevOps at the core of CX and growth? Becoming more Customer centric to break silos is the way to go

I’ve been experiencing first hand the difficulty B2B companies, from scale ups to established tech vendors I’ve been given to work with, to adapt to the buyer’s journey’s radical transformation. As Alastair Woolcock from Gartner reports:, sellers have limited opportunity to influence customer decisions as B2B buyers would spend only 17% of their purchasing journey time with ALL potential suppliers sales reps!

Pie chart showing distribution of buying groups' time by key buying activities.

If you add to this that 33% of all buyers, climbing to 44% for Millennial, would prefer a “seller free” sales experience, one can easily guess something needs to change in B2B Go-To-Market (GTM) and offered customer experience.

Actually, among many things to embark on, I’d be supporting the advent of Revenue Operations (RevOps) and appointing a true Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) in your organisation. The major benefits to expect would revolve around:

  • Alignment of sales, inside sales, business development, digital, marketing and customer success organisations, putting customers at the center,
  • Creating focus around the growth strategy, never loosing sight of the customer satisfaction,
  • Thus simplifying the cross-departments processes, increasing overall efficiency and improving the customer experience (CX).

RevOps is a foundation to become more adaptable and agile.

CROs should build on RevOps for your business to better cope with the ‘New Normal’, fuelled with uncertainty and accelerated changes, unpredictable customer journeys and a demand for hyper-personalized in context interactions, typically spanning across Marketing, Sales Development, Sales, Phygital Commerce, Customer Success and CX more generally.

This is a journey, climbing the maturity ladder one step at a time but accruing value all along. I’ll be certainly talking about this more in the future.

Have a great week-end and feel free to share your experience in response to this post.

Work your value proposition like crazy

Happy customer?
Did you really work your value proposition?

I cannot stop expanding the list of products or services introduced by major brands or startups that have miserably failed to meet their audience. Many reasons come to mind but for sure the value proposition is at the core of a good positioning. I just stumbled upon this simple framework that will help you work on you value proposition hopefully before you introduce a new product or service or a new version of it.

I’d encourage you to go through several interviews with prospects and customers to work on it at the expense of focusing to much on your beliefs, hunches and other top executive’s far too remote from them. Reality check: people are trying to obtain gains and alleviate pains they are in day to day, not necessarily the ones you are discussing in your executive meetings.

This video captures it pretty nicely. Feel free to share your experiences about value proposition and positioning in commenting this post.

Have a great week.